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Overview

Throughout this knowledge asset, reference to certain provisions or sections of a piece of legislation, part of a legal judgment, or aspect of a practice does not imply that the legislation, judgment, or practice is considered in its entirety to be a good example or a promising practice.

Some of the laws cited herein may contain provisions which authorize the death penalty. In light of the United Nations General Assembly resolutions 62/149, 63/168, 65/206, and 67/176 and calling for a moratorium on and ultimate abolition of capital punishment, the death penalty should not be included in sentencing provisions for crimes of violence against women and girls.

  • Drafters should address dowry-related violence through a domestic violence framework. Thus, drafters should provide for a civil order for protection remedy, as well as criminal provisions to hold perpetrators of violence responsible for assault or domestic assault.
  • Drafters should ensure that dowry deaths are also criminalized, either as first-degree murder or as an aggravating factor in homicide sentencing schemes.
  • Drafters should ensure that illegal demands for dowry are addressed by criminal laws on extortion, as well as civil laws on recovering compensation.
  • Drafters should establish regulation over and a registration system for dowry gifts. 
  • Institute property and inheritance reform to ensure women may own, administer and inherit property on a basis equal to men.
  • Ensure that existing laws that provide equality in property and inheritance rights are enforced.
  • Promote public education campaigns to raise awareness among women of their property and inheritance rights.