Buddhist Five Precepts for the Prevention of Domestic Violence against Women

Moragollagama UparathanaThera


The Five Precepts comprise the principal Buddhist code of ethics undertaken bylay Buddhist followers. Domestic violence has been culturally neglected especially inAsian countries but it is common in every nook and corner in the world.

The prime purpose of this paper is to expose individual responsibility andimportance of five precepts for the prevention of domestic violence against women andBuddhist perspective on it.

Most of the women suffer physically or mentally and their rights in variousoccasions of their lives are violated. Some of the most common forms of physical andpsychological violence are sexual harassment, forced prostitution of women, abortion,killing, verbal abuse, ridiculing and threatening. A great number of researches havebeen conducted in Hinduism, Christianity and Islamic societies in recent decades andrules and regulations to prevent domestic violence against women have beenpromulgated but it is still raging.

The first precept helps to promote goodwill, compassion, and kindness. Thesecond is instrumental in developing generosity, altruism, contentment, honesty, andright livelihood. The third precept helps to cultivate self-restraint, control of emotionsand sensual desire. The fourth precept develops honesty, reliability, and moral integrity.The fifth precept helps to promote mindfulness, clarity of mind leading to a peacefulfamily life.

Thus, the Buddhist five precepts occupy a prominent place with regard to theprevention of violence against women in domestic and social life. The Human RightsConvention of the United Nations also accepts the five precepts as importantfundamental principle for eradicating violence and safeguarding human rights.

Key words: Buddhism, Five precepts, Human rights, Domestic violence, Women


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