• Shreya Sinha


By- Preksha Goyal and Shilpa P, Students at Lloyd Law College


Brutality against women encompasses a wide spectrum of acts – from verbal badgering and other forms of emotional abuse, to everyday physical or sexual exploitation. At the most distant finish of the range lies – FEMICIDE: a Sex-based hate crime, interpreted as “the targeted murder of a woman." While our comprehension of femicide is restricted, we realize that an enormous extent of femicides are of women in brutal relationships, and are committed by current or former companions.

Femicide is commonly comprehended to include the deliberate homicide of women since they are women, however, a more extensive definition incorporates any killings of women or girls. Femicide is usually carried out by males, but at times even the family members of females may be involved. Femicide also varies from male-killing in distinguishing ways. For instance, almost cases of femicide are perpetrated by partners or ex-partners, involving continuous abuse in the homes, coercion or intimidation, sexual assault or, conditions where women possess less intensity or hardly any resources as compared to their partner. Keeping it all in mind, we have tried to throw some light on femicide considering its causes and consequences along with cultural and legal interventions.


In the past several decades, various categorization of femicide is projected by the research scholars with the most distinctive “Intimate Femicide” from several other forms of femicide (for example; familial femicide and stranger femicide). The two comprehensive types of femicide are classified below:

  • Intimate Femicide which is also interpreted as intimate partner femicide includes the killing of women by their present or ex-partners. Universally, it is interpreted that women are much more likely to be assaulted, raped, or killed as compared to men by a present or former partner. It is studied that intimate femicide frequently happens within relationships where there are past events of intimate partner violence.

  • Non-intimate Femicide includes the killing of women which is committed by the person who is not in an intimate relationship with the victim. Femicide which includes sexual encroachment is sometimes referred to as sexual femicide. The non-intimate femicide incorporates a vast range of subtypes of femicide like familial femicide, ‘other known assassin’ femicide, and stranger femicide.


The eventual modes of violence against women and girls exist in every corner of the world and take many forms like non-intimate femicide, killing of Aboriginal women and girls, Genital mutilation related femicide, killing females in the name of ‘Honour’, and many more. Femicide happens due to the continuity of violence against women. The few main causes of femicide are implanted in gender prejudice, gender anticipation, and orderly gender-based favoritism.


When we talk about in a gender perceptive way woman are considered as the physically weaker gender. There are different roles in our society such as men are apt for public life, leadership position, business activities, politics, and academia. This view of gender roles in society leads discrimination against, in a simple word man experiences with better opportunities, more freedom, and higher regard in society which violates the fundamental rights of the woman. Crucially this affects and retreats from the traditional specialize in femicides committed by minority ethnic men. The various crisis of femicide is dowry-related murders, honor crimes, intimate-partner related killings, infanticide, and forced suicide, etc. Each country holds different aspects of cultural activities, which address the forms such as masculinity and femininity, gender equality, domestic violence and femicide laws, patriarchal ideology, traditional values, the role of religion in society, culturally specific religion in society, culturally specific forms of femicide, etc.

Studies say that based on gender criterion “woman is that the other within the core of a totality, whose two terms are needed one to the opposite one.” Therefore, from a sociological perspective, woman’s higher involvement in cultural activities than men are intriguing and even puzzling. More specifically gender identity at the intrapersonal level and pressure for gender conformity at the interpersonal level.


In the world, where human rights are considered to be one of the important aspects in terms of the rights of women. These are developed through many international treaties and also in the customary law. Some of the legislations of human rights which also focuses and protects the women’s rights are as follows:

  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948

  • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

  • International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

  • The Human Rights provisions of UN charter

  • The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

We have also studied some of the basic interventions that deal with the protection of women under international law.

  1. Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) which was adopted on 18th December 1979 and it came into force on 3rd September 1981, the Democratic Republic of Congo – Violence against women.

  2. Women’s convection and optional protocol came into force in 1981, reviewed by CEDAW.

  3. Declaration on the Elimination of violence against women – adopted United Nations General Assembly resolution in 1993

  4. Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action which is adopted in the fourth world conference on women in 1995

The United Nations is a worldwide organization that includes almost every nation in the world. At the point when a nation turns into an individual from United Nations, it embraces the commitment set out in the sanction of the U.N, which incorporates the advancement of human rights and basic opportunities for an individual. Femicide is a global issue that one-third of women are facing in each country. Men use violence against them to lower women’s autonomy and sense of self-worth. Various global human rights and regional treaties that protect femicide and guide states to take powerful gauge to prevent and kill this kind of sexual orientation-based viciousness. Presently, international lawful instruments and legal protections clarify that states have an obligation under global law to prevent this aggressive behavior towards women.


In today’s world, femicide is taken as a serious problem because in the last two decades it has gained its recognition on national as well as on an international level. This article examined how it violates the fundamental rights of women which even leads to the death of women. We have tried to figure out the types of femicide pointing out their unique aspects. Some of the phenomena we depicted are general and global, also widespread in other nations. Concisely, individuate the causes behind variation in femicide rates. Customary mentalities towards women around the globe help to propagate the savagery and it has been overlooked or approved, because it happens between close relations in the protection of their homes. Human conduct is dependent upon two determinism that is biological and cultural. This is especially visible when the comparison occurs between genders in society. These distinctions are conveyed and reflected through correspondence. Social measurements reflect explicit parts of the two genders.

Nowadays, there are many treaties, international conventions, regional and national legislation, etc. which accommodate a scope of rights and defensive measures for protecting women from violence including abusive behavior at home yet despite every one of these activities, progress in the accomplishment of women’s privileges has been exceptionally moderate around the world. But these legislations and policies alone are inadequate to eradicate the femicide problem from the world. Finally, it can be stated that femicide isn’t just a legitimate issue that can be destroyed by legal remedies but, it is also a social and psychological problem, which can be eliminated by fundamental changes in society towards women. While legal remedies cures are an endeavor to ease the indications of violence against women, it can do little to handle causes.

To reduce the risk of gender-based crimes, we are moving towards gender equality, which there itself needs a lot of systematic changes including within the culture. Femicide can be eradicated by encouraging close observation and examination of femicide and intimate partner violence along with supervision, research, laws, and awareness of murder in the name of ‘honor’. People should encourage themselves to think beyond the social norms which are set somewhere against the women. Only by changing our thought, we can further think to make a change and provide an equal platform to reduce the risk of femicide in society.

(Disclaimer- The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Child Rights Centre.)

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