Violence Against WomenAn International Comparative Analysis Group Presentation
Violence Against Women An International Comparative Analysis • International Studies and Statistics • International Policy: • USA • Africa • Europe • Middle East
Violence Against Women International Interest • 1993 Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women of the United Nations General Assembly • Acceptance of gender-based violence as a threat to women’s health and human rights was formalized when 189 governments signed on to the Platform for Action of the 1995 United Nations’ Beijing World Conference on Women.
Violence Against Women International Studies • 2004 US Agency for International Development Study Profiling Domestic Violence a Multi Country (9) Study • Emotional, Physical and Sexual Abuse • Effect of household decision making • Effect of health issues: • Weight • Reproductive Health • Child Immunization and Mortality
Violence Against Women USAID DHS Study
Violence Against Women USAID DHS Study
Violence Against Women International Studies • 2005 World Health Organization Study Violence against women as a limited social problem versus a human rights issue and public health policy issue
Violence Against Women 2005 WHO Report Findings
Violence Against Women 2005 WHO Report Findings
Violence Against Women 2005 WHO Report Recommendations • Promote gender equality and women’s human rights • Governments should view violence against women as a public health problem • Enlist social, political and religious leaders to speak out • Make school safe for girls – protect women’s physical environments • Use reproductive health services as entry points for identifying women who are abused • Sensitize legal and justice systems to the needs of women who experience violence • Fund research and programs
Violence Against Women USA Prevalence • 2000 CDC National Violence Against Women Survey • 17.6 percent of all women surveyed who said they had been the victim of a completed or attempted rape at some time in their life • 22.1 percent of surveyed women, compared with 7.4 percent of surveyed men, reported they were physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner, boyfriend or girlfriend, or date in their lifetime • Hispanic women less likely to report rape than non-Hispanic women
Violence Against Women 2000 CDC National VAW Survey
Violence Against Women USA Policy • 1994 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) • Collaboration between social services agencies, legal system, and non profits • Funding to domestic abuse counseling agencies and rape crisis centers • Funding for Emergency Contraception • Immigrant issues • 2005: increased funding for legal services, expansion of immigrant rules • Rape, sexual assault down by 60% since 1993 (RAINN)
Violence Against Women USA Policy • 2007 International VAWA • Addresses gender-based violence in its many forms: rape, domestic violence, sexual violence, genital mutilation, forced and child marriage, "honor" killings, dowry related violence and human trafficking • Would create a new Office for Women's Global Initiatives at the State Department • An annual funding stream of $175 million to support coordinated programs in the areas of legal reform, health care, economic empowerment, educational opportunities and public awareness for 10 to 20 countries http://www.capwiz.com/now/issues/alert/?alertid=10947751
Violence Against Women USA Policy • 2007 Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act Legislation • Failed in 2007 • Would include violence committed based on gender or the person’s perceived gender, sexual orientation or gender identity • Addresses the impact of violence against women on the community and women’s perception of safety
Violence Against Women Africa • South African women are the most likely to be murdered by their partners - one women dies every 12 hours according to a study from the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (Ellis, 2004). South Africa has an ‘‘intimate femicide’’ rate six times higher than the USA or Canada. • In parts of Africa female genital mutilation is still a barbaric cultural practice. Among the Somali community in Kenya, 97% of the women are mutilated as a tool to control female sexual desire (Sheikh, 2006). • A study of 1395 pregnant women in antenatal care in Soweto, South Africa, indicated those who have experienced violence from intimate partners have a 50% higher risk of being infected with HIV (Dunkle et al., 2003). These male partners are more likely to be infected due to specific aspects of their behavior, such as multiple partners.
Violence Against Women Africa • In Darfur, one of the most serious consequences of security is the increased incidence of rape and physical assault upon women. The desperate nature of the situation was evidenced by an extraordinary joint statement made by more than 300 women in Kalma IDP camp, South Dar fur , in early August , pleading for greater protection from the outside world to help ease their plight. • The predictability of the at tacks has forced the AU to under take firewood patrols, in order to reduce the risk to women who go out side the camps to gather wood. According to a recent report on firewood collect ion in both Darfur and neighboring Ethiopia, “ difficult household decisions have been made that select the least - risk strategy--better to risk (a woman or girl) being raped than (a manor boy) being killed.
Violence Against Women Africa • Government of Sudan reaction and policies. • Amnesty International reaction. • Liberian reaction and policies.
