Violence against women is any gender-based violence that results in the infringement of women’s rights and freedom. The violence against women also leads to physical damage and also the property damage of the women engaged in violence. Violence against women occurs in a number of ways. This includes sexual harassment for instance rape, psychological abuse, economic abuse, domestic violence, sexual abuse by bosses in workplaces to gain promotions, forced marriages, emotional abuse by their legally married partners, being regarded as personal property in traditional societies, and being regarded as tools of sexual satisfaction. This act is a violation of human rights and all the stakeholders in society should take the collective responsibility of combating the violence. Women are culpable and vulnerable human beings in society in most cases and its and this puts them at the helm of the violence. They are regarded as having low status in society owing to their lower physical status, economic status, and assumed education level (French and Purdy 213). Owing to these facts, therefore, women’s rights are bound to be violated in a number of fields which include, the workplace, home, campsites, business environments, and even the farm fields.
Violence against women at home
According to traditional cultural norms women are recognized as belonging to the lower class level of the society (Bickerstaff 107). This, therefore, puts the women at risk since their efforts in agitating for the developmental agendas in society are never recognized and appreciated. Women are therefore denied their rights to access various issues in various perspectives such as education, and leadership roles. They are perceived to be weak and that their jurisdiction and service delivery should only be confined to the kitchen space. Engagement in sexual acts between the husbands and wives should be consensual, but in most cases, women are being forced into sexual practices by their husbands owing to the perception that their legal marriage to them bestows them a right to demand sex in their wives at any time as per their bodily desires. In regard to this, therefore, men treat their wives as tools of sexual satisfaction. However, this is misconstrued since the sexual practices should be consensual between the two parties to gain the intended pleasurable desires. During the expectancy period, women should be accorded the necessary assistance which includes relieving them of their duties, either domestic or external duties (Sweetman 138). However, this has never been the case since women are never relieved of their duties. They are hardly given maternity leaves and in the event where they are accorded such leaves, the duration of the leave is indeed very minimal. This causes fatigue and stress to the women which in most cases leads to miscarriage. The societal traditional norms permit the constitution of polygamous families and the siring of many children. The husbands who are the heads of the families in this case have the authority to dictate the number of children to be conceived and sired by their wives. Women, therefore, have no protest and objection towards their husbands’ decisions and therefore are obliged to accept and abide by their husbands’ decisions. This puts the health of women at risk since giving birth to many children leads to the deteriorating health of the mothers which in most cases leads to low birth weights.
Violence against women in the workplace
The employees of any working environment are answerable to their employers and even to their immediate bosses. The bosses or rather the supervising authority in most cases is discriminative and constitutes of men. The policy of recruitment and promotion in such institutions is basically constituted and awarded to the employees purely based on their performance, competence and merit. However, this is not the case in many workplaces. Notwithstanding the academic achievements and experience of the women employees, women are asked for sexual favors from their bosses to access employment by the company or to gain promotion (Bickerstaff 117). This act violates the rights of women since every individual has a right to employment and promotions into managerial levels. This act puts the lives of female employees at risk since their failure to comply with their bosses’ demands at times may lead to their termination of jobs through firing, since the bosses have the authority to hire and fire. This act contravenes the law and violates women’s rights.
In higher institutions of learning, female and male students have a right to access quality education and outstanding academic performances. The students therefore should be awarded their grades as per their performance and hard work. However, this is not the case since the course instructors who in most cases are male lecturers engage the female students in sexual abuse to award them high grades in return. This contravenes the rights of female students to access quality education. In most cases, female students are bound to give in to the demands of their course instructors to avoid the failures and retakes of such courses.
Violence against women in the society
The social and cultural practices in society promote women’s violence. Women’s genitals are regarded as tools of sexual control over women. The subjection of women to traditional cultural practices such as genital mutilation violates their rights. Female sexual harassment is prevalent in society nowadays owing to the influence of drug abuse amongst men in society. Beliefs and orientation of the society towards the traditional norms put women at the helm of suffering the undeserving social injustices. This includes forced marriages especially in setting up polygamous families. The traditional norms give room for the parents to decide on who marries their daughters with regard to their social status and the social status and wealth background of the bridegroom. This amounts to forced marriages which in most cases results in breakups owing to a lack of love and intimacy between the married couples (French and Purdy 270). The traditional norms also restrict women from owning property, taking leadership roles, and participating in matters dealing with decision-making. Men are also empowered by the traditional norms to accord severe punishment to their wives. This is against the rights of women and makes women suffer psychological torture. Women in this case are portrayed as images of negative publicity. Most domestic responsibilities are skewed towards women; these responsibilities include home-based activities such as child care, cooking, cleaning utensils, and clothes, making houses and beds, gardening, and other activities. Such responsibilities are perceived to belong to women. However, this is misconstrued and biased since every member of the household be it the husband or the son is legible and capacitated to handle such family responsibilities. The execution of the daily family routines therefore should be a collective responsibility of all members of the family. The orientation of such duties towards women violates women’s rights since women rarely get time to rest owing to such cumbersome and hefty responsibilities.
