Today is the International day of Stop Violence against Women. The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women was issued by the UN General Assembly was made in 1993. As per the declaration the violence has been defined as as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.” These acts include intimate partner, sexual violence and harassment, human trafficking, female genital mutilation and child marriage. Battering, psychological abuse, marital rape and femicide are the forms of intimate partner violence. Rape, forced sexual acts, unwanted sexual advances, child sexual abuse, forced marriage, street harassment, stalking and cyber harassment are the manifestations of sexual violence and harassment. Slavery and sexual exploitation come under violence in the form of human trafficking. These acts adversely affect the women of different ages both directly as well as indirectly. Violence suffered by a woman and or a girl not only affects individually but also the other female members of the family. Health issues including HIV are more among women and girls due ti violation of this very important human right. This violence against women and girls obstructs their development from early childhood, schooling, higher education, marital life and career development. The fear of these violent acts restricts the activities of the women and girls and despite the desire to participate in the activities just like men. Psychologically the affected persons have to live with the bad memories of the incidents of violence all the way until their death. The violence here includes all acts occurring both in public or in private life. It is one of the most common and prevalent violation of human rights all over the world in one form or the other in all countries and in all societies. Unfortunately, this violence is least reported for reasons of impunity, silence, stigma and shame surrounding it.
Women form half of humans on the planet. Unless our women participate in the day to day activities just like men free of any fear of violence against them, our world can neither progress to its total potential nor can there be peace at the societal level.
"“Not until the half of our population represented by women and girls can live free from fear, violence and everyday insecurity, can we truly say we live in a fair and equal world." — UN Secretary-General António Guterres