Yesterday, (25.11.14) was chosen as the day to eliminate violence against women.
Violence against women is a violation against human rights as universally recognized in the United Nations charter against human rights violation.
This day is chosen to mark the violent death of three Dominican sisters campaigning to end the country’s dictatorship rule back in 1990.
Violence against women is not just physical violence but could take many forms.
List below are some form of less conspicuous violence that happened in our midst :
1. Intimate partner violence such as coercion for sex, even the woman is the domestic partner
2. Psychological and emotional violence such as stalking.
3. Female circumcision.
4. Rape as a weapon of war
Why violence against women cannot be tolerated in our modern society today
The psychological consequence of violence against women has far reaching ramification on the individual been violated.
Studies after studies on the psychoanalytical basis have conclusively found that the women been violated suffered deep emotional damage that could last a lifetime. Such cruelty against a fellow human being should never be tolerated in any civil society and should be vigorously condemned.
Amongst the long term damage a woman sustained is post- traumatic stress syndrome or more commonly known as PTSD with it comorbid emotional damage such as depression, anxiety and phobia.
Such emotional damages could render a person susceptible to even graver consequences such as ill mental health. Poor mental health is among the main cause of work disability today that is silent because very few people can notice the symptom in another person. The campaign to eliminate violence against women takes to a greater momentum due to many of such psychological findings that has been unraveling on human behavior breaking into new grounds in our universities today. Such research finds are concomitant to that of child abuse, another issue that the United Nations is taking a serious view.
The violence against women should be highlighted by our media
Such affront against humanity would still shrouded in obscurity if not for a few brave individual who dare to expose it and talk about it in the media, thus taking the issue to a new dimension hitherto taboo in many traditional societies.
By taking the issue to the media and highlighting it wrong has change many traditional perceptions concerning this issue. Many people of bygone age treated the issue of domestic partner violence as a family internal issue and refuse to broach about it. Changing their mindset and awareness that it is not only a human right issue but a criminal one and having high profile individuals speaking out against it in the media help to break many old mole that still dominate our consciousness.
In Malaysia, the appointment to a cabinet level of a minister overseeing the aspect of women affairs has help to underline the importance of women as part of our society. The minister should come forward to speak more of violence against women in conjunction with other international initiatives such as those of the United Nations.
The advent of the internet and the purveying of information has help tremendously to re-educate the public especially those still held in the patriarchal setting in the rural areas and hinterland.
There are still some people who quipped that old mole cannot be dispelled. The massive campaign to eliminate violence against women for the past decade had changed tremendously the old mind set prevalent a generation ago. The print media in conjunction with other channels of public communication have dispelled a lot of such old mind set. They have help to reorient many public perception of taboo. Women who have sustained violence themselves should come forward to speak out against it in the media. This would help to create a virtual cycle of public education on this pressing issue. The momentum is well gaining speed and should be maintained.
One such woman is Malala Yousafzay, the winner of this year Nobel Prize for Peace. The Noble committee specifically chooses her for this year Nobel Peace Prize to highlight the international detest against violation of women. She was shot in the head by the Taliban for campaigning for the right of education for children, especially women.
Other high profile case of violence is that the recent NFL player Ray Rice assault against his fiancée was suspended for the national league. Such a move to suspend a star player who enjoyed high publicity has help to educate the general public on domestic partner violence. In former times, it would just be another domestic issue. A person’s household affair should not be intruded into his professional career. The American football league did the right thing to reorient the public consciousness that this is just another family issue.
By putting this high profile case in the public domain, the American football league, an arena where a lot of male macho and masculinity played into the minds of the young, help to educate the future generations what is wrong.
Changing old pattern of thoughts and re-educating the future generation on a hitherto hidden issue forged by old and mouldy mentality is the chief objective of today agenda. And the agenda on a global scale is to eliminate violence against women.
Keeps the momentum going and the world would be a better place for all to live in as a community in the future