United States, North America
Vidya Sri

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“I do not accept that violence is “cultural.” There is nothing cultural about rape – it happens around the world. I view this very negative use of the word ‘culture’ as another weapon in the power and control dynamic which is used to subjugate countless women, men, and children from all parts of the world for many purposes and outcomes. I am in favor of addressing the disproportionate violence faced by women through a global treaty on VAW that is informed by consultations with survivors and practitioners at the grassroots to ensure that effective measures are put into place. Survivors do have agency and the capacity to lead and inform. International law mandates that States exercise the Due Diligence principle to protect human rights. This obligation applies to both state (public sphere) and non-state actors (private sphere). Some of the reasons why the CEDAW is not well implemented by States relate to culture, religion, and violence being a “private” matter. We must use the basic building blocks of international law to more effectively address all forms of violence against women especially the violence that occurs in the most dangerous place on earth for a woman – her own home.”

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