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Violence against women is disturbingly persistent and pervasive in the Commonwealth with women's subordinated status, prevalent gender-biased norms and practices including patriarchal mind-sets contributing to such violations. Most Commonwealth countries have either a specific law to address the rights of women or broad legislation that covers domestic violence. However, the implementation of such laws has not been without problems as cultural norms and practices often impede women's access to justice.
This publication aims to strengthen jurisprudence of equality on violence against women by bringing together theory and practice, particularly the analysis and summary of significant case law, to serve as a resource for the judiciary in jurisdictions connected by the common law. It challenges the reliance on gender stereotypes which have influenced judicial decisions and elaborates on the relevant human rights standards for judiciaries to consider when adjudicating cases on violence against women.