Today, 25th of November, is International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
“Violence against women takes many forms – physical, sexual, psychological and economic. These forms of violence are interrelated and affect women from before birth to old age. Some types of violence, such as trafficking, cross national boundaries.
Women who experience violence suffer a range of health problems and their ability to participate in public life is diminished. Violence against women harms families and communities across generations and reinforces other violence prevalent in society.
Violence against women also impoverishes women, their families, communities and nations.
Violence against women is not confined to a specific culture, region or country, or to particular groups of women within a society. The roots of violence against women lie in persistent discrimination against women.
Up to 70 per cent of women experience violence in their lifetime.” extract from the Factsheet Unite to end violence against women.
In Pakistan I first worked on the subject of sexual violence against women. Violence against women is prevalent all over the world and rape in particular has become a ‘weapon of war’ and tool to systematically oppress, control and marginalize women.
The women and girls I spoke to were so open and brave to tell me what happened. Each time their stories were heartbreaking to hear. Violence against women has been called “the most pervasive yet least recognized human rights abuse in the world. It affects their health, dignity and sense of security.