Special Post on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (Nov 25) #Orange_the_World

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November 25, which is designated as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women as designated by the United Nations General Assembly under Resolution 54/134. The aim of the day is to raise awareness about the fact that, even today, the women’s around the world are still subject to various violence like rape, domestic violence and even in other forms like: acid attack, etc. It’s one of the most important is to highlight the hidden issues and their true nature. For this day, different themes are made by United Nations General Secretary for every year. The theme for the year 2014 was, “UNiTE to end violence against women”, for the year 2018, it was “Orange the world: #Hearmetoo” and for the year 2019, its, “Orange the world: Generation Equality Stands Against Rape”.

We must Eliminate Violence Against Women
In today's world, violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread violation of human rights and even today, where we talk about development and developing society and their mindset, even in such society, because of thinking of society and what everyone will say, these types of violation and violence still remains unreported and because of all this, these violence manifests itself into physical, sexual and psychological forms, including marital rape, femicide, rape, forced sexual activities, slavery, child marriage, etc.
Violence against women, as defined in the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against women, which was issued by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993, defines violence against women as, “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”
Violence against women and girls has an adverse effect on the girls and women of all the ages and even not only affects the stage of women in which she has to suffer but also affects all the stages of a women’s life. For example, early-set educational disadvantages not only represent the primary obstacle to universal schooling and the right to education for girls; down the line, they are also to blame for restricting access to higher education and even translate into limited opportunities for women in the labour market.
Violence against women and girls are an obstacle which has not yet removed. It was there in the earlier and today, where we proudly say that we are developing and our society is dynamic and is accepting all the changes, there only, in that society only, violence against women and girls are still increasing and have not only become an obstacle but is also the hurdle for women and girls towards their equality, development, peace as well as a hurdle in achieving and exercising their Human Right & Fundamental Rights (in India). Today, where we talk of equality, they're only on the other hand, there are still so many places, where still, people are of old thought and where still, girls and women’s have to face violence in one or other form.
We also talk about Sustainable Development Goals with an aim that no one should be left behind, but have we ever focused or even thought about women’s and girls that the concept about which we are talking, even it is there for them everywhere. They are also an important part of our society; without them nothing is complete. This is not only about talking and writing but now, it's on us that how we take this and move our step forward towards Sustainable Development for all and with the concept that no one left behind, not even a single person and this cannot be fulfilled without putting an end to violence against women and girls without their help, contribution and guidance.

