International Day Against Violence Against Women

A reminder to everyone that the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence begins today.

Violence against women is something that cuts across all ages, nationalities, religions and cultures. Most of us have either experienced violence or know someone who has but still there remains a SILENCE around violence against women mainly because it more often takes place in the domestic sphere. I spoke about my own experience here

One fundamental problem is that because gender based violence is so common across the world that it has been “normalised” – through actions, language, imagery, pornography – and it is this “normalisation” that has to be broken. I spoke of my own personal experience of domestic violence. But the violence didn’t start there. I have had a life time of it from my child hood, of sexual harassment – touching, misogynist language, presumptions, jokes, looks, homophobia – it becomes a constant battle not to internalise the abuse. As a teenager I used to think it must be my fault – I am to sexual and that’s why this is happening. There was also the added racial element which expressed itself differently depending on whether in Africa or in the West. I did not know where to turn or how to deal with any of this. All of us girls were experiencing similar abuse. With my father acting like a prison guard when it came to boys/men, I was way too scared to talk to my parents about it – even too my mother. The strict environment left no doors open in which to try to discuss this with family members for fear of being grounded to the house. Looking back I probably thought it was normal – we girls and women are the one’s responsible for arousing men who then cannot help themselves. Unfortunately much of society still believes and accept this ridiculous explanation for acts of violence against women.

All our denials – women, men, parents, families, communities – will certainly not protect us. On the contrary it sustains and even encourages acts of violence against women………Continue

Estimates are one in three women have experienced beatings and or sexual abuse. Violence against women

It is a scourge that preys on women and girls of ALL nations, of ALL cultures. It is gender-based violence – and it continues to grow, encouraged by the silence surrounding the issue and excused by reference to cultural norms. At the dawn of the 21st Century it is a very negative reflection of global society that violence against women is increasing throughout the world. Gender-based violence is the social, psychological and economic subordination of women and occurs in ALL societies. Violence against women is a complex phenomenon deeply rooted in the way society is composed – cultural beliefs, power relations, economic power imbalances, and the masculine ideal of male dominance

The 16 days will run from November 25th to December 10th and will incorporate the following:

November 25th: The International Day Against Violence Against Women
November 29th: International Women Human Rights Defenders Day
December 1st: World Aids Day
December 10th: International Human Rights Day

Local actions are taking place across the world

Carnival Against Violence Against Women

To participate please fill in the Carnival form or email me at info at blacklooks dot org with the link to your post before December 6th. The post can be anything from a personal story, images, thoughts, a link anything that highlights and informs violence against women.

This year’s theme is “Demanding Implementation, Challenging Obstacles: End Violence Against Women”

Links: Gender Violence on Black Looks