Erradication of violence against women

For the first time, the Belém do Pará Convention establishes women’s right to live a life free of violence. This inter-American human rights treaty has served as the basis for the adoption of laws and policies on the prevention, eradication, and punishment of violence against women in its States Party, as well as the formulation of national plans, the organization of campaigns and the implementation of care protocols and services, among other initiatives. The Convention has made a significant contribution to strengthening the Inter-American Human Rights System

Through the Belém do Pará Convention, the States Party agreed that violence against women:

  • “…constitutes a violation of their human rights and fundamental freedoms, and impairs or nullifies the observance, enjoyment and exercise of such rights and freedoms”
  • “…is an offense against human dignity and a manifestation of the historically unequal power relations between women and men”
  • “…pervades every sector of society regardless of class, race or ethnic group, income, culture, level of education, age or religion and strikes at its very foundations” 

How is violence against women defined?

In Article 1, the Convention defines violence against women as

  • “…any act or conduct, based on gender, which causes death or physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, whether in the public or the private sphere.”

En su artículo 2, reconoce tres tipos de violencia:

1.Physical violence

2.Sexual violence

3.Psychological violence

The Convention also highlights three spheres where this violence takes place:

1 In private life

Violence that occurs within the family or domestic unit or within any other interpersonal relationship, even when the perpetrator no longer lives with the victim.

2 In public life

Violence that is perpetrated by any person and occurs in the community, in the workplace, in educational institutions, health facilities or any other place.

3 Violence that is perpetrated or condoned

by the state or its agents regardless of where it occurs.

In the Convention, we will also find the protected rights, the duties of the States Parties, and the inter-American protection mechanism.