In preparation for the 57th Commission on the Status of Women, UN Women, in collaboration with the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO), convened an Expert Group Meeting on prevention of violence against women and girls, on 17 to 20 September 2012 in Bangkok, Thailand. 

This past week a report on the meeting was released, and it includes powerful language that specifically emphasizes that States should ‘refrain from invoking any custom, tradition or religious consideration to avoid their obligations’ to eliminate violence against women and girls.  In paragraphs 64 and 65 the document further argues that challenging “those who would see aspects of gender discrimination and inequality retained in the name of tradition or religion” is necessary strategy for preventing such violence.  You can find the report in its entirety here.