International Day for The Elimination of Violence Agaisnt Women 2015

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This year, with a slew of new activities planned, November 25 will again be the day the world and its leaders unite to observe the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
In fact, since 1981 activists around the world have made this day one to combat and raise awareness of violence against women. Last year, social media users, many Guyanese included, took social media websites like Facebook by storm, proudly displaying orange profile pictures. The United Nation’s Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign had called all to “orange” their neighbourhood. The colour, they said, symbolized a brighter future without violence.
This was even as numbers showed that 1 in 3 women have experienced physical or sexual violence, mostly by an intimate partner; about 120 million girls have been forced into intercourse or other sexual acts at some point in their lives; and 133 million women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation.
Ending violence against women has been made a key priority. Violence is one of the main mechanisms denying women equality, and it imposes high social, health and economic costs.
It has been emphasised time and time again that violence against women is a human rights violation and it is a consequence of discrimination against women, in law and also in practice, and of persisting inequalities between men and women. It impacts on, and impedes progress in many areas, including poverty eradication, combating HIV/AIDS, and peace and security.
The costs and consequence of violence against women last for generations. Guyana has a strong and robust legislative and policy framework for the protection of women yet the number of women who suffer at the hands of abusers continue to rise.
Sadly, at least 22 women have been killed brutally this year; some have been shot, others hacked, beheaded, burnt, strangled and even raped before their lives were snuffed from them.
The Guyana Constitution along with several international treaties, including the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and other pieces of legislation such as the Domestic Violence Act (1996) and the Sexual Offences Act (2010) enshrines the rights of women.
Guyanese leaders have highlighted that the elimination of gender-based violence is an important issue that transcends all barriers including race, politics, culture or geographic location. It is seen as one of the greatest obstacles which can have a significant effect on the advancement of women.
Violence, in whatever form it takes, is repugnant to human life and freedom, and there is nothing remotely excusable about violence against women.
The leaders have also advocated for men to indicate that they are supportive of women. It is believed that change begins with men of honour speaking out, to let perpetrators know that violent attitudes and negative behaviour against women are unacceptable in any circumstance.
They have stressed the importance of women having a right to grow up in an environment that is free from violence, neglect, and exploitation.

Article Categories:
Columns · Issue 20 · Psychological · Publication · Social Issues

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