Throughout this knowledge module, 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 62/14963/16865/206, and 67/176 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.

Other Provisions Related to Domestic Violence LawsResources for Developing Legislation on Domestic Violence
Sexual Harassment in Sport Tools for Drafting Sexual Harassment Laws and Policies
Immigration Provisions Resources for developing legislation on sex trafficking of women and girls
Child Protection Provisions Resources on Forced and Child Marriage
Other provisions related to dowry-related and domestic violence laws
Related Tools

Drafting the legislative preamble and contents

Last edited: February 28, 2011

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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.