Home > Violence Against Women – Health and Justice for Canadian Muslim Women

Violence Against Women – Health and Justice for Canadian Muslim Women

Violence Against Women - Health Justice - Cover


Violence against women and girls remains one of the most persistent and devastating assaults on human dignity and violation of human rights worldwide. According to reports from UN Women, in some parts of the globe it is estimated that 7 in 10 women will experience physical abuse, rape or mutilation in their life time. Canada is no exception. There is no country or culture that holds a monopoly on gender inequality.

To address this reality the Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW) announces our publication entitled “Violence Against Women: Health and Justice for Canadian Muslim Women.” Written by Pamela Cross (JD/LLB) and funded by the Status of Women Canada, the publication focuses on four forms of violence: domestic violence, femicide (honour based violence), forced marriage and female genital cutting/mutilation (FGM/FGC) and analyzes the international and Canadian context of these practices.
Since its inception, CCMW has maintained that any form of violence committed against women in the name of religion or Islam cannot be tolerated and must be resisted. We are pleased to include in this publication a foreword by Dr. Asma Barlas (Ithaca College) which outlines the Islamic perspective on violence against women and the need for a more gender equal, emancipatory and critical reading of religious texts and practices.

Share the VAW Informational Video

Contents of Publication

  • Foreword: Challenging Violence Against Muslim Women- Dr. Asma BarlasIntroduction
  • Violence Against Women in the Family (Fact sheets available)
  • Femicide (Fact sheets available)
  • Forced Marriage (Fact sheets available)
  • Female Genital Cutting/Mutilation (Fact sheets available)

The four essays found in this book provide the reader with an in depth discussion of the existing legal practices, policy infrastructures and community initiatives to combat these forms of violence and suggestions for steps forward. This publication represents a call to action for policy makers, community leaders, service providers, legal professionals, health care practitioners, Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
The publication is the first stage of CCMW’s two year project on VAW and Muslim communities. The second phase will include train the trainer workshops and the development of toolkits for community members and service providers (to be released this December). We encourage you to read our publication and share it with your colleagues, community leaders and family members and help support this project.

VAW Community Toolkit

CCMW is pleased to share the second resource developed for our project Violence against Women: Health and Justice for Canadian Muslim Women, Violence against Women: A Toolkit for Community Engagement.

You may want to support a friend or family member who is experiencing violence or talk to a friend or family member who you think may be abusive. You may be a community health worker, a shelter worker, a child protection worker, a worker in a settlement agency and hear stories from your clients that concern you. You may be a teacher or athletic coach and have concerns about your students. Or you may be a religious or cultural leader who wants to help your community move forward in addressing issues of violence against women.

Developed by Pamela Cross with assistance from the CCMW National Board and our project’s Advisory Committee Members, this toolkit is intended to support all of you in finding ways to have conversations about difficult topics. It will also assist you in developing strategies for crafting a community response to violence against women and provides you with resources for further study and thought.

Contents of Publication

  1. Introduction
  2. Community Workshop Presentation
  3. Muslim Wheel of Domestic Violence
  4. Case Studies
  5. Fact Sheets

If you are interested in attending a community workshops in your area this March-April 2014 or interested in hearing more about how you can host your own workshop and have access to our power point presentation please contact our Project Manager u.qureshi@ccmw.com

About the Publication’s Authors

Asma Barlas is professor of Politics and Director of the Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity, at Ithaca College (New York). She has an M.A. and Ph.D. in International Studies (USA) and an M.A. in Journalism (Pakistan). Asma has written extensively on Qur’anic hermeneutics, Muslim sexual politics and Islam and women’s rights. Her best-known work is “Believing Women” in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur’an.

Pamela Cross is a feminist lawyer who works in the violence against women sector. She is well known and respected in legal reform circles, particularly for her expertise on family law issues as they relate to violence against women.

Pamela has worked as a researcher, writer, educator and trainer on the topic of violence against women and the law for many years. She is a member of the teaching faculty with the National Judicial Institute, where she plans and delivers educational programs on violence against women to Canadian judges and has recently completed the development of violence against women curriculum for law schools in a project with the Law Commission of Ontario. Pamela has worked with the Canadian Council of Muslim Women in the past, most notably as the co-author of “Muslim and Canadian Family Laws: A Comparative Primer,” as well as delivering workshops on family law to CCMW members. Pamela’s most recent paper is “It Shouldn’t Be This Hard: a gender-based analysis of family law, family court and violence against women” and is available at www.lukesplace.ca.