Posts Tagged ‘violence against women’
Women’s groups all agree on one thing about the earthqauke disaster in Haiti: to rebuild successfully, start with the women.
When relief is distributed by women, it has the best chance of reaching those most in need. That’s not because women are morally superior. It is because their roles as caretakers in the community means they know where every family lives, which households have new babies or disabled elders, and how to reach remote communities even in disaster conditions.
Unfortunately even before the earthquake, women were struggling in Haiti. Now, with no resources, they are left open to violence and hunger. The Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) is “cautiously optimistic” about a new plan that distributes rations to the female head of the household.
The programme, launched yesterday, provides women with coloured and dated vouchers that can be exchanged for a 25-kilogram (55-pound) rice ration at one of 16 centres in Port-au-Prince – including at the Sylvio Cator Stadium, which before the earthquake was the country’s national soccer stadium and now houses a tent-city of displaced Haitians.
Both Madre, AWID and other women rights groups remain adamant that helping women will result in a faster rebuilding process for the rest of Haiti. For more excellent analysis on the ongoing crisis in Haiti check out the AWID’s new section devoted to earthquake relief.
According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, which includes crimes that were not reported to the police, 232,960 women in the U.S. were raped or sexually assaulted in 2006. That’s more than 600 women every day! There are many factors that contribute to the increasing numbers of women being violently assaulted. The economic decline, foreclosures, and the highest unemployment rates in years have all triggered an atmosphere of anger, desperation and hopelessness.
The entertainment industry creates images which mirrors what is happening in today’s society, and there is some truth that the profusion of murder, sex, and rape may trigger violent reactions in certain individuals. However, I personally do not think the media is a major contribution to the violence against women happening in today’s society. It all starts within the family and parents must take the time in educating their sons to respect the opposite sex as well as teaching them that equality is true across all cultures, races, and religions. In turn, female members of a family unit need to be taught self-respect and that they have the power to control the destiny of their lives without fear of intimidation and violence. Women and girls need to be taught how to protect themselves whether it is through self-defense classes or carrying a personal protection device such as a stun gun, pepper spray, mace, or TASER.
At the end of the day, violence against women is not going away anytime soon, at least until there is tough law reform on how criminals are prosecuted and sentenced. The ignorance from cultural beliefs, prejudice and in some respect media images of women as being the inferior sex all are contributing factors to the victimization of women on a global level. The elimination cut of $20.4 million in funding to 94 domestic violence shelters in California, is another indication that violence against women is not taken into serious consideration. Almost half a century after the feminist movement of the early 1960s took action, have we really come a long way baby? If you think about it, women are still paid lower wages than men, their reproductive rights are under scrutiny, and women in other countries are still being sexually mutilated so they cannot reproduce.
It is not just the entertainment industry at fault here and in fact, if it weren’t for the exposure of heinous treatment of women through the art of filmmaking, many of us would be ignorant to the truth of what is happening not only in the U.S. but around the world. We need to wake up and realize that there is not one factor to blame but a collective response from hundreds of years of intolerance, discrimination and chauvinism.
Susan Fredricks is the general partner of http://www.stingergirlz.com Her Company’s goal and vision is to empower women to protect themselves from predators and to stay safe. Stingergirlz offers a wide variey of personal, travel and home protection devices as well as self defense training literature and videos. Visit http://www.stingergirlz.com today and protect yourself and your loved ones today.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Susan_Fredricks
Feminist columnist Antonia Zerbisias for The Star says there’s not enough outrage when it comes to violence against women. Her point, and it’s a great one, is that these incidents like the recent health club shooting fade after a couple of days and rarely do we view these attacks on women in connection with all the other ones.
The numbers, in case you were wondering, go like this:
“[From 2000-06] when 4,588 U.S. soldiers and police officers were killed by hostiles or by accident, more than 8,000 women – nearly twice as many – were shot, stabbed, strangled, or beaten to death by the intimate males in their lives. In Canada, compared to the 101 Canadian soldiers and police officers killed, more than 500 women – nearly five times as many – met the same fate.”
These numbers come from Brian Vallee’s book War on Women published in 2007.
This is the point where Antonia calls for more outrage than the 75 people who showed up to mourn the deaths and the few feminist bloggers who called the shooting a hate crime.
Back in the fall of 2006, a fiend invaded an Amish schoolhouse in rural Pennsylvania, separated the girls from the boys, and then shot 10 of the girls, killing five.
I wrote, at the time, that there would have been thunderous outrage if someone had separated potential victims by race or religion and then shot, say, only the blacks, or only the whites, or only the Jews. But if you shoot only the girls or only the women — not so much of an uproar.
Both Bob and Atonia agree that it is the media’s constant parade of misogyny (in music, television, etc) and news reports about rape and violence against women that take away our shock when shootings are gender-based. We fail to see the significance of femicide when it’s already being sold to us in the form of video games and rap lyrics.
Life in the United States is mind-bogglingly violent. But we should take particular notice of the staggering amounts of violence brought down on the nation’s women and girls each and every day for no other reason than who they are. They are attacked because they are female.
A girl or woman somewhere in the U.S. is sexually assaulted every couple of minutes or so. The number of seriously battered wives and girlfriends is far beyond the ability of any agency to count. – From Herbert