Empowerment, Not Violence Against Women
When we hear the phrase “women’s issues,” numerous issues and problems come to our minds and most of the problems have been prevalent for centuries. In spite of the plans and policies at national and international levels, no substantial work has been done for the elimination of these issues from women’s lives. Only superficial efforts have been made, which hardly influence the living standards of women at grass root level.
One of the major women issues is “violence against women.” Although violence can take place between any two or more people regardless of gender, color, religion or nationality, in patriarchal social structures where the level of gender discrimination is very high and men generally dominate, women are, it seems, almost always the victim.
In patriarchal societies men control most of the resources which help them to control their lives and also the lives of women who relate to them. In heterosexual relationships men are usually more powerful in terms of finances and social status. They are also physically more powerful than women. So they can easily influence the women around them.
In patriarchal social setups men provide the money for the life of the entire family and women are usually responsible for managing their homes, children and families. Women perform these duties while staying confined between four walls. Since all of this work is unpaid, in spite of working around the clock, women remain dependent on their husbands. So they usually have a greater risk of being exploited.
In this kind of social structure women become passive because from the very beginning of their lives they are never taught to be the one responsible for the financial expenditures of the family. All they have to do is perform domestic chores repeatedly, and to be able to perform these tasks they do not need to be well-educated. If such an attitude is developed among young girls, they will not try to get an education. At the end they will not realize their potential. Once this vicious circle starts, it will never stop for the rest of their lives. And the woman becomes the victim.
Let us give this circle a closer look. If a woman does not get education, she will not be able to discover her abilities, and face the world with confidence. She will not even get a good job so she can make her own living. Consequently, she will become dependent on some of the family members; usually a male family member. This dependency brings heaps of problems with it, and violence is one of these problems.
Violence against women is a global phenomenon although it varies in its nature and intensity. It knows no geographical limits. It is affecting women and girls of almost every age group, color, religion, creed and nationality. Even women and girls in developed countries are not safe. Women are usually abused psychologically, physically, sexually and socially. These are the most common types of violence against women.
Women who face violence usually prefer not to discuss their problems since most of the time the perpetrator is a close relative, usually husband/boyfriend, father, brother and sometimes even her son. Women who become victims of violence are usually dependent financially on these relatives, so they prefer to live with the problem without speaking out against the perpetrators. Consequently they live their entire lives in pain.
Violence against women affects the physical and psychological health of women severely. A woman who faces violence in her life shows behavioral disorders when she is older. Most of the psychological disorders among women are caused by violence against them.
Research proves that women suffer psychological problems far more than men living in the same society. Depression and anxiety are the most common disorders frequently found among women. The basic cause of these psychological disorders is mostly violence against women.
I believe that the worst form of the violence against women is when they are not allowed to control even their own bodies. This is an alarming situation for all those world organizations who claim to work for the humanity and women. We can never achieve a happy and progressive society until women are protected and respected.
Women constitute more than fifty percent of the world’s population. So how can we claim to be civilized, if we are not giving rights to half of the population? How can we progress, if half of the population is oppressed, uneducated and victimized? We can assure the world’s prosperity, only when women and men have equal rights.
To eliminate this discrimination and oppression against women, we all need to work together. Developed countries should step forward to help the women living in underdeveloped and developing countries. International organizations should also play their part by encouraging women to stand up against the discrimination they have been facing for such a long time.
Education can play a very important and effective role in breaking down the vicious circle which is affecting women around the globe. If women are educated, they will be able to understand their rights, and they will be able to manage their lives better.
In my view, men can also play a very important role in the process of making women independent. But they need to be told that this change will also affect them in a positive way. They need to realize that if women are educated and financially independent, they will be able to manage their lives, the children and families in a much better way. Women would also be able to share the financial burden of their partners. So men would not have to work those extra hours to finance the entire family, and could have more spare time to spend with their family and friends. Hence they can live a balanced and happy life.
This way we will be able to develop a society where we can listen to women’s laughter, rather than their sobs. And the world would be a happier place to live in. I really wish that we all could play our part in this process of social transformation so that we could proudly give a better world to our coming generations, especially to our daughters, a world where they could feel themselves to be just as important as men for the survival and development of humanity and the world.
I dream of a world where women will have the status of men’s companions, not their competitors, subordinates or slaves.
Author: Roheena Sajid
Editor: Marjory Linardy
Roheena Sajid is a reader and has sent us this blog for publishing. Would you like to write for us, too? Send us an email at email@example.com.
Date08.01.2015 | 22:20