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Report on the impact of fundamentalism and extremism on the cultural rights of women

17 July 2017
Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights
To the General Assembly at its 72nd session


Following her report to the Human Rights Council on the impact of diverse forms of fundamentalism and extremism on the enjoyment of cultural rights (A/HRC/34/56), the Special Rapporteur decided to study this issue further, focusing on the impact of fundamentalism and extremism on the cultural rights of women.

Key findings

The Special Rapporteur stresses that fundamentalist and extremist ideologies are a threat to women's human rights, and more specifically their cultural rights. She insists that States must neither purvey them nor concede women's rights to them.

Women's cultural rights, understood as fully integrated within the human rights system, are critical counterweights to fundamentalism and extremism; they call for free self-determination of women, respect for their cultural diversity, universality and equality.


In order to assess the impact of fundamentalism and extremism on women's enjoyment of cultural rights and related challenges, the Special Rapporteur prepared a questionnaire and invited in May 2017 all States, United Nations agencies, academics and civil society organizations to send their contributions.

See the note verbale and questionnaire

Learn more about the impact of fundamentalism and extremism on cultural rights

Inputs received

The Special Rapporteur thanks all those who submitted information in response to the call for submission. She noted with concern that a number of those who made submissions asked not to be listed publicly, because they feared retaliation.

Accordingly, below are listed only the contributions of those who agreed to it, but because of the sensitive nature of the content, the original submissions are not made public.

Member States

  • Algeria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Honduras
  • Iraq
  • Israel
  • Qatar
  • Romania


  • Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos de México
  • Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines
  • Defensor del Pueblo del Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia
  • Defensoría del Pueblo de Colombia
  • Defensoría del Pueblo de Ecuador
  • National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria
  • Procurador de los Derechos Humanos de Guatemala
  • Procuraduría para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos de El Salvador,
  • Procuraduría para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos, Republica de Nicaragua

Persons and organizations of civil society

  • Anissa Helie
  • Annamarie Laaksonen
  • Association Dazairouna
  • Association Femmes contre les intégrismes
  • Association des femmes iraniennes en France
  • ALHR - Women and Girls' Rights Subcommittee, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights
  • ALP - Asamblea Lésbica Permanente, Argentina
  • ARC International and ILGA - International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association
  • ARROW - Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women
  • Astra Network - Federation for Women and Family Planning, Poland
  • At-sik-hata - Nation of Yamassee-Moors
  • Center for reproductive rights
  • ESOHR - European Saudi Organization for Human Rights
  • Femmes solidaires
  • Freemuse
  • Geraldine Gudefin and Lisa Fishbayn
  • GAMS - Groupe pour l'abolition des mutilations sexuelles
  • Helle Porsdam
  • Human Rights Center, University of Minnesota
  • HRGJ - Human Rights and Gender Justice Clinic, City University of New York
  • IWRAW - International Women's Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific
  • Komal Vaishnav
  • Lawrence Michael
  • LDIF - Ligue du droit international des femmes
  • Libres MarianneS
  • MADRE & Proceso de Comunidades Negras, Colombia
  • Mondher Tounsi and ConArte
  • Mouvement jeunes femmes
  • Muslim for Progressive Values
  • ONG Epicerie
  • Planned parenthood global & Federation of America
  • PROMSEX - Center for the Promotion and Defense of Sexual and Reproductive Rights
  • RASHID - Research, Assessment and Safeguarding of the Heritage of Iraq in Danger
  • Saudi Organization for Human Rights
  • Sudanese Women Human Rights Defenders Project
  • Turquoise Mountain
  • Valeria J. Bradley
  • WHRIA - Women's Human Rights International Association
  • WICUR - Women's Initiative for Citizenship and Universals Rights

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Contact Information

Karima Bennoune, Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Telephone: +41 22 917 96 30
Fax: +41 22 917 90 06

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