To eliminate violence against women
As the world marks November 25th every year as “International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women”, this year 2021 is not peculiar as the trends are sadly unabated.
Women are precious creations of God who indeed deserve to be totalized, sanctified, and canonized in every society. Violence against women and girls is indeed one of the most widespread, persistent, and devastating human rights violations in our world today. It remains largely unreported due to the impunity, negligence, silence, fear, stigma, and shame that surround it in most parts of the world.
In general terms, however, it manifests itself in physical, sexual, and psychological forms, encompassing:
i. Intimate partner violence (battering, psychological abuse, marital rape, femicide);
ii. Sexual violence and harassment (rape, forced sexual acts, unwanted sexual advances, child sexual abuse, forced marriage, street harassment, stalking, cyber-harassment), etcetera.
In fact, for every society to progress, it must protect its women against any sort of violence, in whatever guise. They deserve to be carried along in every decision-making process in society to have a significant impact on the economy. However, an awareness campaign is paramount at this juncture to change the negative trends in society. At the same time, every stakeholder needs to be carried along for protection at the moment.
From a religious standpoint, the world’s most widely practiced religion strongly opposes women’s violence. We must remember that these women are our moms, daughters, and sisters, whom God made with a specific purpose in mind, and who are not to be threatened or harmed. They are entitled to a dignified life in the same way that you are. Harming, demoralizing, frustrating, and daunting our partners is, without a doubt, disheartening. Women, in my opinion, are equal partners in growth for the betterment of society.
According to UN reports, roughly one in every three women has been assaulted at some point in their lives. Can we keep going in this direction? No, the narrative must shift in a positive direction. In fact, according to data from 13 nations, two out of every three women have experienced some type of violence, either on themselves or on a woman they know. In order to receive help, only one in ten women stated they would go to the police or report a crime.
Gender-based violence is not unavoidable, no matter how widespread it is. It is possible and necessary to avoid it. Stopping this violence begins with trusting survivors and implementing comprehensive and inclusive measures that address the core causes, change damaging social norms, and empower women and girls, giving them a sense of belonging. We can surely eradicate women’s violence across the globe if we provide needed services across the policing, judicial, health, and social sectors, as well as sufficient funding for the women’s rights agenda.
Let me add one more thing: we must fear God in our interactions. Something that will irritate you if it occurs to you; it’s not a good idea to do it to someone who is vulnerable. However, the government and security forces must punish those who commit these heinous crimes in order for them to serve as a deterrent to others. May today’s world be free of women’s violence in whatever form it takes for the benefit of civilization.
Tijjani wrote from Galadima Mahmoud street, Kasuwar-kaji Azare, Bauchi State.