An article on violence against women, written by Ankita Singh
Violence can be decoded as behaviour involving physical force intended to hurt or damage someone. India is witnessing a large number of such cases of violence which can be in any form like physical, sexual, or mental harm to a women by a current or former spouse or partner known as “intimate partner violence“, female genital mutilation, early and forced marriage, rape, sexual abuse, trafficking, forced prostitution, including threats of such acts, coercion, deprivation of liberty.
This is why women’s safety is one of the major issues faced by our country.
India, a country, where goddess Durga, Lakshmi has been worshipped here the cases of violence against women, are no less. Today, a girl of 3 months is not safe in her own nearby society. What worse can we expect! The scenario is worrying to such an extent that at least one out of every three women around the world is being beaten, forced to be intimated physically, or otherwise abused usually by someone known to her. Women are also becoming targets of violence in society by rape, sexual abuse, trafficking, forced prostitution, etc.
Today, women have proved their capabilities in every field and tried to remove the tag of being subordinate to men. However, in spite of all these achievements, women and girls continue to suffer disproportionately from violence.
Married women are murdered or driven to suicide by continuous harassment and torture by their husbands and in-laws over a dispute about their dowry. The increasing number of female genital mutilation is saddening which involves the partial or total removal of the external female genital organs, or another injury to the female for non-medical reasons.
It is considered to be violence as it violates the right to security and physical integrity of women, as it is performed against their will and hence should be outlawed as soon as possible. Every day 90 girls in our country are becoming victims of rape cases, among which 80% remains unrecorded. In a study done in India, on about 10,000 women, 26 per cent reported having experienced physical violence from spouses during their lifetime. India’s average rate of reported rape cases is about 6.3 per 100,000 of the population. However, this per cent is even more in states like Sikkim and Delhi.
The violence against the women is expeditiously growing as they are supported by the persistence of patriarchal mentality. These have roots in the base of the society which upholds inequalities, social hierarchies, and policies of discrimination and exclusion. Controlling of female behaviour by men, acceptance of violence as a way to resolve conflict, masculinity dominance are few reasons giving rise to violence.
Here i want to quote few lines , here it goes –
” Unfortunately, violence against women is not the only injustice women face globally, its one of the many inequalities that impede the full development of socially excluded women globally. “
These acts of violence are not only harming women but it is also hampering peace and development of society as male dominance and patriarchal mentality would eventually lead to social inequality which will ultimately hamper social growth and prosperity.
These cases are heightening due to the reason that victims usually tend to remain quiet after bearing these tortures and choose to remain silent for their whole life due to many reasons. This act of reticent encourages people not to stop doing such acts and continue the same.
Here I want to quote the lines of Samantha Power, former USA ambassador to United nations, that says:-
“Violence against women is not cultural, its criminal; Equality cannot come eventually, its something we must fight for now.”
So, changing one’s patriarchal mindset is what is required to take the first step towards decreasing violence against women. Secondly, treating women with respect, and giving them equal status in society can contribute a lot in tackling this issue. It is also urgent to develop tools which adopt intersectional approaches to identify the structural roots of violence.