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Women Break the Silence - Gender-based Torture in Asia

Sri Lanka
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Asia: Women speak about gender-based violence in a new report

Despite international efforts to improve the lives of women around the globe for more than 30 years, gender-based violence against women is on the rise. The situation is particularly deplorable in Asia. The continent has the highest prevalence of domestic violence against women and the largest number of killings of women and girls.

Several factors put women in Asia at increased risk and prevent them from getting justice. There are no regional human rights mechanisms to protect women, criminal justice systems are often dysfunctional, religious laws and cultural values often accept violence against women, there are no relevant laws criminalizing torture, child marriage or forced marriage, marital rape, female genital mutilation and other forms of gender-based violence against women.

The international community has developed norms and values that address gender-based violence, such as the anti-torture framework. Stakeholders working to protect women often forget it, but gender-based violence against women can constitute torture.

In our new report, Eight women human rights defenders from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Mongolia, Nepal, India, Philippines, and Sri Lanka came together to analyse the prevalence and patterns of gender-based forms of torture against women, the circumstances in which this torture takes place, the consequences of torture and women's access to reparation and rehabilitation.