Violance Against Women Essay
Saying no to violence against women
Day in and day out, news of violence perpetuated against women are always on the news cycle. It seems many people have been desensitized with these kind of stuff going on, to the point of treating them as sad, yet all too familiar, occurrence for women all over the world.
Consider the following statistics: as per 2012 data from the World Health Organization's "Regional Estimates of Violence Against Women," 35 percent or a third of women across the globe have experienced either "physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence." Another study by the WHO on female mutilation reveals that as of 2012, about 140 million girls and women have suffered from it. Human trafficking, sexual exploitation, child marriages, and vulnerability to HIV and other STD infections are also some of the other forms of violence women experience.
Violence against women happens all over the world. Despite its prevalence in developing nations, it would be wrong to presume it is less prevalent in developed countries, such as the US and EU member states. A study by the American Association of University Women, for example, shows that 83 percent of girls between 12 and 18 years old in the US have been sexually harassed in public schools. In the EU, half of women suffer from unwanted sexual advances in the workplace as per data from the EU Directorate-General for Employment, Industrial Relations and Social Affairs.
Nowhere is violence perpetuated with greater impunity than in areas riddled with conflicts. These are places where there are military strikes, wars, genocides, and other acts of aggression that disrupt the lives of ordinary citizens. In these areas of conflict, women are routinely subjected to abuse of all forms, including mental torture, physical slavery, and rape.
During the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995, for example, between 20,000 and 50,000 women have been raped as per data from the European Commission. In the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, the United Nations estimate the number of women rape victims to be between a quarter to half a million.
The United Nations, through the treaties and conventions agreed to by its member states, in particular the Geneva Convention, sees wartime rape as an international crime. Sadly, however, despite the prevalence of this heinous act, only a few, if any, are prosecuted. There seems to be an implicit mindset that views wartime rape as a natural consequence of war, and that women caught in the crossfires are considered its spoils.
While there is universal acknowledgment of the tragedy of systemic sexual abuses against women committed in areas of conflict, little, if at all, has been done to curb it. Unless justice is meted out for the victims of this brutal exercise, and unless there is a renewed call from the international community to take a second look at the gravity of the situation, this form of violence against women shall continue to persist.
In conclusion, violence in all its forms is an unnatural and irrational act designed to inflict harm on others, and should therefore not be tolerated. The grim statistics on the dangers women all over the world have to go through serve as a haunting reminder of the amount of work that needs to be done in order to ensure violence against women is stopped once and for all.
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