By Águeda Varela, Institute for Cultural Diplomacy.
Since the world is known as we know it today, women were always seen as the weakest gender and because of it there is a trace of violence in their history. Today, the world is changing and people became aware that violence against others are a violation of the basic human rights and as such being the women and girls the most abused by their families, husbands or even people from the same social group, it is essential to fight against it and to create ways to help them to be and feel safe.
However, there are special circumstances to have in account when talking about violence against women and girls. Sometimes it’s not a matter of free violence, but a question of culture or tradition in a specific region, village, religion or ethnic group. And when this happens the responsible ones are usually protected against any kind of punishment, but also when it’s a case of free violence there aren’t many tools to penalize the perpetrators or to protect the victims.
Following this basic assumption, the United Nations launched a campaign called UNiTE to End Violence against Women which have five main goals to achieve in each continent by the end of 2015:
“Goal 1: Adopt and enforce national laws to address and punish all forms of violence against women and girls
Goal 2: Adopt and implement multi-sectoral national action plans
Goal 3: Strengthen data collection on the prevalence of violence against women and girls
Goal 4: Increase public awareness and social mobilization
Goal 5: Address sexual violence in conflict”.
And to put a success sign in all of them, the UN pretend to influence laws and policies in the countries, especially the ones where there is a higher percentage of violence and none or very few laws that protect the victims and punish the perpetrators; to mobilize people through local, national and international campaigns and events where the information and the awareness is spread; and by doing partnership with other organizations, governments and international bodies that have ways to get to the people.
In a world that grows in two velocities according with the economic area, there are also two opposite realities when we speak about the woman of today: in one hand we have the independent woman who is achieving her place in the business world competing side by side with men (almost with the same opportunities) and on the other we have the woman who is still viewed as an inferior human being who doesn’t have a word to say in a man’s world and who is treated with violence just because someone else decided it was the right thing to do.
Center for Cultural Diplomacy Studies Publication
Institute for Cultural Diplomacy