Violence against women still remains deep-rooted
Multisectarian programmes to promote gender equality and women empowerment seem to be successful to transform deeply entrenched attitudes and behaviours
Violence against women constitutes a major human rights problem globally. It is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violation today and remains largely unreported due to the impunity, silence, stigma and shame surrounding it.
We are observing International Day on the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls. Violence is rooted in gender-based discrimination, social norms and gender stereotypes that perpetuate it. Violence against women continues to be an obstacle to achieving equality, development, peace as well as to the fulfilment of women and girls’ human rights.
All in all, the promise of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - to leave no one behind - cannot be fulfilled without putting an end to violence against women and girls. The adverse psychological, sexual and reproductive health consequences of violence affect women at all stages of their life right from the early-set educational disadvantages.
A concrete action at global and national level is required if the culture of violence is to be replaced by the culture of peace. At international level, it has been since 1993 that the work of gender justice, which started at the international level in the World Conference of Human Rights, continued in a series of World Conferences on women, later. Because of the efforts of the UN for the upliftment of women, all the nations are increasingly becoming aware of the rights of women and their protection.
To commemorate the 2018 International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against women, UN has passed a joint statement by the Heads of UN agencies, UNDP, UNICEF, UN Women and UNFPA, calling for solidarity with the survivors and survivor advocates and women human rights defenders who are working to prevent and end violence against women and to focus on the duty to intensify their efforts to find solutions and measures to stop this preventable global scourge.
People are programmed in their society to believe that they cannot change things and that it is foolish even to try big change. In fact, it is a known fact that when common women decided to rise against a world that limited their possibilities and fought to realise their dreams and the dreams of other women, in the process, their lives were changed forever.
In the present era, the ongoing efforts should adapt a holistic and comprehensive approach to address the drivers and consequents of violence against women and should focus on empowering women and reducing their vulnerability. In addition, efforts are needed to promote coordination between all relevant factors including health, education, police and judiciary and community groups.
Multi-sectarian programmes to promote gender equality and women empowerment seem to be successful to transform deeply entrenched attitudes and behaviours.
However, action plans of such programmes need to be guided by the principles of gender equality, human rights and health equity. Health sector can support programmes that involve women and children affected by violence. In conclusion, participatory and partnership action is needed at national as well as international level to eliminate the violence against the women. (The author is an advocate from Jammu & Kashmir)
By Neeru Mishra