To encourage action against violence in general and gender violence in particular, the Center of Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL), based at Rutgers University in the US, has launched a 16 day campaign “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World”. Starting November 25, campaign participants “will highlight the systemic nature of gender-based violence and militarism which encourages inequality and discrimination”.
Global Voices Online will be participating in this campaign; we will publish stories, debates and conversations on social media around the world about violence in society and violence against women.
The campaign also aims to raise awareness around the fact that most governments designate weapon spending more urgent and important, than funding projects devoted to education, equality and safer public spaces. Despite recognition of gender based violence as a public health issue and a human rights concern by international organizations, the low priority given in international development agendas continues to be alarmingly low.
According to the World Health Organization:
Violence against women – particularly intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women – are major public health problems and violations of women's human rights.
Recent global prevalence figures indicate that 35% of women worldwide have experienced either intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.
On average, 30% of women who have been in a relationship report that they have experienced some form of physical or sexual violence by their partner.
Globally, as many as 38% of murders of women are committed by an intimate partner.
Violence can result in physical, mental, sexual, reproductive health and other health problems, and may increase vulnerability to HIV.
Risk factors for being a perpetrator include low education, exposure to child maltreatment or witnessing violence in the family, harmful use of alcohol, attitudes accepting of violence and gender inequality.
Risk factors for being a victim of intimate partner and sexual violence include low education, witnessing violence between parents, exposure to abuse during childhood and attitudes accepting violence and gender inequality.
In high-income settings, school-based programmes to prevent relationship violence among young people (or dating violence) are supported by some evidence of effectiveness.
In low-income settings, other primary prevention strategies, such as microfinance combined with gender equality training and community-based initiatives that address gender inequality and communication and relationship skills, hold promise.
Situations of conflict, post conflict and displacement may exacerbate existing violence and present additional forms of violence against women.
To broaden strategies and engage different groups, CWGL is launching the campaign on the International Day to end Gender-based Violence (Nov 25) with the Day of Human Rights (Dec 10):
The intersectionality of age, class, gender, geographic location, race/ethnicity, religious affiliation, sexual orientation among other categories of analysis inform the ways in which women experience and respond to violence, inequality, and discrimination. They also affect the ways in which communities and the States respond since States’ relations with the people are mediated in part through the above categories […] Integral to a world free of gender-based violence where all are able to experience freedom from fear and want is, in part, the recognition of the indivisibility of human rights, and that women’s rights are human rights.
The campaign has identified three priority areas of action: Violence perpetrated by state actors, proliferation of small arms in cases of intimate partner violence, and sexual violence during and after conflict. For each area, the page of the campaign suggests different types of strategies to raise awareness and participate in the struggle against these abuses.