Gender-based violence towards women and girls continues to be one of the most pervasive human rights violations in the world. Millions of women and girls are trafficked in modern-day slavery. Up to 70 percent of women in some countries face physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime. One in three girls in developing countries are victims of child marriages. Some 140 million girls and women have suffered female genital mutilation*.
Violence towards women and girls is fuelled by unfavorable social norms, narrow traditional narratives, gender inequality, gender-based discrimination, and stereotypical and/or harmful portrayals of gendered roles. It is one of the least prosecuted crimes. It disrupts the health, safety, productivity and overall well-being of women and girls on a long-term basis– impeding the realization of their rights and contribution to society at large. It also adversely affects communities, nations and societies endangering public well-being, peace and security, health and safety, education and law enforcement.
Women and children affected by violence can suffer lifetime effects and pass on the repercussions from generation to generation. Children who have been subjected to violence are more likely to become victims or abusers themselves, according to studies.
Women and children have the right to live in a society free of violence, where their human rights are protected. There are laws prohibiting violence against women in 160 nations now. However, enforcement is inadequate. To effectively respond to this violence, communities and societies must collaborate. community mobilization to prevent violence against women and girls is very important. As citizens, we all should work together on the ground to root out gender-based violence. Individual and collective efforts can make a huge difference in the following ways:
Gender-based violence can be stopped and prevented with the right interventions at the right time. We can make a systematic change by being aware and using available safety tools and matrix provided by our family and civic society. A systematic education to be able to identify abusive behaviour and victims to take actionable measures should be advocated. It is critical that we collectively invest in these measures for a societal transformation to allow women and girls to live a safe and respectful life, without any bias.