I strongly believe that the first step to solving a problem is to identify and define the problem. Since we’re talking about violence against women and the role that men can play in preventing it, the first hurdle that we arrive at is understanding what violence against women is.
Violence against women is a technical term used to collectively refer to violent acts that are primarily or exclusively committed against women. Similar to a hate crime, this type of violence targets a specific group with the victim's gender as a primary motive.
The United Nations General Assembly defines "violence against women" as "any act of gender-based violenc that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life." The 1993 Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women noted that this violence could be perpetrated by assailants of either gender, family members and even the "State" itself.
Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread violations of human rights. It can include physical, sexual, psychological and economic abuse, and it cuts across boundaries of age, race, culture, wealth and geography. It takes place in the home, on the streets, in schools, the workplace, in farm fields, refugee camps, during conflicts and crises. It has many manifestations — from the most universally prevalent forms of domestic and sexual violence, to harmful practices, abuse during pregnancy, so-called honour killings and other types of femicide.
Some historians believe that the history of violence against women is tied to the history of women being viewed as property and a gender role assigned to be subservient to men and also other women.
Violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women, which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by men and to the prevention of the full advancement of women, and that violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with men.
Thus having understood the problem we, and indeed men, can move forward and take active action to prevent violence against women.
Having realized that the victims of such violence are mothers, sisters, daughters, wives and friends, men are faced with an important choice. The path that they choose to follow from here on will determine if they become the heroes or the villans in the lives of women everywhere.
So my question to you, to all men, is- Knowing the consequences, your actions could have, who would you choose to be, the subject of women’s admiration or the subject of their disdain??
This Blog is part of the Men Say No Blogathon, encouraging men to take up action against the violence faced by women.
More entries to the Blogathon can be read at www.mustbol.in/blogathon. Join further conversation on facebook.com/delhiyouth &twitter.com/mustbol