Consequences of violence against women
The violence against women has adverse effects on not only women but also the entire society at large. The violence against women leads to psychological torture and suffering to women (Sweetman 78).
Sexual harassment and domestic violence lead to the development of physical injuries by women. Some fatal injuries lead to death in most cases. Sexual harassment as a result of rape cases or sex demanded in exchange for certain favors such as grades to the female students may lead to contracting of diseases. These diseases include the deadly HIV/AIDS, gonorrhea, syphilis, and other sexually transmitted diseases. The women therefore will suffer psychological stress as a result of getting such unplanned and unexpected diseases. Some of this sexually leads to infertility in women and therefore the women’s reproduction is hampered. Rape cases lead to unwanted pregnancies which in most cases leads to family breakups as a result of misunderstandings between the concerned parties. The conception of unwanted pregnancies leads to the termination of studies amongst the young female students who fall victim to such scenarios. Upright mental health is of utmost importance to all members of society. However, women who have been sexually harassed leading to the acquisition of sexually transmitted diseases developmental stress as a result of depression. Post-traumatic stress developed by the victims leads to one’s loss of confidence especially in the handling of public matters since the victims. The victims, therefore, resort to resignations from their respective duties and responsibilities. The victims tend to feel isolated and develop some notions which make them feel regarded as images of negative publicity. The emotional distress also makes the victims lose concentration in the tasks they are doing. This mostly affects young women who are at the helm of their education pursuance. In severe cases, the violence against women results in sleeping disorders as a result of the development of back pains. Eating disorders are also a common consequence that affects the positive growth and development of the victims. Gastro genital disorders are common repercussions of genital disorders and the poor general health as a result of limited mobility confine one to residential places only hence degrading the social status of the victims.
The violence against women has negative impacts on the social and economic status of individuals and the entire nation at large. This is because the social status of the victims is lowered in society. The deteriorating health of the victims as a result of contracting HIV/AIDS makes the victims redundant in their service delivery in various disciplines. HIV/ Aids affect the normal functioning of the victim’s body thus making the body vulnerable to diseases. This reduces the concentration and the performance of the victims especially in executing their respective responsibilities. In isolated cases whereby, the victims are single parents, the dependents of the victims lose the material, moral and financial support. This puts the dependents at risk of dropping out of school due to the encroaching financial constraints. Such dependents are bound to suffer health disorders due to lack of proper health care and lack of food owing to their deteriorating financial health. Lack of provisions of equal opportunities in terms of employment with regard to gender and women’s negligence slackens the rate of economic and social growth. Women therefore should be given equal leadership opportunities as their male counterparts.
Ways of combating violence against women
Combating violence against women should be treated as a collective responsibility by all members of society (Bergen and Renzetti 102). Gender equality should be embraced by all members of society and therefore the leadership opportunities should be shared equally amongst women and men in the society. Affirmative action should be enacted in all sectors to accommodate women. The traditional societal norms which belittle and disregard the strengths of women should be done away with. This will pave way for a different and positive impression and attitude towards women. The programs agitating against women’s discrimination should be initiated and propagated to the members of society. This will portray women as productive members of society and thus the individual’s attitudes towards them are greatly enhanced. It is through such programs that the education concerning women’s violence and the consequences are inculcated to the members of the society. Capacity-building workshops should be regularly held to educate women on their rights and the positive approach to such violence. Advocacy against drug abuse should be regularly done to sensitize the members of society on their effects and contribution to violence against women.
Bergen, Kennedy and Renzetti, Claire. Violence against women. North America: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005.
Bickerstaff, Linda. Violence against Women: Public Health and Human Rights. USA: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2010.
French, Stanley and Purdy, Laura. Violence against women: philosophical perspectives. USA: Cornell University Press, 1998.
Sweetman, Caroline. Violence against women, Volume 6. Scotland: Oxfam, 1998.