Violence against Women

Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying,  “I will try again tomorrow.”

–Anonymous

Women and children are often in great danger in the place where they should be safest: within their families.

For many, ‘home’ is where they face a regime of terror and violence at the hands of somebody close to them – somebody they should be able to trust. Those victimized suffer physically and psychologically. They are unable to make their own decisions, voice their own opinions or protect themselves and their children for fear of further repercussions. Their human rights are denied and their lives are stolen from them by the ever-present threat of violence.

“Violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women, which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by men and to the prevention of the full advancement of women…”

— The United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, General Assembly Resolution, December 1993.

Here I would like to put forth examples of Violence against Women throughout their Life Cycle:

  • Pre-birth: Sex-selective abortion; effects of battering during pregnancy on birth outcomes;
  • Infancy: Female infanticide; physical, sexual & psychological abuse.
  • Girlhood: Child marriage; female genital mutilation; child prostitution &  pornography; incest; physical, sexual & psychological abuse.
  • Adolescence: Dating & courtship violence; physical, sexual & psychological abuse.
  • Adulthood: Economically coerced sex; sexual abuse at workplace; rape; sexual harassment; forced prostitution & pornography; trafficking in women; partner violence; marital rape; dowry abuse & murders; partner homicide; forced pregnancy & abortions; abuse of women with disabilities/divorcee/widow/single in;  physical, sexual & psychological abuse.
  • Elderly women: Forced “suicide” or homicide of widows for economic reasons; physical, sexual & psychological abuse.

And the problem is that many a times women too are party to these crimes. We need to educate ourselves first about respecting self as well as other. The next step is to educate our families, especially the new generation about respecting one and all to ensure that such incidents don’t happen in our family. There is a saying in Sanskrit — “If you educate a man, you educate a person. But if you educate a woman, you educate a household”.

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