Some figures as per the reports of United Nations

  • · 1 in 3 women and girls experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, most frequently by an intimate partner
  • ·   Only 52% of women married or in a union freely make their own decisions about sexual relations, contraceptive use and health care
  • ·   Worldwide, almost 750 million women and girls alive today were married before their 18th birthday; while 200 million women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM)
  • ·   1 in 2 women killed worldwide were killed by their partners or family in 2017; while only 1 out of 20 men were killed under similar circumstances
  • ·   71% of all human trafficking victims worldwide are women and girls, and 3 out of 4 of these women and girls are sexually exploited
  • ·   Violence against women is as serious a cause of death and incapacity among women of reproductive age as cancer, and a greater cause of ill health than traffic accidents and malaria combined.
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What we can do to stop the violence?
Ways in which we as a community can stop violence against women and achieve gender equality:
  • Create laws and enforce existing laws that protect women from discrimination and violence, including rape, beatings, verbal abuse, mutilation, torture, “honor” killings and trafficking.
  • Educate community members on their responsibilities under international and national human rights laws.
  • Promote the peaceful resolution of disputes by including the perspectives of women and girls.
  • Strengthen women’s ability to earn money and support their households by providing skills training for women.
  • Sensitize the public to the disadvantages of early and forced child marriages.
  • Highlight the value of girls’ education and of women’s participation in economic development.
  • Encourage women to participate in the political process and educate the public about the value of women’s votes.
  • Raise public awareness of the poor conditions some women face, particularly in rural areas.
  • Use Social Media-Social media has an empowering effect send articles, with the click of a button, you can spread the word. Youth do not need the mainstream media to voice their views!
  • Report– Report photos that exploit girls and young women when you see them on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram
  • Be media literate and critical-Be critical of what you see otherwise it become normalized and we are desensitized! The media regularly uses images of violence against women and objectifies girls and women to sell products. Women are also objectified in movies, music and magazines. If you see an ad or commercial that is sexist and degrading towards women – write or e-mail the company and don’t by their products.
  • Interrupt sexist/homophobic and transphobic language-Words are powerful, especially when spoken by people who have power over others. We live in a society where words are used to put girls and women down. Gendered name-calling is used and sends the message, that, girls and women are less than fully human. When girls and women are seen as inferior, thus, it becomes easier to treat them with less respect and ignore their rights. Changing the way, you speak can change the way you think.
  • Interrupt abuse –If you see a guy push a girl into her locker at school that you say something to stop him from continuing to be abusive. If you are at a party and one of your peers or friends is intoxicated and being led away by a guy[s] stop him from being alone with her and help her get home.
  • Stop street harassment-Don’t engage in any forms of sexual harassment, such as catcalling, and unwanted touching. And don’t let your friends and peers engage in those behaviours either! It’s not just enough that you don’t engage in those behaviours, be empowered to speak up against friends and peers who do! Don’t look the other way!
  • Come up with an action plan– Plan ahead what you would do in situations where either, people you know or strangers are being abusive and/or sexist. Sometimes it’s easier to interrupt and stop the abuse when you know what you will say and how you will approach the situation beforehand.
  • Recognize the role of gender in violence- While boys and men do experience abuse it is important to remember that the majority of victims of abuse are female and the majority of perpetrators of violence are boys and men.
  • Stop Victim Blaming– Don’t blame girls and women for how they choose to dress or judge their behaviour. Violence can’t be prevented through limiting the freedoms of girls. This only allows the violence to continue because perpetrators become invisible, and those who witness remain silent.
  • Stop rape culture– One way to stop rape culture is by not allowing people to perpetuate rape culture through minimizing/normalizing rape through jokes. When a friend or peer tells a joke about being violent against girls and women in some way, say you don’t find it funny and let them know that it is not okay.
  • Call gender violence what it is-not bullying-Using the term bullying to label violence against girls and women masks the truth of what’s happening. When someone you know at schools is experiencing gender violence either in a dating relationship or from their peers at school, by labelling it correctly you are stopping a culture, which normalizes and minimizes violence against girls and women.
  • Educate yourself on the roots of violence-Violence against girls and women stems in male dominance and the socialization of men. Become educated on the roots of violence against girls and women! Read books and articles, join a group at school and attend any training available to you.  Learn about the myths and realities of gender violence and understand how our society condones it.
  • Create safe spaces to discuss gender violence– Create an after-school club or group where you can openly discuss your views and experiences and support your peers.
  • Confront yourself/your ideas-Reflect on your beliefs and why you have those beliefs and your actions, and opinions. Be honest and admit your faults and commit to changing the way you think and act.
  • Stop stereotyping men’s and women’s roles-Social roles and expectations may affect a man’s decisions about relationships. Men are taught that expressing feelings is not masculine. Examining your social role and learning ways to express feelings directly and non-violently can help to create deeper and more meaningful interpersonal relationships. You don’t have to prove yourself.
  • Remember violence is a choice- Don’t make excuses for friends and peers who are violent. Stop supporting the notion that violence is due to mental illness, lack of anger management skills, alcohol and drug use, stress, etc.
  • Be Supportive-When girls tell you about violence, they have experienced in their lives believe them. It is extremely rare for girls to make up a story about rape or abuse. You may be the first and only person she tells. Believe her and support her decisions, without being judgmental.
  • Be aware of resources for girls and women-Support girls and women by providing information on where they can get further support and safety. Familiarize yourself with the resources for girls and women in your community, including women’s centres, counselling centres and health service organizations. Be a positive resource for girls close to you by sharing information and making referrals. 
  • Talk to others about ending violence and be a mentor– Volunteer your time to preventing violence by speaking to others. This brings awareness to the issue, which will motivate others to act.
  • Understand consent- Boys and young men need to be respectful when entering into a sexual relationship and should not feel entitled to girls and women’s bodies. Just because you are a ‘nice guy’ does not mean you should have any expectations.
  • Many other ways like by increasing literacy rate, making people aware of it and how they can access it, etc.
Let’s not take it only as a way or a suggestion to solve this issue, let's understand it and along with reading, writing and discussing, we should also use it practically. Anyone has to move forward to put a step further to stop it, then why can’t we? Since, change starts from one’s home and before that, from within, so, let's start bringing this change and start making a change.
Generation Equality Stands against Rape. Orange the World
Let’s understand the concept of Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands Against Rape
This is an effort from United Nations to prevent and end the violence against women at the global, regional and national level.
The theme decided by United Nations General Assembly for the year 2019 for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is “Orange the World: Generation Equality stands AgainstRape”. Like in previous years, this year's International Day will mark the launch of 16 days of activism that will conclude on 10 December 2019, which is International Human Rights Day.
Several public events are being coordinated for this year's International Day. Iconic buildings and landmarks will be ‘oranged’ to recall the need for a violence-free future.
One can also join this campaign and can even participate in person or on social media by using the official material available on the United Nations website or by using the hashtags: 

#GenerationEquality, #orangetheworld and #spreadtheword.

This post has been prepared by Mr. Harshit Kiran, Lead Student Editor & Internship Coordinator, MyLawman. He can be reached at harshit[at]mylawman.co.in .alert-info

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