Violence Against Women



Apparel Export Promotion Council v. A.K Chopra, Supreme Court, India, 20 Jan 1999.
Violating the fundamental rights to equality, life and liberty, sexual harassment includes actions that offend the morality, decency and modesty of the victim; no physical contact is necessary. CEDAW imposes obligations to gender-sensitise laws.


Chairman, Railway Board and others v. Mrs. Chandrima Das and others, Supreme Court of India, 28 Jan 2000. (In A Digest of Case Law on the Human Rights of Women [Asia Pacific]. Eds. Forster, Christine, Imrana Jalal, Vedna Jivan and Madhu Mehra. Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development. 2003, pp.51-3)
Confirming their duty to look to international human rights standards (specifically CEDAW and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) to interpret the national constitution, the Court held that rape is a violation of the right to live with human dignity and non-citizens are entitled to redress for such a violation.


Fernandes v. Brazil, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Organization of American States, Report No.54/01, Case 12.051, 16 Apr 2001.
By failing to take effective measures to prevent and punish domestic violence against women, the State violated women’s rights to justice, a fair trial and judicial protection under the American Convention on Human Rights and failed to fulfill its duties under the Convention of Belém do Pará (on domestic violence).

Details of Fernandes v. Brazil: Read (pdf)


Regina v. Ewanchuk, Supreme Court, Canada, 14 Oct 1998, 25 Feb 1999.
In a case of rape, the behaviour of the complainant is not to be judged according to stereotypes and myths about women’s consent to sex. To do so is to deny women’s sexual autonomy and is an offense against human dignity and equality, which are protected by CEDAW.


S v. Bechu, Magistrate’s Court, Levuka, Fiji, 2 Dec 1999.
In this rape case, the court held that men need to be aware of CEDAW and that “the belief that women are inferior to men or part of their personal property is obsolete and unacceptable.”

Details of S v. Bechu: Read(pdf)