Emily woke up on a blurry morning and proceeded to get ready for work. The last two months has being near-hell for her at work with the new boss sneering at her and harassing her with his foul-smelling breath as he tried to kiss her at every opportunity he gets. But who was she to object or dare to even raise her voice at her boss, except she was willing to loose her job, which she most definitely wasn’t.
She remembered the ugly scenario of the past month where she had tried to explain to her husband the annoying attitude of her new boss and he had tried to wave it off, she had insisted he allow her quit that job and he had told her she dared not. “Listen up woman, you dare not quit that job”. “Ohoh, you think I’m a money making machine eh? You want to stylishly stop working and become lazy in my house abi? You think I don’t know your plans?”. He stood up abruptly and made for his room then stopped and turned back, “And what is wrong if he tries to kiss you or touch your body? Am I not your husband? Am I complaining?” He hissed and went into his room. Emily stared after him with mouth opened and teary eyes, she quickly forced on a smile however, for she did not want the children to see her that way.
She was at work now and was trying to check her computer for some files she needed to work on, her boss passed by and blew her a kiss with a wicked smile on his face, she shook her head and sighed. Well, her situation was still better off, she remembered how aunt Beatrice’s 17 years old daughter had been sexually assaulted by a teacher in school, the case had afterwards been dismissed at the police station on the teacher’s claim that the girl seduced him. The police officer on duty had even hauled several insults at the girl and had almost slapped her.
Emily would rather tolerate her boss than allow that happen to her daughter. She wondered why the feminine gender had to suffer so. Just last week she had heard about a woman who had been publicly assaulted for showing interest in running for a political office. To add insult to injury, her husband had given her a thorough beating upon her getting home that day. Emily bowed her head and shut her eyes as she braced herself for another long day before her.
This and lots more has being the reality and plight of women.
The united Nations defines violence against women as any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.
This violent acts predisposes women to poor physical, mental, sexual, reproductive status and even increased vulnerability to HIV.
The percentage of gender-based violence from intimate partner is alarmingly more than that from family, friends, business associates and so on. It is however quite unfortunate that women are being forced to keep quiet and accept this violence in silence, they are told be ‘brave’ and act like ‘real women’. In fact, United Nations also records that as many as 38% murders of women are committed by intimate partners.
There are many factors to consider when combatting the issue of gender-based violence which includes;
*#lower levels of education among women.*
*#increased exposure to child maltreatment.*
*#attitudes that accepts violence and gender inequality.*
*#experiencing family violence and so on.*
Shall we now keep quiet and watch this go on forever? Definitely not!
Kofi Anan, the then secretary-general of the United Nations, declared in a 2006 report posted on the United Nations Development fund for women (UNIFEM) website that:
“Violence against women and girls is a problem of pandemic proportions. At least one out of every three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime with the abuser usually someone known to her”.
I mean we can all relate with this, even fathers raping children, forcing their daughters into marriage and even neglecting the welfare and education of their daughters on the pretext that she will only end up on the kitchen.
It causes great heartaches that in some part of the world, men have legal rights to punish their wives, and also in some parts of the world, the woman’s legal rights are subsumed by those of her husband.
Types of gender-based violence includes, *forced marriage, forced feeding (to fatten up girls), mob-violence, rape, acid-throwing, dowry violence, honor killings, domestic violence, accusation of witchcraft, breast-ironing* and so on.
Several examples of violence against women abound, including *the kidnapping of Chibok schoolgirls in Nigeria (2014), murder of Sandra Cantu in the United States (2009), Ashfield gang rapes in Australia (2001-2002), Kandhamal gang rape case in India (2015), Bradford murders in the United Kingdom (2009-2010) and so on.
The popular female genital mutilation (which may be partial or total removal of the females genitals) is also another type of gender-based violence to be seriously considered as it poses serious health risks to girls, which may eventually lead to death.
Even though there has being several measures put in place for access to justice for women victims of violence. There has being lobbying for the government to set up shelters for domestic violence survivors in some part of the world as well as United Nations’ intercessions in various ways. Yet these measures are not enough as gender-based violence is still very much on the high side.
All hands must be on deck then as we seek to destroy this evil in our society.