What Are Harmful Practices?
Harmful practices is an all-encompassing term used by the United Nations to categorize forms of violence that are grounded in discrimination and committed primarily against women and girls. Often, these forms of violence have been committed in communities across the world for so long, that they have become normalized as accepted social practice. Regardless, they are a denial of the dignity and integrity of the individual and a violation of human rights. They encompass a range of abuse which results in economic and social coercion, physical and psychological damage, disability and even death.
There is no comprehensive list of harmful practices against women and girls, however some of the most common include female genital mutilation (FGM), child and forced marriage, “honor” crimes, female infanticide, bride kidnapping, stoning, polygamy and virginity tests. Harmful practices seek to coercively control women and girls and their sexuality and are often interconnected with each other, as well as with other forms of violence, discrimination and subordination of women and girls.
Equality Now fights to ensure the law recognizes harmful practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM) and “child marriage” as violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms.