It is a harmful act primarily for someone just because of belonging to a specific gender. It is based on gender inequality and especially women are the main victim. GBV is a violation of human rights providing life-threatening issues. According to an estimation, one in three women will face GBV in her life. It happens because of the power imbalance between men and men, women and women, or men and women. Time has passed, and we have seen the fire of sexual violence and exploitation increase for a woman. Collateral Repair Project began the Women’s Empowerment and Gender-Based-Violence programs are helping to understand the GBV and find the possible solution so that women access justice. FAWCO partners with CRP trying to create awareness and listen to the participants’ personal experiences so that they can increase their understanding.
Both men and women face it but women are the main victim and are vulnerable to it more. Violence against women or GBV is the term that we use interchangeably. It is important to consider that most of the GVB link with women or girls is because of the men. The Istanbul Convention, a council of Europe or convention working on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. It is acting as a benchmark for international legislation on tackling gender-based violence, frames gender-based violence, and violence against women as a gendered act. It is obviously a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination against women. The Istanbul Convention acts of gender-based violence are emphasized as resulting in ‘physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm or suffering to women that includes threats of such acts, arbitration, and deprivation of liberty. It occurs in both public and private life and women is the main victim in it.
Reason for gender-based violence:
There are no two opinions on an existing fact of a patriarchal society. Men have been sitting on the front seat for decades for ruling a weak gender, women. This superiority complex was polished or motivated by societal appreciation, or sometimes religion played its part in it. Nobody dares to question the existing system, and then we face such outcomes in the form of gender-based violence in which women are the main victim. Women are considered weak, emotional, and most notably under the leadership of men. Being a leader, a man wants to direct a woman as he wants to. And if you become disobedient or question it, GVB is the best solution for causing resistance in her pathway. This society is ruthless in promoting this inequality culture in which women are the main victim. It prevailed because of the assistance from cultural discourse. There is discrimination grooming eve starts at a very early age.
Both sexes are defined with specific gender roles, and then this inequality prevails to harm a woman and make men cruel. If you think on the ground of rationality, it seems bogus to target a person depending upon their belonging to a particular group. Because in the end, we all are humans and deserve the same fundamental rights to enjoy. But for a woman, this rule becomes blurred due to the notion that women are less than men, so it has to happen in this way to keep a balance in society. It has been seen everywhere, both in the public and private spheres. However, various other factors are responsible for it, such as poverty, lack of education, and life opportunities. The impunity for crime and abuse also contributes to and reinforces a culture of violence and discrimination based on gender. All of these factors aggregated at the time of conflict and disagreement to tear apart the families. At the extreme level, gender-based violence has become a weapon of war, intentionally directed against and aimed at terrorizing, displacing, and destroying specific communities or ethnic groups around the globe.
Factors involved in gender-based violence:
Following are some of the factors involved in GBV.
There is a lack of material security, which results in a breakdown of law and order and the presence of armed forces/groups. There is the collapse of law enforcement, justice institutions, and family, social, or community structures. In the whole scenario, women or girls are more vulnerable to becoming victims when they leave their homes for work, food, water, and firewood. Other factors include poverty, lack of education and livelihood opportunities, and inadequate access to shelter, food, water, fuel, and income. It can increase exposure to GBV, including forced prostitution or survival sex.
2-Social, cultural, or political factors:
Unfortunately, we own discriminatory social, cultural, religious laws, norms, and practices. It marginalizes women and girls and fails to respect their rights. There is a collapse of family, social and communal structures, and disrupted roles within the family. It often exposes women and girls to risk and limit coping mechanisms and avenues for protection. Lack of confidence and trust in a social or public institution that includes law enforcement and justice institutions discourages victims/survivors from seeking redress.
Where GBV got appreciation to prevail in every sector of life, our institutions are also among those criminals, airing this inequality culture. We can never face such injustice if there is proper accountability and legislation of law and order to punish them. If people do not have access to the justice institutions and mechanisms, it results in a culture of inequality for violence and abuse, especially for women. Also, the lack of adequate and affordable legal advice, representation, or adequate victim/survivor and witness protection mechanisms promotes an inequality culture. We are also lacking a legal framework, including national, traditional, customary, and religious law.
It discriminates against women and girls that ultimately fail to guarantee their rights, and exposes them to further harm and abuse. For example, national law may fail to grant an individual right (e.g., non-discrimination) and fail to criminalize certain acts such rape. They narrowly interpret them. For example, in the definition of rape, marital rape is not considered even because it is an official or legal way to exploit women and even gets appreciation as a result. In some cases, national laws are involved in criminalizing the victim, such as rape, defined as adultery, or criminalizing acts that are primarily associated with women like witchcraft or sorcery. In some cases, the victim/survivor faces harassment, abuse, and severe punishment at several places.
4- Individual factors:
Some of the personal barriers, such as threats or fear of neglect, isolation, and social separation. There is exposure to further violence at the hands of the doers, the community, or the authorities, including arrest, detention, ill-treatment, and punishment. There is a lack of information about human rights and how and where to seek remedies against those cruelties.
5- Humanitarian programming factors:
We face failure to address or prioritize GBV in assessments, strategy development, planning, and programming. It is because of the lack of information or understanding about the extent or nature of GBV. We do not have enough gender-sensitive programs, services, and facilities, including a lack of registration practices and food and non-food items distribution. The primary backlash comes from sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers, human rights, and humanitarian workers. However, some of the other challenges in it include weak links with other assistance and protection programs, lack of confidentiality, confusing reporting and referral mechanisms. The GBV committees are isolated, under-resourced are also vulnerable. Also, there is a lack of support from the wider community.
Consequences of gender-based violence:
It has a severe and long-lasting effect on the physical or mental health of the victim. In some cases, the victim faces permanent disability or death to a variety of physical, psycho-social, and health-related problems. It often destroys the survivor’s self-worth and quality of life and exposes them to further sexual or other abuse. It opens a gate for many other violations and abuse, such as the risk of being rejected by the family, excluded and ostracized by society, and even arrested, detained, and punished. Sometimes the victim is abused again on behalf of asking for justice or seeking protection.
The primary victim of GBV:
It affects both men and women of all ages or backgrounds. At first, the main target is women or girls for violence. Both of them face a different types of abuse. For example, the woman is likely to be vulnerable to domestic or sexual abuse. Still, there is the exploitation of men also for involving them in a particular social or ethnic group and to follow it. If a person separates from his family for any reason, then there is a risk of GBV. It is because he lacks access to shelter, education, and livelihood opportunities. Those victims are unaccompanied or separated children, female and child heads-of-households, boys and girls in foster families or other care arrangements. The persons with disabilities, persons in detention, working girls, girl mothers, and girls and boys born to rape victims/survivors. The one who bears the violence mainly is the victim/survivor.
The main perpetrators of GBV:
The one holding the upper position and has more power over others in the public or private sphere, practice it over others. Those responsible are to the victim/survivor, such as intimate partners, members of the (extended) family, friends, teachers, or community leaders. Some others in positions of authority like police or prison officials, and members of authority forces and groups, are frequently responsible for such acts. It is particularly in times of armed conflict, and sometimes it has also included humanitarian workers and peacekeepers.
A possible solution to the harm:
Although the mess is real so far but again, there is hope for betterment. With some checks and balances, we can cure it. Our media can play a fundamental role in it. There should be a representation of the equality culture on media so that the onlookers observe the fact and try to make it a part of life. We should educate our young generation on equality rather than the dominance of a party over another because it will only promote injustice. Our young generation is the only hope for change because if we feed them with the same stereotypical mindset, they will become even more violent than us.
Wrapping up/ conclusion:
We had a detailed discussion about gender-based violence in which women is the main victim in both public and private sphere of life. Several factors are there in promoting this inequality culture, such as physical, humanitarian, individual, etc. All of these factors exist due to the poor judiciary or legislation of laws and order. It is practiced for years and continued because nobody dared to question the existing system with the fear of facing moral, cultural, religious resistance. However, we can consider, several considerations, to rectify the mess. One of the most critical factors is educating our young generation about it and promoting an equality culture for protecting future harm. Because if not appropriately addressed, then the future may be even more alarming than that of the present. Play your best and be honest in it.
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