20 Jul Violence against women: much more than blows
Every November 25, since 1981, it reminds us that governments, international organizations, NGOs, and society in general still have a long way to go to eliminate violence against women. Gender violence is the clearest manifestation of inequality between men and women. And the most serious violation of human rights suffered by millions of women, girls, and young people.
In the world, 1 in 3 women has suffered physical or sexual violence. In most cases perpetrated by someone close to them, mainly partners or ex-partners. Nearly 750 million girls and women were married before their 18th birthday. At least 200 million have been victims of female genital mutilation. 71% of trafficking victims are women and girls, and 3 out of 4 are sexually exploited. Women hold only 24% of seats in the world’s parliaments and the gender pay gap stands at 23%.
The data is devastating, to the point that the United Nations describes violence against women as a pandemic. No, we are not exaggerating. And no, it is not something that happens in “other places” in the world. Here in Europe, violence against women and girls poses a greater risk than cancer or terrorism.
Types Of Violence Against Women
But what is violence against women? Being beaten is violence. Being raped is violence. Insulted and belittled is violence. Being forced to marry is violence. Sexual exploitation and female genital mutilation are violence. But it is also violence to charge less for doing the same work as a man. It is that being a woman conditions you to access certain jobs or limits your professional projection. The feminization of poverty and care, not being the owner of your land or your house, not having access to sexual and reproductive health measures, or not being able to fully and effectively exercise your rights as a person for the mere fact of being a woman.
In summary and according to the United Nations classification, violence against women is sexual, physical, psychological, and economic. From a broader perspective, gender violence is also considered: sexual segregation of work and care; the wage gap; the lack of political representation and in the exercise of rights; and symbolic violence, a lesser-known concept but behind which all the stereotypes and prejudices about the role of women are hidden -what they are considered to be or what they can and cannot do- and which are the origin from which they emanate the rest of the violence.
Help In Action And Violence Against Women
Defending women’s rights is part of our day-to-day work. We are by their side supporting them through projects that guarantee their education; access to health in general, and sexual and reproductive health in particular; or the development of enterprises that improve their economic income and living conditions, and allow them to be independent. But above all, we work to put an end to the inequality and violence of which they are victims.
Thanks to the support of people like you, we help make our goal of a world free of violence against women a reality. Examples of this are projects such as the one in Kenya against female genital mutilation, the work we carry out in Nepal against the trafficking of women and girls, the accompaniment of victims of sexual violence in the context of the armed conflict in Colombia or the cooperatives of women from El Salvador and Nicaragua.
This year, UN Women -the United Nations agency dedicated to promoting gender equality- invites us to make the voices of survivors of violence heard. From Ayuda en Acción we join the movement #Escúchame Tambien, 16 days of activism to claim not only the end of violence against women but also the urgency that gender equality is real, an essential requirement if we want to meet the fifth of the Goals of Sustainable Development and leave no one behind.
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