Ending violence towards ladies – Well being and Life-style
By Henrylito D. Tacio
“Sexual violence against women and girls is rooted in centuries of male rule. Let’s not forget that the gender inequalities that fuel the rape culture are essentially a matter of power imbalances. “- UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres
In the controversial film Loretta, the woman cuts off her husband’s masculinity when she could no longer bear the pain he had caused her. In another film, Ika-11 na Utos: Mahalin Mo ang Iyong Asawa, Aiko Melendez played an abused woman for the abusive husband Gabby Concepcion.
These films come to mind as the Philippines and the world celebrate International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (VAW) on November 25th. This has been observed since 2000 in an effort to increase awareness of the issue every year.
“Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today. Due to the impunity, silence, stigma and shame that it entails, it is largely unreported,” the United Nations said on their website un. org.
Cate Johnson agrees. “Violence against women extends across social and economic situations and is deeply embedded in cultures around the world – so much so that millions of women see it as a way of life,” she writes in Violence Against Women: A Question of Human Rights.
The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (1993) defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results or is likely to result in physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including the threat posed by women to such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether in public or private life. “
However, the United Nations Declaration makes it clear that the definition of violence against women should include, but is not limited to, physical, sexual and psychological acts of violence in the family and in the community. These acts include spousal abuse, sexual abuse of female children, dowry-related violence, rape including marital rape, and traditional practices harmful to women such as B. female genital mutilation. This also includes illegitimate violence, sexual harassment and intimidation at work and in school, trafficking in women, forced prostitution and violence committed or tolerated by the state such as rape in war.
Republic Act 9262, popularly known as the Law Against Violence Against Women and Their Children, was passed in 2004 in the Philippines. It expanded the definition of abuse to include physical, emotional, and economic harm. It also made violence by an intimate partner (anyone with whom a woman has a sexual relationship) a public crime, and enabled anyone – not just the victim – to bring proceedings against an offender.
At least one in three women around the world has been beaten, forced to have sex, or otherwise abused – mostly by someone she knows, including her husband or another male family member. So much so that violence against women is seen as a “public health priority” and a “human rights concern”.
According to UN figures, every second woman killed worldwide in 2017 was killed by her partner or family, while only one in 20 men was killed under similar circumstances. In addition, 71% of all trafficking victims worldwide are women and girls, and 3 out of 4 of these women and girls are sexually exploited.
The Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO) claims that violence against women has serious consequences for their physical and mental health. It should be noted that abused women are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, psychosomatic symptoms, eating disorders, and sexual dysfunction.
Illustrations courtesy of UN Women
Violence can affect women’s reproductive health through unplanned pregnancies. Triggering various gynecological problems, including chronic pelvic pain and painful intercourse; the increase in sexual risk in adolescents; and the transmission of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV / AIDS.
Since the adoption of RA 9262 in the Philippines, the number of VAW cases has steadily increased. One in four Filipino women aged 15 to 49 have experienced physical, emotional, or sexual violence from their husband or partner, according to the 2017 National Demographics and Health Survey conducted by the Philippine Bureau of Statistics.
“Indeed, it is alarming that despite efforts to address the problem, VAW continues to exist,” said the Philippine Women Commission (PCW), adding that VAW was “one of the most pervasive social problems in the country.”
There are several reasons why VAW, despite its prevalence, continues to be neglected. “Some of the realities that add to the vulnerability of Filipino women to VAW have been accused of being ‘complainers’ or neglect of their duties as wives, which is why their spouses beat them or rapes them for their ‘flirtatious’ ways.” PCW writes on its website pcw.gov.ph. “In some cases, the sexual harassment submission will be interpreted by your employer as malicious in relation to the appreciation of your good looks.”
Illustrations courtesy of UN Women
There is even a bigger problem: “The lack of specific information to show the extent of VAW in the county, as many cases of violence against women are often not reported due to the victims'” culture of silence “.”
“Many of the victims are ashamed to share their experiences, while others reject their ordeal due to their lack of trust in the country’s judicial system caused by frustrations over the lack of results in filing complaints,” the PCW stresses.
How can violence against women end with these developments? “There is too much tolerance of violence in our culture,” someone says. “Men think it’s part of being a man, women think it’s part of being in a relationship.” – ###