Celebrated on the 25 of November, the UN Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women highlights the continuous fight against gender-based violence. This occasion underscores the global need to end violence against women.
Gender Equality: How Far Have We Come
Progress in gender equality is visible in various spaces. Advances include legislative improvements, more women in leadership positions, drives to close the gender pay gap, and policy changes to advance and centre women’s health. However women still experience disproportionate assault, prejudice, and poverty. Gender preconceptions and biases persist throughout culture and institutions, and there is a growing understanding and acknowledgement of intersectional experiences that particularly affect Black women and women of colour, and women with multiple elements of their identity that cause social, economic or political marginalization.
Therefore, while acknowledging achievement, it is essential to note the job ahead. This involves removing structural obstacles, guaranteeing equal education and healthcare, and changing cultural attitudes that perpetuate gender-based violence. It means building a society where women may live without violence and have their rights, opinions, and contributions respected.
UN Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is both a remembrance and a light for change. It requires ongoing work to create societies that value, equalise, and protect women and girls.
Role of Men and Male Allies
Men are crucial to ending violence against women. The power of males in society and the effect of changing masculine attitudes on cultural norms and behaviours make this important. Men have various privileges in the workplace, families, communities, and governments, and their actions may prolong or end violence.
Male allies should challenge the status quo by denouncing sexism, supporting anti-violence measures, and creating an atmosphere where gender-based violence is unacceptable. They are vital in modelling respect and teaching males about consent and equality. Men who stand with women against violence help destroy patriarchal hierarchies. These initiatives may also help us all comprehend how toxic masculinity hurts everyone, including men.
Gender Diversity and Intersectionality
Gender diversity and intersectionality recognise that violence against women affects women differently depending on race, sexuality, gender identity, disability, economic situation, and other variables. Trans, Black, disabled, and racially minoritised women are more likely to be abused.
Violence against trans women, especially those of colour, is a big societal challenge. According to reports, most transgender and gender non-conforming deaths involve Black and racially minoritized trans women. The mixture of racism, sexism, and transphobia makes these women susceptible to physical and institutional abuse.
In addition, Black women experiencing domestic abuse less likely to be referred for specialist support by police. In addition, disability related domestic and sexual assault is twice as common as for women without disabilities, and locating support resources and proper treatment may be difficult.
This research emphasises the essential need for a sophisticated and intersectional approach to violence against women that recognises the many types of discrimination that might make them vulnerable.
Violence against women must be addressed with marginalised populations in mind. Only with such personalised and thorough measures can we develop a society where all women are protected from violence.
What Can Organisations Do to Tackle Violence Against Women?
Organisations are crucial to ending all types of violence against women. Their multifaceted strategy must include immediate protection and long-term prevention to be successful.
Here are a few things organisations can start with:
Organisations might start by creating thorough rules that identify violence and its effects. This enforces zero-tolerance and outlines a violent response plan.
Organisations can immediately help survivors by providing counselling, legal aid, and safe places. Employees should also learn to spot abuse and respond humanely.
Organisations may also advocate for gender equality and actions to eliminate the gender pay gap.
In the long term, organisations should fund education and awareness initiatives that challenge cultural practices and ideas that cause violence against women. Early gender equality promotion in schools and public campaigns are needed.
Companies set a benchmark for society and make women feel appreciated and protected by building more inclusive and representative workplaces.
Organisations fighting violence must consider intersectionality. This involves acknowledging that marginalised women may need specific services and experience extra challenges to help. Working with organisations that assist these groups helps improve the response to violence against women.
How Can You Help?
There is always something that you can do to promote gender equality.
All genders should confront patriarchal norms that promote violence, and hold each other responsible. We must promote gender equality and protection measures using our influence.
Gender-diverse people are encouraged to contribute their unique views to the movement, emphasise their obstacles, and strive for a society that supports variety in all its manifestations.
Everyone may intervene when they encounter violence, volunteer with local organisations, or educate themselves and others on the subject regularly. Individuals and organisations must work together to end violence against women.
Want to learn more about gender equality and intersectionality?
Listen to our recent interview with Sanisha Wynter, Tedx Speaker about her experience as a Black cis woman who lives and thrives with borderline personality disorder and depression.