International day on Elimination of Violence against Women
‘The Future Belongs to Women, because they overcome everything that is meant to destroy them.’
Can Women Fly a Plane? Meet Amelia Earhart, the American Aviator
Can Women lead their Countries? Meet Indira Gandhi, the first Indian Women PM
Can a Woman run a Multinational Company? Meet Gina Rinehart, the Australian billionaire Can Women defend her Country? Ever heard of Florence Blanchfield?
Women aren’t good with Computers? Meet Ada Lovelace of Britain
Women can’t Drive? Please google Sara Christian!
Most Successful Author in the world? A woman, Meet J.K. Rowling!
Thousands of such questions can be asked, and believe us, there will always be an answer!
There is no field on this planet, where women don’t have a role to play; For Example, 15% of world leaders are Women, about 252 million women in the world are entrepreneurs, the literary world has been dominated by women. On average, about 14% of a country’s military forces are Women. Also, now women are known to take over STEM fields. Don’t believe us? Have a look at the last 5 years of Nobel Prize winners.
Our word limit has an end, but the list of female achievement does not!
If I have to describe the potential of Women in a sentence, I would like to quote the former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon here, he says –
“Women Hold up more than half the sky and represent much of the world’s unrealized potential, they are educators, they are doctors, they are soldiers, they are moms and hold the families together and increasingly drive economies, Women are Natural leaders. World needs their full engagement to achieve its full potential, therefore we need more women leaders in Government, Business and Civil societies”
BUT No matter how appalling these data and quotes sound, a rational question arises in one’s mind – Is every 21stcentury woman empowered?
Today on the ‘International day on Elimination of Violence against Women,’ we will try to reflect the reality of ‘Today’s Woman’ in this article.
Yes, you’ve read it correctly, there is a day to raise AWARENESS to ELIMINATE the VIOLENCE against Women!
Now you may think, does Gender specific violence happen in today’s world? Wasn’t that centuries old phenomenon? Does violence mean like beating up? Or Mental Violence? Who does that? What is its effect on women’s health? Why November 25?
We will try to address some of the queries in this article.
What is Violence Against women? The United Nations defines violence against Women as – ‘Any act of gender-based violence that results or may result in, physical, sexual, or mental harm or suffering to women, it also includes threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.’ Violence against Women occurs throughout the lifecycle from Pre-birth, Infancy, Childhood, Adolescence, Adulthood to Old age. Why November 25? This day was chosen to pay homage to Mirabal sisters of The Dominican Republic, who were assassinated on this very day in 1960 for raising their voices for women’s rights and fighting against the country’s dictator Rafael Trujillo. Facts – As per WHO (World Health Organization) findings, 1 in 3 (i.e. 35% of Women) worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence once in their lifetime. Violence against women – particularly intimate partner violence and sexual violence are major public health problems and violation of Women’s rights. Who does that? Women all over the world are subjected to partner as well as non-partner physical and sexual violence. Here are some alarming data to shed a light on our argument. • 137 women are killed by a member of their family every day. • 15 million adolescent girls worldwide have experienced forced sex. • 38% of murders of women globally are committed by a male intimate partner.
• Adult women account for 49% of all human trafficking victims globally. • 42% of women who experience intimate partner violence report a serious injury. • In 2019, 1 in 5 women who are aged 20-24 years report marriage before 18 years of age. We as a society, in some or other way, are responsible for the misbehave that women experience. What is the effect of violence on a Woman? Women who have experienced physical or sexual violence are likely to 1.5 times more chances to catch sexually transmitted diseases as compared to those who don’t. Women who have been subjected to intimate partner violence, 16% of them are likely to suffer a miscarriage, and 42% are likely to have a pre-term birth. Violence has negative effect on a woman’s physical, sexual, mental, and reproductive health. It may have a fatal outcome like suicide or homicide Women are more likely to be pushed into Poverty trap if they raise voice against the mishaps against them, therefore 40% of women across the world never report violence against them.
Some of the major factors that are responsible for violence against women are listed below-
• Discriminatory gender norms and gender-based stereotypes.
• Deep rooted patriarchal mindset all over the world.
• Exposure to harsh family conditions involving an abusive father and a tolerant mother.\
• Inefficient judicial system and flawed legislations.
• Regular consumption of alcohol by husbands has been strongly associated with violence worldwide.
Way Forward –
• Financial independence enables women to walk out of an abusive marriage.
• Capacity building and training of women can help them achieve skills and entrepreneurial attitude.
• Robust mechanism of policing and proactive judicial intervention against the reported cases will encourage women to come forward and help themselves.
• Educating young boys and girls about the ill effects of such acts.
• Post traumatic care for the violence survivors and mechanism for sending them back to the mainstream.
• Male mediated initiatives, which involves sensitizing young boys and men about the issues faced by women in violence and making them mediators to raise awareness among their peer gender.
• Empowering women by educating them about their rights and encouraging women to come forward and help their fellow gender.
We as an All-Woman forum, feel immensely proud of our fellow gender and have committed ourselves to empower them and anyone in need.
Written by Akanksha Mishra