Eid came upon us and just as we were about to make the best of it, an unforgiving barrage of very depressing news regarding numerous women made the rounds on Twitter, more like – broke Twitter. Much as I tried to stay away, I couldn’t. And why should I? Not because I didn’t care, but like many of us, another day, another woman had made us dread the inevitable.
This Is An Emergency & We Need To Take Action NOW!
Here is what we must wake up to as the #JusticeForNoor hashtag and the names of many other women trend on Twitter.
1. Domestic Violence Is Perpetrated On Women By Their Male Partners
It is in the way they have been brought up by society to view women. Men treat women as their property, that too, in intensely disrespectful, violent, life-threatening (that is a euphemism) ways. According to the following study: 97% of domestic violence perpetrators are men who have a female partner.
2. Over 25% Women In relationships Have Experienced Violence At One Time Or Another
Over a quarter of women aged15-49 years who have been in a relationship have been subjected to physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner at least once in their lifetime (since age 15). The prevalence estimates around 33% in the WHO South-East Asia region. Source: WHO
3. The Domestic Abuse Can Lead To Fatal Injuries More Often Than We Think, Yes, We’re Talking Death
Globally as many as 38% of all murders of women are committed by intimate partners. Source: WHO
Not just that, but lockdowns & pandemics have increased vulnerability for women, who are subjected to an increase on domestic abuse and often have no support system or safety net to turn to.
4. Factors Associated With Domestic Partner Violence May Include Some Of The Following
- a history of exposure to child maltreatment (perpetration and experience);
- witnessing family violence (perpetration and experience);
- antisocial personality disorder (perpetration);
- harmful use of alcohol (perpetration and experience);
- community norms that privilege or ascribe higher status to men and lower status to women;
- low level of gender equality (discriminatory laws, etc.).
- beliefs in family honour and sexual purity;
- weak legal & justice system for partner violence.
5. Impact On Children
Children growing up in families where there is violence may suffer a range of behavioural and emotional disturbances. These can also be associated with perpetrating or experiencing violence later in life. Source: WHO
Change Begins At Home
A quick skim through of the 5 pointers above will show ONE stand out element that we can change in our homes, and that is – parenting. While we might not be able to change the legal system, social mindsets and a patriarchy that believes in privilege, that fears the power of a woman, we CAN change the way we bring up our sons.
1. Teach Your Sons By Setting Examples
Do not let them witness a relationship where either partner is abusive to the other, this, in effect, means standing up for your own rights first – because that is when your daughter will know that she must stand up for hers, and that is when your son will know, that she won’t take it.
2. Put A Stop To Toxic Masculinity
Secondly, to the parents of sons. Do not accept a show of masculinity as a sign of power, or the ability to attract women as a ‘SKILL’ to flaunt. Women are not prizes to be won, neither are they animals to be herded and taught to obey.
3. Be The Strong Woman You Are & Demand Respect
A caring husband & father can change the way our sons treat their families and help our daughters KNOW what to expect from a healthy relationship. Abuse is never okay. And a strong wife & mother can teach her daughters & sons to respect themselves first, for only then, will they get respect from others.
Yes. Change begins at home and it is possible. It’s high time we start holding those around us accountable and help reform their mindsets towards women. Only by working in tandem, will we be able to create a society safe enough for all. I sign off now, hoping the message is not lost till the next Justice For hashtag trends on Twitter!