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World scenario of Violence against Women

Violence against women is not confined to a culture, a region or a particular country, or to particular groups of women within a society. The roots of violence against women result of persistent discrimination against women." (UN)


Violence against women and girls is a serious violation of human rights. Nevertheless, it constitutes one of the crimes most committed and tolerated worldwide. The numbers leave no doubt as to this sad global reality. One in three women worldwide have suffered physical or sexual violence, about 120 million girls have been subjected to forced sex and 133 million women and girls have undergone genital mutilation, according to the United Nations (UN). About 70% of women in the world suffer some kind of violence in the course of their lives, says the Organization. Worldwide, one in five women will be a victim of rape or attempted rape, the UN estimates.


UN data also show that in Yemen, Kuwait, Sudan, Bahrain, Algeria and Morocco, the husband assaulting the woman herself is not a crime. In Lebanon there is no punishment for the husband to force his wife to have sex with him. In the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Sudan, victims of rape seeking police can be arrested for adultery.


In Ghana, Togo, Benin and where there are traditional religious shrines is still practiced the "Servitude Ritual". Virgin girls are usually offered in payment services or religious atonement for alleged crimes of a family member. If a girl runs away or dies, they must be replaced by another family girl. In addition to providing all hard work without compensation, they become sexual partners of the priest.


UN data also show that in Egypt after President Hosni Mubarak's fall in 2011, over 90% of women were exposed to sexual harassment. In Saudi Arabia women are prohibited from driving a vehicle and also leave alone the street. Only from 2015 they will be entitled to vote and also be elected at the municipal level. Afghan laws include stoning and strength for adulterers and the simple fact of showing the ankles justifies the beating up.


In Asia there are frequent acid attacks against women. Since 1994 there were more than 7,800 cases of women who have been scalded or burned and almost completely ignored by the authorities. Only in 2% of cases someone was convicted.


According to the study Global Burden of Disease, organized by WHO (World Health Organization), 2012 edition, burns are the 7th most common cause of death among women aged 15 to 44 worldwide. In Southeast Asia, the fire was the 3rd most common cause of these deaths.


According to NGO Rape Crisis, that fights violence against women, in Cape Town, every 27 seconds a woman is sexually assaulted in South Africa. One in three South African will be raped at least once in life. Over the past 10 years, every 25 men accused of rape in the country, 24 left free from punishment.


According to statistics of the Council of Europe last year, 121 women were killed by their partners in France, 134 in Italy, 143 in Britain, and at least 214 in Turkey. Forty-five % of women in the European Union – EU, say they have suffered ever gender violence and it is estimated seven women die a day in the European Union by gender violence, according to the Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee on the Elimination of Domestic Violence against Women (2012).


In the Eastern Mediterranean region (the region comprising countries such as Iraq, Turkey, Palestine, Israel and also Greece) the rate of physical and sexual violence against women reaches 37%. (WHO).


A report produced by the Organization Pan American Health in collaboration with the Centers for the Disease Control (CDC), highlights that sexual violence against women by an intimate partner is widespread throughout Latin America the Caribbean, where survey data were collected. Between 17% and 53% of the interviewed women reported to have experienced physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner. In seven countries, more than one in four women reported violence (El Salvador - 26.3%, Guatemala - 27.3%, Nicaragua - 29.3%, Ecuador - 32.4%, Peru - 39.5%, Colombia - 39.7%, Bolivia - 53.3%).



In countries such as Germany, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, countries considered as models in gender equality policies, statistics show that about 40% of Nordic women have been or are victims of gender violence. Finland is one of the European countries with the highest incidence rate of domestic violence and consequential feminicide.


The clearly higher number of births of boys, China and the Balkans: Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro takes the UN to assume selective abortion. Across Asia, about 117 million women are missing, estimated by expert in demographics Christophe Guilmoto of the Institute of Population and Development at the University Paris-Descartes. The European Council in Strasbourg found in Albania a higher percentage of female embryo abortions, out of the legal abortion time limits. The practice of aborting female fetuses because of a preference for boys is an "epidemic" that is spreading beyond countries like India and China, reaching Eastern European nations now, warned a senior official of the United Nations (UN).


The bride kidnapping is a common practice in Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan. When a man decides it's time to marry, choose a woman to be kidnapped. The groom, his relatives and friends take a woman to the family home, where older women try to convince her to accept the marriage. Some families keep the woman hostage for several days to make her give in. In Kyrgyzstan about 12,000 women per year are abducted (HNA 29.12.2013). It is estimated that one in every three marriages resulted from abduction. Men abduct and rape women. Because of the shame of losing their virginity, they stay next to the abductor.


In Brazil, the situation is also alarming. A survey by the Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA) published in 2013 estimated that Brazil recorded between 2009 and 2011 almost 17,000 deaths of women for gender conflict, called femicide, which takes place by the fact of being a woman. In other words, 5,664 women are murdered violently a year or one every 90 minutes.



Excerpted from Shame from A to Z - by Cláudia Helena de Oliveira



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