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For the Elimination of Violence against Women
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-11-25 08:41:12
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And let's hope that the beginning of the end is ...here!

And some facts:

At least 60 million girls who would otherwise be expected to be alive are "missing" from various populations, mostly in Asia, as a result of sex-selective abortions, infanticide or neglect.

Globally, at least one in three women and girls is beaten or sexually abused in her lifetime.

A recent survey by the Kenyan Women Rights Awareness Program revealed that 70% of those interviewed said they knew neighbors who beat their wives. Nearly 60% said women were to blame for the beatings. Just 51% said the men should be punished.

4 million women and girls are trafficked annually.

An estimated one million children, mostly girls, enter the sex trade each year

A 2005 World Health Organization study reported that nearly one third of Ethiopian women had been physically forced by a partner to have sex against their will within the 12 months prior to the study.

In a study of 475 people in prostitution from five countries (South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, USA, and Zambia):
62% reported having been raped in prostitution.
73% reported having experienced physical assault in prostitution.
92% stated that they wanted to escape prostitution immediately.

The most common act of violence against women is being slapped—an experience reported by 9% of women in Japan and 52% in provincial Peru. Rates of sexual abuse also varies greatly around the world—with partner rape being reported by 6% of women from Serbia and Montenegro, 46% of women from provincial Bangladesh, and 59% of women in Ethiopia.

So-called "honour killings" take the lives of thousands of young women every year, mainly in North Africa, Western Asia and parts of South Asia.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan reported that 2002 saw a 25% increase in “honor killings” of women, with 461 women murdered by family members in 2002, in 2 provinces (Sindh and Punjab) alone.

More than 90 million African women and girls are victims of female circumcision or other forms of genital mutilation.

In eastern and souther Africa, 17 to 22% of girls aged 15 to 19 are HIV-positive, compared to 3 to 7% of boys of similar age. This pattern—seen in many other regions of the world—is evidence that girls are being infected with HIV by a much older cohort of men.

A 2005 study reported that 7% of partnered Canadian women experienced violence at the hands of a spouse between 1999 and 2004. Of these battered women, nearly one-quarter (23%) reported being beaten, choked, or threatened with a knife or gun.

In Zimbabwe, domestic violence accounts for more than 60% of murder cases that go through the high court in Harare.
A study in Zaria, Nigeria found that 16 percent of hospital patients treated for sexually transmitted infections were younger than 5.

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Emanuel Paparella2009-11-25 11:08:46
Indeed, a picture is worth a thousand words in the illustration of a sad and ugly phenomenon, not to speak of those awful statistics; but I remain puzzled by the fact that quite often in the Western media it is the voice of a man which champions women’s causes. The hidden assumption seems to be, that since women are the weaker sex, they need a champion, as in the days of chivalry. It is also a way of indirectly proclaiming to the world that one is not like the rest of them. Today’s cartoon says it all in a way regarding sexual exploitation tied up with gender, but that too alas is the voice of a man; not that gender should matter when it comes to ideas but the false assumption perhaps should be challenged, for, if truth be told, women are the stronger, not the weaker sex.

Actually one can find in the pages of this very magazine the voice of a woman who addresses this very issue: that of Saberi Roy in an article titled “Gender and Society—are women still a minority?” (24 September 2008). Here is an insightful excerpt from that article observing that for the Western media quite often “…women are vulnerable minorities and no better than children. The concept that women have to be protected and that they are weak is still found in different versions around the world.” Food for thought.

Jack2009-11-25 20:45:43

As Emanuel said, pictures tell us more about violence against women than any thing else. Thanks for bringing such an important point to the forefront. May it never be so. I think the most cowardice act of all is striking a women. I have two beautiful girls at home & I just can't imagine. They are most precious to me. I can hardly swat a fly, let alone strike another human being. Great article of critical import. Thank you!

Thanos2009-11-25 21:39:37
Unfortunately working with NGOs I have seen unbelievable things and what makes it worst is the feeling that things are getting worst and here in the democratic and free west. Perhaps what has changed the last decades is that people talk more about it and more women are ready to act.

Jack, I know the feeling, I got also a girl and I just cannot imagine something like that happening to her.

Sanjayant2009-11-27 16:31:34
I was under impression,
we have problems in India,
but looks it's everywhere...
Sad but heart weeping story.

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