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25th of November – International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Abid Hussain Rather

Every year 25th of November is celebrated as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The celebration of this day is based on 25th of November 1960 when Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo ordered for the assassination of the three Mirbal sisters who were struggling against his dictatorship. From 1981, people struggling for the rights of women started celebrating this day as Elimination of Violence against Women. On December 17, 1999, the date received its official United Nations resolution. The main aim of celebrating this day is to raise awareness about the physical, mental and other forms of violence against feminine gender; providing every kind of security to them against this abuse and struggling for their rights. Celebrations start for sixteen days known as “16 Day of Activism” which end on 10th of December marking the World Day for Human Rights. It is ironical that despite this world wide movement women in different parts of the globe are subjected to different kinds of violence and unfortunately most of them are unable to raise their voice against the violence they are facing and remain silent. As per the reports of United Nations, 33% women in world and 12-15% women in Europe are daily subjected to physical and mental violence while as one among every three women in world has to face physical or mental violence at least once in her life. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1820 declares sexual violence of women as a serious crime against humanity however there are many countries in the world where people committing this crime escape from punishment in one way or the other. Myanmar is one among such countries where there is no investigation in the cases in which security forces are involved with the sexual violence of women belonging to ethnic minorities. According to Hseng Nouong Linter ( who is a worker of SWAN organization which has been set up to help the women involved in sexual violence in Myanmar almost seventeen years ago), the members of military government set up in Myanmar are involved in the cases of human rights violation on a daily basis and are involved in sexual violence against women under a planned strategy. Because when the female of any family suffers from sexual violence, they leave that very place and try to settle somewhere else. In this way the Myanmar military is forcing the ethnic minorities to vacate their places. According to the reports of SWAN (Shan Women’s Action Network), within a period of six years there have been almost 625 cases of sexual violence against women with solid evidences. The report further declares that there are uncountable number of women in the country who are unsafe. United Nations Commission on the Status of Women wails every year for the physical violence against women, gender inequality and their exploitation in every part of the world. Every year the occasion is marked with the organization of strained conferences in the majestic five star hotels, publication of colored appendixes in daily newspapers, otiose discussions in symposia and conferences and passing of new resolutions. When we check the ground realities, we find that all these things have become just result less narrations and mere customs and the violence against women is increasing with every passing day.
Deceit of Women’s Freedom – A Violence
In the modern times, woman across the world especially in America, Europe and other industrial countries is treated as a fallen creature which is merely used as an agent for selling and purchasing of commercial items and an important and indivisible part of advertisement companies. The scene is worse in some countries where she is undressed and her body is permissible as a commercial item. Men have made her a playing toy by their self made laws. In the contemporary times, women have started working shoulder to shoulder with men. They work as receptionists in hotels, air hostesses in aero planes, singers and actresses in theatres and announcers at different media platforms where they become the cynosure of lustful eyes because of their comeliness, fascinating elegance and melodious voice. Their poignant naked pictures are used as a source of marketing for obscene and pornographic magazines and books. Traders and industrial companies print their semi naked pictures on the packets of their commercial items and advertisement banners to thrive their business. It is known fact to everyone how women are toyed in the selective phases of Miss World, Miss Universe and Miss Earth titles. Nudity of women is exhibited in movies and serials in the name of acting and stardom. If all this is freedom, honor, prestige and reverence of women and providing them their rights then humanity needs reconsideration and recension of the parameters of freedom, honor and respect for women. Let’s not forget the fact that this state of affair continues as long a woman is young and her body pleases the people. Once she crosses the stage of her beauty and remains no more attractive for men, her price decreases in the market and her demand becomes low. The society starts running away from her and she is hurtled everywhere. She now has to live the life of loneliness in her home or in some mental asylum as she becomes burden for everyone. She becomes stranger where she was once a lodestar. She is misemployed in her youth and thrown away later like a tissue paper. This is the harsh reality of modern freedom of women and its final results. This is the real violence against women in the name of their freedom and equality which needs alacritous rescindment.
Violence against women will continue as long as they will be treated as dalliance items. If we really want to curb the violence against women then our duty doesn’t end at mere celebration of this day. Celebration of this day is just a training course and the real task lies ahead. We need to be practical and give them equal respect and honor as their counterparts. They are part and parcel of our society and not toys for recreation. Celebrations, speeches, seminars and enacting of new government laws regarding violence against women are all least effective unless and until every individual of society makes conscientious efforts to eradicate this menace.

(The author is a columnist and teaches Geography at GDC, Kulgam. He can be reached at [email protected])