The plight of women in Africa and the rest of the world are many and varied and are approached from different perspectives by the different classes of people in society. Discrimination against females for example has been and is still witnessing a significant decline in sub Saharan Africa over the years as ladies are beginning to witness a more receptive stance in public and family affairs. Of all the issues however, it is just the tip of the iceberg. A lot of the issues sum up to violence on the woman (girl child).
Taking a look on the evolution of society, one would expect that these practices on our women would have been completely abandoned already but that’s not the case. Reports of violence on the woman keep coming up every day and the society seems indifferent to them. To fight against this ill, the International community has put in measures to counteract this violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1981) and the UN declaration on the elimination of violence against women (1993).
No struggle can ever succeed without women participating side by side with men. – Muhammad Ali Jinnah
On the international scenes the treaties and ratifications make the fight against this ill seem easy. The hard fact on the ground however is so sad to bear. 848 Indian women are harassed, raped, killed every day (Huffington Post). The UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women says between 15 and 76 percent of women are targeted for physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime. What’s worse is that most of this violence takes place within intimate relationships, with many women (ranging from 9 to 70 percent) reporting their husbands or partners as the perpetrator.
Reports hold that in a majority of countries, less than 40% of women who experience violence sought any form of help. The million dollar question is; what happens to the desperate 60%?
To resolve these issues, countries have joined hands with the UN Women, Breakthrough U.S, the Desert Flower Foundation and others, to stamp out this life threatening ill. More efforts are being made to: revise marriage and societal laws that are biased against women, bring greater attention to violence even when it is perpetrated by a partner or spouse and to provide women with access to legal representation.
As succesful as these measures are, a keen observer will agree that commemorating days and signing ratifications isn’t just enough as their impact is yet to be felt in many communities. Much still has to be done on the ground.
Join the fight; save her life.
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