16 Days of (Online) Activism against Gender Violence

One thought on “16 Days of (Online) Activism against Gender Violence

  1. Around the world, as many as one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex, or abused in some other way – most often by someone she knows, including by her husband or another male family member; one woman in four has been abused during pregnancy.

    “Violence against women both violates and impairs or nullifies the enjoyment by women of their human rights and fundamental freedoms… In all societies, to a greater or lesser degree, women and girls are subjected to physical, sexual and psychological abuse that cuts across lines of income, class and culture.”

    Gender-based violence both reflects and reinforces inequities between men and women and compromises the health, dignity, security and autonomy of its victims. It encompasses a wide range of human rights violations, including sexual abuse of children, rape, domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment, trafficking of women and girls and several harmful traditional practices. Any one of these abuses can leave deep psychological scars, damage the health of women and girls in general, including their reproductive and sexual health, and in some instances, results in death.

    Violence against women has been called “the most pervasive yet least recognized human rights abuse in the world.” Accordingly, the Vienna Human Rights Conference and the Fourth World Conference on Women gave priority to this issue, which jeopardizes women’s lives, bodies, psychological integrity and freedom. Violence may have profound effects – direct and indirect – on a woman’s reproductive health, including:

    Unwanted pregnancies and restricted access to family planning information and contraceptives
    Unsafe abortion or injuries sustained during a legal abortion after an unwanted pregnancy
    Complications from frequent, high-risk pregnancies and lack of follow-up care
    Sexually transmitted infections, including HIV
    Persistent gynaecological problems
    Psychological problems
    Gender-based violence also serves – by intention or effect – to perpetuate male power and control. It is sustained by a culture of silence and denial of the seriousness of the health consequences of abuse. In addition to the harm they exact on the individual level, these consequences also exact a social toll and place a heavy and unnecessary burden on health services.

    UNFPA recognizes that violence against women is inextricably linked to gender-based inequalities. When women and girls are expected to be generally subservient, their behaviour in relation to their health, including reproductive health, is negatively affected at all stages of the life cycle.

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