Thursday, 26 November 2015

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Each year the United Nations commemorates November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against women. Historically, women have been disadvantaged and in many societies women are treated as second class citizens. Too many Jamaican males see women's bodies as an entitlement for them to do as they wish. Disturbingly, too many women agree with this narrative. We need to critically examine our agents of socialization and find ways for men to see women as equals. The widespread availability of pornography especially among our boys have led to a distorted image of women. This has resulted in more women being at risk for abuse. The homophobic nature of the Jamaican society also contributes to some men becoming violent toward women to hide their sexual orientation and prove their masculinity to others.  Violence against women is wrong.    
·         Violence against women is a human rights violation
·         Violence against women is a consequence of discrimination against women, in law and also in practice, and of persisting inequalities between men and women
·         Violence against women impacts on, and impedes, progress in many areas, including poverty eradication, combating HIV/AIDS, and peace and security
·         Violence against women and girls is not inevitable. Prevention is possible and essential
·         Violence against women continues to be a global pandemic.
35% of women and girls globally experience some form of physical and or sexual violence in their lifetime with up to seven in ten women facing this abuse in some countries.
  • An estimated 133 million girls and women have experienced some form of female genital mutilation/cutting in the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East where the harmful practice is most common.
  • Worldwide, more than 700 million women alive today were married as children, 250 million of whom were married before the age of 15. Girls who marry before the age of 18 are less likely to complete their education and more likely to experience domestic violence and complications in childbirth.
  • The costs and consequence of violence against women last for generations.
In order for us to have sustainable development we must redouble our efforts to eliminate all acts of violence against our women.