Researching Violence Against Women: A Practical Guide for Researchers and Activists. World Health Organization and Program for Appropriate Technology in Health; 2005. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Produced by PATH and the World Health Organization, this guide draws on the experience of researchers from more than 40 countries and presents methods for performing surveys and qualitative research on gender-based violence in low-resource settings. It covers all aspects of the research process, from study design to training field workers. It also describes ways to use findings to influence decision-makers. Most important, it presents clear guidelines for protecting the safety of women participating in the research.

Each chapter can be viewed or downloaded separately under the section "INDIVIDUAL CHAPTERS".

WHO Multi-country Study on Women's Health and Domestic Violence against Women. World Health Organization; 2005. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Emphasis on Chapter 9: Women's coping strategies and responses to physical violence by intimate partners

WHO’s landmark study documents violence against women by their intimate partners. This report presents the initial results based on evidence collected from over 24,000 women in 10 countries. The report culminates in 15 recommendations to strengthen national commitment and action on violence against women by promoting primary prevention, harnessing education systems, strengthening the health sector’s response, supporting women living with violence, sensitizing criminal justice systems, undertaking research and enhancing collaboration.

CEDAW. Case of A.T. v. Hungary. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); 2005. Publisher's VersionAbstract


The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against women held that State party's obligations extend to prevention of, and protection from, violence against women and remain unfulfilled in the instant case and constitute a violation of the author's human rights and fundamental freedoms, particularly her right to security of person; Violation of articles 5(a) and 16, traditional attitudes contribute to violence against women; facts of the communication reveal aspects of the relationships between the sexes and attitudes towards women; impossibility to ask for a restraining or protection order or to flee to a shelter.

Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (Explanatory Report). Council of Europe. 2005. Publisher's VersionAbstract

1.   Trafficking in human beings is a major problem in Europe today. Annually, thousands of people, largely women and children, fall victim to trafficking for sexual exploitation or other purposes, whether in their own countries or abroad. All indicators point to an increase in victim numbers. Action to combat trafficking in human beings is receiving worldwide attention because trafficking threatens the human rights and the fundamental values of democratic societies. 

2.   Action to combat this persistent assault on humanity is one of a number of fronts on which the Council of Europe is battling on behalf of human rights and human dignity.

Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. Council of Europe; 2005. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Trafficking in human beings violates the rights and affects the lives of countless people in Europe and beyond. The Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, which entered into force on 1 February 2008, aims to prevent trafficking in human beings, protect victims of trafficking, prosecute traffickers, and promote co-ordination of national actions and international co-operation. The countries which have signed up to the Convention are monitored by the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA). The Council of Europe also supports governments in the implementation of the Convention and the recommendations emerging from its monitoring process.

Rude-Antoine E. Forced Marriages in Council of Europe member States. 2005. Publisher's VersionAbstract

CDEG (2005) 1 

The Council of Europe is a political organisation which was founded on 5 May 1949 by ten European countries in order to promote greater unity between its members. It now numbers 46 Euro- pean states.1 The main aims of the Or- ganisation are to promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law, and to develop common responses to political, social, cultural and legal challenges in its member states. Since 1989 it has inte- grated most of the countries of central and eastern Europe and supported them in their efforts to implement and con- solidate their political, legal and admin- istrative reforms. 

Annex to the Guidance Document: General and Specific Protection of Women under International Humanitarian Law. International Committee of the Red Cross. 2004. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This Annex includes both the general and specific protection afforded to women under international humanitarian law, meaning that some of the legal provisions apply equally to men and women without adverse distinction, while others apply exclusively to women. Although this table only refers to international humanitarian law, other bodies of law, such as human rights law, refugee law and domestic law also protect women in situations of armed conflict.

Effective Implementation of the Convention of Belém do Pará. A task still to be done. Amnesty International; 2004. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Ten years after the adoption of the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women, "Convention of Belém do Pará", Amnesty International presents this report that describes and analyzes the main features of the proposal put forward by the Inter-American Commission of Women for establishing a follow-up mechanism on the implementation of the Convention of Belém do Pará. The report also contains a series of recommendations addressed to the bodies and governments involved in drawing up the proposal.

