11/30/2011 PeaceWorldwide.org 1 comment
Throughout the world, women are deprived of their human rights. A subject that is very touching and disturbing, yet does not get enough attention is violence against women. As reported at the UN Commission on the Status of Women in 2000, globally, approximately 1 in 3 women and girls has been beaten or sexually abused in her lifetime. This is astonishingly high and is quite disgusting. It is appalling that it has become socially acceptable in many cultures and societies around the world.
In the United States, violence against women is clearly represented and supported through advertisements --- cosmetic ads are the most prevalent type and tend to depict a woman with a bruised eye or facial extremity and stating that the bruise can be covered up by makeup. Not only do these representations in the media promote violence against women, they also tend to objectify and depict women as a resource of man that can be exploited. In Pakistan, “honor killings” of women were reported to have increased by 25 percent in 2002 (Pakistan Human Rights Commission, 2002). In Canada, 19 percent of all women reported have been beaten within a five year span (Measuring Violence Against Women: Statistical Trends 2006).
As one can see, violence against women is not just prevalent in a single country, but it is rather a global phenomenon. It is vital that we do not just ignore these atrocities, but rather find an effective way to address the issue head on. Fortunately, there have been slight improvements in legislation to help protect women. On December 14, 2010, the International Violence Against Women Act was passed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee- this act will establish an inclusive five-year strategy to end violence against women and girls around the world. It is only through a group effort that we will be able to protect these women’s rights and one day reach our goal of having a world free from the scourges of violence, oppression, and war.