Violence against women
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Violence Against Women. Definition of Violence Against Women. The United Nations General Assembly’s Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (1993) defines violence against women as:

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Violence Against Women

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Violence Against Women

Definition of Violence Against Women

The United Nations General Assembly’s Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (1993) 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." 

Different forms of violence as they affect women’s security

  • Warrape, ethnic cleansing, mass rape as a policy of war

  • MassacresMass murders of women because they are women

  • Gang rapeGang rape to regulate women’s behavior

  • Cultural violencePorn, movies, TV, magazines, pop music

  • Structural violenceThreats and fears that limit what women feel they can safely do. But also complex systems involving violence such as racism and poverty.

  • Marital, partner, and date rape

  • Stranger rape

  • Sexual harassmentAt work, school, churches, boarding schools

  • BatteringBy spouse, children, grandkids, caregivers

  • Child abuseBattering and sexual abuse

  • Gender-based murderE.g., dowry deaths

  • Medical violenceE.g., abortion of female fetuses

  • Massacres and terrorismTerrorist acts that target women

Violence against women and girls

One of the greatest achievements of women’s movements worldwide:

“breaking the silence” about male violence against women in intimate relationships and at structural levels

  • A major health and human rights concern

  • Women can experience physical or mental abuse throughout their lifecycle, in infancy, childhood and/or adolescence, or during adulthood or older age

  • Violence is both a personal and a social problem

Social-Structural Violence Against Women

  • Women have different takes, and experience violence differently according to race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, and other differences.

  • Mainstream Western women see violence through a gender lens focused on their personal security.

  • Marginalized women: experience a broader range of violent acts, including war, genocide, mass rape as a strategy of war, forced removals, torture and being “disappeared” by state security forces.

Question: Why it is important to go beyond seeing violence against women as a private issue that only occurs in the bedrooms?

Violence: Gendered and Racialized

The Murder of Pamela George:

  • Her body and identity of being an Aboriginal, woman and a Prostitute constitutes her as the gendered and racialized “other”

  • Masculinity reinforced through violence towards women

    Cite examples how this is achieved

  • Class is also implicated in the discriminatory attitude meted towards her

    Cite examples how this is achieved

Violence: Through the lens of Colonialism and Imperialism in Aboriginal Context

  • Murder of Pamela is an enactment of the colonial violence experienced by Aboriginal people in the hands of the White settlers since the 19th century

  • Domination achieved through sexual violence

  • Objectifying Aboriginal women as “licentious and dehumanized squaw” and justifying mass rape, sexual assault of the racial/gendered “other”

Violence: Through the lens of Colonialism and Imperialism in the African Context

  • Widespread violence and degradation of African women: Rape, sexual violence, prostitution and concubinage.

  • Exclusion of women from all administrative and political structures and waged economy

  • Domestication based on Bourgeoisie Victorian Ideology

    Discuss the necessity for the introduction of this ideology

    How did it affect African women?

Violence: Through the lens of Colonialism and Imperialism in the Indian Context

Body and Identity of a Prostitute:

  • ‘saving bodies’ were middle class and white; the ‘suffering bodies’ working class or black and colonial women

    Eg. Victorian women’s campaigns against prostitution in India

  • demonstrate the need for White women’s involvement in the politics of empire

  • the ‘suffering body’ of the Indian prostitute became that of all Indian women and stood for the condition of India as a whole

  • The ‘suffering body’ as metaphor for India established it unequivocally as backward and in need of “rule”

Violence: In the neo-colonial settings

  • Spatial Practices of cordoning off the racial poor

  • High rates of migration

  • Lack of social acceptance and access to social services and networks

  • High suicide rates

  • High orientation towards jobs as prostitutes, thereby encountering more violence on the streets

  • Lack of justice for Aboriginal women and men

    Thus native women are consistently caught up in the “ongoing displacement, relocation and search for a safe place”.

Question:Are there typical spaces of violence and if yes what are those spaces and how are they created?

Violence: In the neo-colonial settings in Africa

  • Anti-colonial movements remained significantly gendered

  • Creating “new women” vis a vis “traditional women

  • Devaluing women’s economic contribution

  • Presence of sexual and coercive control, domestic violence, military violence over women in some countries

Question:What measures can be taken by women and feminist groups to fight violence against women?Whether State and it’s law enforcing tools can be effective measures for controlling such violence as prostitution?

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