Violence Against Women Africa • NPR Film (Ethiopian Child Brides) • www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6907000&sc=emaf
Violence Against Women Russia • There is no special action plan for combating violence against women. The National Action Plan for Gender Equality adopted by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development in 2004 had no results. WHY? • The Department on Social Policy, Family & Women of the newly founded Ministry of Health and Social Development of Russia has become the tool of addressing women’s issues instead of the National Action Plan for Gender Equality. The Department has been focused mainly on social issues. Domestic violence being a form of violence against women is viewed as a social issue, not an issue related to the field of human rights. • There is no specialized budget earmarked in state and municipality budgets for the fight against violence against women or its different forms. There are no funds for combating violence against women in the central budget of law enforcement authorities, either. Funds might be allocated for implementing social programs on the local level. • There is no yearly amount from the state for the support of NGO’s(Non governmental Organization) working in the field of violence against women specifically. State support is occasionally provided through short-term small grants. NGOs are provided with grants if they participate in joint projects with governmental institutions.
Violence Against Women Russia • The Russian Federation is a participant in international and regional human rights treaties, all of which require the government of the Russian Federation to protect, respect and fulfill the human rights of those under its jurisdiction. The Russian Federation has ratified The Convention on theElimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and its Optional Protocol. • The main concerns of the CEDAW Committee presented at the 26th Session, January 14 – February 1, 2002 are the following: the high scale of domestic violence, particularly of murders of women in the result of domestic violence; attitudes of law enforcement agencies to domestic violence as to a private matter, not a crime; lack of effective governmental measures on combating violence against women; lack of domestic violence law in the Russian Federation; high scales of sexual violence in prisons and in war conflict in Chechnya; increasing number of trafficked women and girls from Russia and to Russia.
Violence Against Women Russia • Violence against women, particularly domestic violence, is not recognized by criminal law as a separate offence. The Criminal Code of the Russian Federation is gender neutral; it does not have specific definition of violence against women or any of its forms. • Cases of domestic violence against women are often considered by law enforcement officials as part of “violence in the private sphere”. The only way to protect a victim and to punish a batterer through criminal procedures is referring to the articles of the criminal law on bodily injuries or other crimes. • The severe cases of domestic violence under Article 117 (torture, the causing of physical or mental suffering by means of the systematic infliction of beatings or other forcible actions) are also the cases of ex officio prosecution. • As for the other VAW cases, such as domestic violence (if these are not the cases of systematic severe beating)and sexual harassment, the victim’s request to start the procedure is necessary much like former US policies.
Violence Against Women Russia • The main profile of the NGOs dealing with VAW in the Russian Federation is counseling women suffering from different forms of violence on a hotline / face-to-face; providing women with legal assistance (according to her request); support groups for women suffering from violence; public awareness activities. The source of funding for NGOs is mainly international foundations. The proportion of state support is occasional through short-term small grants. • There are only seven state-run special shelters for the victims of violence in the Russian Federation; besides, there are fifteen state run crisis centers with some shelter facilities. • These shelters are for victims of domestic violence and for victims of trafficking; they are run by city governments; they cooperate with police and social services. • In the regions of Russia where special shelters are missing, there are no other possibilities for the placements of the victims. • There are no special services available for immigrant women in Russia.
Violence Against Women Russia What is being Done? • There are over 150 NGOs and governmental agencies dealing with violence against women within the Information Network of ANNA National Center for the Prevention of Violence. Most of them have hotlines. NGO hotlines work on a voluntary basis, and they are free of charge for survivors. All counselors acquired specific skills and knowledge for crisis counseling in the course of the training. • In the past five years the first major opinion poll on domestic violence was carried out by the Council for Women of Moscow State University in the Russian Federation (2002-2003). It was funded by the Gorbachev Foundation, a Russian non-governmental organization. The survey was carried out in cities and villages in the seven regions of the Russian Federation. The research showed that an overwhelming number of the women interviewed were victims of violence and were living in fear and despair as a result.
