According to the UN, violence against women refers to acts related to gender-based violence that are aimed at causing sexual, physical, or mental harm and suffering to women.. It is a violation of human rights that has been there in the past, it is in the present and does not seem to end any time soon.
Indeed, despite tremendous efforts by governments and feminist bodies to combat gender based violence, this vice seems to be deeply rooted into the society, which begs the question: when is the end to the much dreaded violence against women? Methinks there is a global psychosis on this issue that is threatening the well being of the girl child.
Common forms of violence
Broadly, women experience the following forms of violence.
- Intimate partner violence. It is a behavior by a partner with whom the women is intimate with that leads to sexual, physical or psychological harm.. It may include physical aggression, psychological abuse or sexual coercion.
- Sexual violence. This is a forced attempt by any person to obtain sexual act using coercion, regardless of the relationship with the victim. A good example is rape
- Physical and psychological violence. Wife battering is still common in many areas of the world and most men are not sensitive to the emotions of their partners.
- Economic. Women work more than men but still earn less. It was not until recently that women started owning property.
Failed efforts to combat violence against women.
In the last few decades, it seemed that gender based violence will be no more, thanks to the various efforts by international bodies and feminist organizations. However, reports from The International Women’s Day make it clear that we are still living in a world where violence against women still rampant. Here are some facts and statistics to this effect.
- Women between 15-44 years of age are at a higher risk of death from domestic violence and rape than from car accidents, malaria, cancer or even war, according to WHO
- Girls and women still experience Female Genital Mutilation long after it was banned by the international community.
- Women also experience violence from policemen, explaining why governments efforts have not borne any fruits.
- About 35% of women globally have experienced violence in one way or the other.
The way forward
At this rate, women are fighting a losing battle because it seems that violence is here to stay. Perhaps this is so because men just look at women fighting for their rights and go on to violate them. Since men are the perpetrators of gender-based violence, then it is safe to say that women rights will be respected when all men are converted into feminists. Men must be educated to love their wives, sisters and daughters and to treat them as equal human beings.
On the other hand, women must work tirelessly to keep violence at bay. They should not allow men or the society at large to ignore their rights, keeping in mind that no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Indeed, fighting gender-based violence is the responsibility of each and every individual, as explained by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Everyone has a responsibility to prevent and end violence against modern women and girls, starting by challenging the culture of discrimination that allows it to continue.