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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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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 • War rape, ethnic cleansing, mass rape as a policy of war • Massacres Mass murders of women because they are women • Gang rape Gang rape to regulate women’s behavior • Cultural violence Porn, movies, TV, magazines, pop music • Structural violence Threats 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 harassment At work, school, churches, boarding schools • Battering By spouse, children, grandkids, caregivers • Child abuse Battering and sexual abuse • Gender-based murder E.g., dowry deaths • Medical violence E.g., abortion of female fetuses • Massacres and terrorism Terrorist 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?