Violence Against Women Russia • The collapse and instability of Russian Economy most particularly of the Soviet Union has led to political, economic, and social challenges for most Russians. • Domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment and human trafficking are serious problems in contemporary Russia. • There are several Russian national laws which guarantee gender equality. For example, Article 19 of the Russian Constitution guarantees equality between the women and men. • However, there is no specialized government body with the authority and resources to ensure equality. The governmental multi-agency commission on domestic violence, sexual violence and trafficking that was working under the Ministry for Internal Affairs ceased to exist in 2005. • There are several institutions established to address women’s human rights in Russia, such as the Committee on Women, Family and Youth of the State Duma (Parliament), and the Interagency Commission on Equality between Men and Women.
Violence Against Women Middle Eastern Countries • In Middle Eastern Countries women are systematically denied human rights. • In Middle Eastern Countries women have a subordinate status compared to their male counterparts. • Women are legally denied “full personhood” and equal participation and protection within society.
Violence Against Women Middle Eastern Countries • Domestic Violence in Middle Eastern Countries are considered to be a family matter. • Family matters are often governed by religious based codes and not legal codes. • Within the religious constraints women are treated as legal minors of the male family member.
Violence Against Women Middle Eastern Countries • Police often tell the women to return home when they attempt to file a complaint. • There are few shelters for abused women who attempt to flee. (Documentation can be filed at the Air Port to prevent women from flying). • Spousal rape has NOT been criminalized. • Males have a right to their wives body at any time. • Penal codes within some of the Middle Eastern Countries give judges the right to drop charges against a rapist if he agrees to marry his victim.
Violence Against Women Middle Eastern Countries • The decision making in the homes are reserved only for the male. • The male by law is the “head of the household.” • Family courts in the Middle Eastern Countries reinforce the notion that males are the “head of the household”. • Women in Middle Eastern Countries are not allowed to freely divorce their spouses. • In Lebanon, battered women can not file for divorce on the basis of domestic violence without an eyewitness. (A medical Certificate is not enough proof) • In other countries women may be allowed to divorce their spouse, ……….
Violence Against Women Middle Eastern Countries • But have to essentially buy their freedom. • The women have to forfeit any rights to the couple’s finances and must repay dowries. • In Bahrain, family law is not codified. (Judges have the right to deny custody to children for any reason).
Violence Against Women Middle Eastern Countries • Since the war in Iraq professional women have become the target of insurgents. • Insurgents have also targeted women for socializing with men, dancing, and not wearing proper head wrap. • Under Iraq’s new constitution women were granted the right to transfer citizenship to their children.
Violence Against Women Middle Eastern Countries • However, the Iraqi constitution did not guarantee women equal rights within the family. • Many women activist feels as though the new constitution will cause women to lose rights granted under the 1959 Civil Family Law. (women could lose the right to chose their husbands, guardianship, & inheritance)
Violence Against Women Middle Eastern Countries U.S. Commitment to Women in the Middle East • "Here in the Middle East, that same long hopeful process of democratic change is now beginning to unfold.. Millions of people are demanding freedom for themselves and democracy for their countries. …There are those who say that democracy is for men alone. In fact, the opposite is true: Half a democracy is not a democracy. As one Muslim woman leader has said, 'Society is like a bird. It has two wings. And a bird cannot fly if one wing is broken.'" – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, June 20, 2005 in Cairo, Egypt
Violence Against Women Middle Eastern Countries • In December of 2002 President Bush launched the Middle East Partnership Initiative. • Under MEPI several programs were developed to support women in Middle Eastern Countries. • Women in Middle Eastern Countries are extremely vulnerable to violence because of religious based codes that make women property of men. That idealization supports the notion that a person can treat their property as they chose. • A separation of church and state are not seen in cases of violence against women.
Violence Against Women References • USAID Profiling Domestic Violence – A Multi Country Study http://www.measuredhs.com/pubs/pdf/OD31/OD31.pdf • WHO Multi-country Study on Women's Health and Domestic Violence Against Women, 2005 http://www.who.int/gender/violence/who_multicountry_study/summary_report/summary_report_English2.pdf • Conyers, J. (2007). The 2005 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Violence Against Women, 13 (5), 457-468. • Cho, H, Wilke, D. (2005). How has the Violence Against Women Act effected the response of the criminal justice system to domestic violence? Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 25(4), 125-138. • 2000 CDC National Violence Against Women Survey http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/183781.pdf • 2004 Source: National Statistics Headquarters: http://www.gks.ru/freedoc/2006b0611/05-03-1.htm • Periodic Report of the Russian Federation, 26th session, 14 January-1 February 2002, CEDAW/C/2002/I/CRP.3/Add.3, at paragraph 37