CEDAW. Case of B. J. v. Germany. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); 2004. Publisher's VersionAbstract


In B.J. v. Germany (1/2003), Ms. B.J., a German citizen, submitted an individual complaint to the Committee alleging that she was subjected to gender-based discrimination under the statutory regulations regarding the law on the legal consequences of divorce. She claimed that the law relating to reallocation of pension entitlements and provisions governing the question of maintenance are similarly discriminatory. The author claimed more generally that women are subjected to procedural discrimination because the risks and stress of court proceedings to resolve the consequences of divorce are carried unilaterally by women, who are also prevented from enjoying equality of arms. She also claimed that all divorced women in situations similar to hers are victims of systematic discrimination. 

The Committee decided that the communication was inadmissible under article 4, paragraph 1, for the author’s failure to exhaust domestic remedies, and paragraph 2(e), because the disputed facts occurred prior to the entry into force of the Optional Protocol for the State party and did not continue after that date. 

Imam A. Women, Muslim Laws and Human Rights in Nigeria: A Keynote Address. Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars - Africa Program. 2004. Publisher's VersionAbstract

What is the meaning of Shari’a law? How can we understand its implementation in different contexts, given the diversity in the practice of Islam in Africa and around the globe? What are the elements of Shari’a that are particularly relevant to the position of women and gender relations in the African nation(s) under consideration?

Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol Text). African Union; 2003. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The Maputo Protocol was originally adopted by the “Assembly of the African Union” in Maputo, Mozambique on July 11, 2003. The official document is titled “Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa.”

The Maputo Protocol is a treaty instrument that is binding on all countries that ratify it. It went into effect in November 2005, after the minimum 15 of the 53 African Union member countries ratified it. As of June 2007, according to the African Union, 43 nations had signed it and 21 had formally ratified it: (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Comoros, Djibouti, Gambia, Libya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Mauritania, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Senegal, Seychelles, Tanzania, Togo and Zambia). 

Kounte K. Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Simplified). Peace Women; 2003. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights (ACHPR) on the Rights of Women in Africa was adopted in Maputo in July 2003, eight years after the commencement of the drafting process in Lomé, Togo in March 1995. This event marked a major achievement. However, before entering into force, the Protocol required ratification in fifteen member countries (Article 29). On 26 October 2005, Togo became the fifteenth country to ratify and deposit the Protocol before the Commission of the African Union. The Protocol entered into force a month later on 25 November 2005.

While celebrating this major achievement, the African women's movement remains vigilant in the pursuit of our next objective: the universal ratification of the instrument and its effective implementation. Only then will the status of African women significantly improve.

In pursuit of this objective, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom WiLDAF) sub-regional office for West Africa produced this simplified version of the Protocol, which can be used to educate and raise awareness of women's rights. 

Elimination of domestic violence against women (A/RES/58/147, of 22 December 2003). United Nations General Assembly; 2003. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Report located under "Domestic Violence"

Resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly for the elimination on violence against women. 

CEDAW – Guidelines on Reporting from States. UN Women. 2003. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This document (HRI/GEN/2/Rev.1/Add.2 ) contains the guidelines issued by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women for all reports submitted after 31 December 2002. These guidelines replace all earlier reporting guidelines issued by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, including those contained in HRI/GEN/2/Rev.1.

Merry SE. Constructing a Global Law - Violence against Women and the Human Rights System. Law & Social Inquiry. 2003;28 (4) :941-977. Publisher's VersionAbstract

*The full article is available through this link. This article may be available free of charge to those with university credentials.

This ethnographic analysis of one of the core human rights conventions suggests that despite the lack of enforceability of this convention and its operation within the framework of state sovereignty, it is similar to state law. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, or CEDAW, the major UN convention on the status of women, articulates a vision of women's equal protection from discrimination and addresses gender-based violence as a form of discrimination. It had been ratified by 171 nation states as of mid-2003. Its implementation relies on a complex process of periodic reporting to a global body meeting in New York and a symbiotic if sometimes contentious relationship between government representatives and international and domestic NGOs. Like state law, it serves to articulate and name problems and delineate solutions. It provides a resource for activists endeavoring to address problems of women's status and turns the international gaze on resisting nations. Its regulatory strength depends on the cultural legitimacy of the international process of consensus building and related social movements to define social justice in these terms. Thus, like state law, its impact depends on its cultural legitimacy and its embodiment in local cultures and legal consciousness. This examination of CEDAW as quasi law extends our understanding of law as a plural and a symbolic system rooted in a particular historical moment of globalization.


