“My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
One of every five women in your life is a survivor of physical and sexual violence or abuse, and do not be surprised to discover that they have been assaulted by their intimate partner. Your next-door neighbour who smiles at you every morning, the woman who washes your dishes, and the woman you live with might be one of them.
Since the onset of the pandemic, reports and studies suggest that there has been an outbreak of physical and sexual violence at home.
According to a news report, India has recorded a 100% increase in domestic abuse cases while, at the same time, many cases remain unreported. A 700% increase in the number of calls made to the domestic abuse helpline in the UK and in France was observed where such cases rose by more than 30%.
Women are living, breathing beings, each one of us has at least one woman in our life – a mother, a sister, a friend or a spouse. Your mother, who works throughout the day making sure you have had your breakfast, lunch and dinner, and your sister, the light of your life, who believes that she will be protected by her loved ones, deserve more than to become a prey in the hands of men. We do not understand the gravity of a situation until it concerns those who matter to us.
Apart from the physical violence she is a survivor of, a woman is expected not to respond to the wrong done to her, and if she is working, she has to throw herself into work because her gender is assumed to be weak and emotional, and therefore she must prove herself to be up to her tasks.
A woman is a woman: a human who prays to the same god, and eats from the same land, breathes the same air and has two hands and legs. Why then is she treated like an object and expected to behave like one?
To take the first step towards addressing the issue of violence against women, we need to stop objectifying women in magazines, we need to stop portraying them sexual objects in advertisements and the opposite gender needs to understand the meaning of humanity and remember it, like they do the alphabet. This is a fight against an inhuman practice, a fight for your birth giver. This is a fight to bring justice to all women who have survived this.
Imagine yourself in a dark room, if you hear something or feel a presence a man thinks it’s probably a ghost. A woman, on the other hand, is likely to think it’s a man. You can throw a hundred of these monsters and predators in jail, punish them but only education and awareness can help us eradicate gender based violence.
Today, you can pledge to stop this violence and make this world a better place for a human: for a woman.