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Drafting the legislative preamble and contents

The legislative preamble sets the stage for the entire piece of legislation. It should include basic principles of women’s human rights, which are described in the international human rights instruments, declarations and regional instruments above. The following elements are important to a strong and inclusive legislative preamble on dowry-related violence:

  • IT states that the legislation should be comprehensive and criminalize all forms of violence against women. (See: UN Handbook, 3.1.2)
  • IT states that the law will protect all women and girls. (See: UN Handbook 3.1.3)

For example, one of the first articles of the Maria de Penha Law (2006) of Brazil (hereinafter law of Brazil) states that:

“ All women, regardless of class, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, income, culture, educational level, age and religion, enjoy the basic rights inherent to the human person, and are ensured the opportunities and facilities to live without violence, preserve their physical and mental health and their moral, intellectual and social improvement.” (Article 2)

  • IT acknowledges the prevalence of dowry-related violence and deaths and recognize these offenses as violence against women.