Not a Minute More: Ending Violence Against Women. UNIFEM; 2003. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Our goal in this report is to highlight achievements and indicate what must be done to build on these achievements. The report provides examples of good practices as well as of efforts that did not meet the goals set out for them — and explores why not. It looks at the challenges ahead, and asks what the most fruitful next steps might be. The work of the last decades indicates several directions for the future, but one of the most critical areas is the need for collaboration and partnerships. No one government or international agency or civil society organization can hope to have an impact alone. Pooling resources, sharing strengths and knowledge and listening to local leaders will allow end-violence efforts to move to the next level. We hope that that the lessons gathered here will serve as a tool, a prod and an inspiration to those entrusted with building the rule of law and honouring human rights as the basis for human security everywhere. 

Thakur R. The United Nations in Global Governance: Rebalancing Organized Multilateralism for Current and Future Challenges. The United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS); 2003. Publisher's VersionAbstract
From 4-6 June 2003, the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS) held a consultation with civil society representatives on the theme: “The Crisis in Global Governance: Challenges for the United Nations and Global Civil Society”. Nearly 60 NGO/CSO representatives from more than 20 countries attended the meeting, as well as a number of representatives from the UN system (see list of participants in Annex III). The meeting was structured to maximize inter-active discussions based on participants’ wide range of experiences and perspectives on the state of global governance, and challenges they see ahead for the United Nations and global civil society. The consultation brought together a mix of NGOs/CSOs, many with UN consultative status but some without, ensuring a balance between organizations that have permanent representation at the UN and others that participate in the work of  the UN only occasionally to pursue specific issues and objectives, or that are primarily working with grassroots social movements.  NGLS organised the meeting in the context of the Secretary General’s High Level Panel to review UN-Civil Society relations (see below) and as a counterpart to a consultation it organised in March 2003 among the NGO liaison officers/focal points of the UN and the international system.
Council of Europe Recommendation (2002)5 & Explanatory Note. Council of Europe. 2002. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The Committee of Ministers, under the terms of Article 15.b of the Statute of the Council of Europe, Reaffirming that violence towards women is the result of an imbalance of power between men and women and is leading to serious discrimination against the female sex, both within society and within the family; Affirming that violence against women both violates and impairs or nullifies the enjoyment of their human rights and fundamental freedoms; Noting that violence against women constitutes a violation of their physical, psychological and/or sexual integrity; Noting with concern that women are often subjected to multiple discrimination on ground of their gender as well as their origin, including as victims of traditional or customary practices inconsistent with their human rights and fundamental freedoms; Considering that violence against women runs counter to the establishment of equality and peace and constitutes a major obstacle to citizens’ security and democracy in Europe; Noting with concern the extent of violence against women in the family, whatever form the family takes, and at all levels of society; Considering it urgent to combat this phenomenon which affects all European societies and concerns all their members

Krug EG, Dahlberg LL, Mercy JA, Zwi AB, Lozano R ed. World Report on Violence and Health. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2002. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The World Health Organization launched the first World report on violence and health on October 3rd, 2002. Since then, more than 30 governments have organized national launches or policy discussions about the Report, and resolutions endorsing the Report and calling for its implementation have been passed in a number of fora, such as the World Health Assembly, the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights, and the African Union.

The World report on violence and health is the first comprehensive review of the problem of violence on a global scale – what it is, whom it affects and what can be done about it. Three years in the making, the report benefited from the participation of over 160 experts from around the world, receiving both peer-review from scientists and contributions and comments from representatives of all the world’s regions.

Rome Statute. International Criminal Court. 2002. Publisher's VersionAbstract


The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (often referred to as the International Criminal Court Statute or the Rome Statute) is the treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC). It was adopted at a diplomatic conference in Rome on 17 July 1998 and it entered into force on 1 July 2002.‪ As of 6 January 2015, 123 states are party to the statute. Among other things, the statute establishes the court's functions, jurisdiction and structure.