The statistics are devastating. 7 in 10 women have experienced physical violence. 1 in 4 women around the world has experienced rape or attempted rape. A woman is murdered by an intimate partner every day, EVERY DAY. Between 1 and 2 million girls and women are being held as sex slaves RIGHT NOW. More statistics are reported by the UN http://www.un.org/en/women/endviolence/situation.shtml
One of 4 the World’s programs is educating girls with the hope that education will empower them to be able to provide a livelihood for themselves, to make well-informed decisions, and to be better mothers. The research also shows that education and empowerment helps reduce violence against women. But the education cannot stop with just girls. In order for violence against women to be eradicated, men must also be educated and feel empowered. If women are empowered but not the men, that can backfire. Men, feeling threatened, may lash out at women. Research has shown this effect in response to micro loans to women in Southeast Asia and literacy education in the Americas. Remember Malala’s story? Educating women is not the magical pill. It is not easy and it has severe, sometimes deadly, unintended consequences.
We have to change an entire human history (with few exceptions) of patriarchy. It seems impossible that this could change in my lifetime, but the institution of slavery collapsed. That isn’t to say that racism is over or that there is not slavery today. But, the world did change. The institution of imperialism collapsed. That isn’t to say that there isn’t still colonialist attitudes or that there aren’t residual problems still today. But, the world did change. We have to believe that the institution of patriarchy can collapse and with it people’s attitudes about violence against women can change. We have to believe it is possible!
To show your support for women, wear ORANGE on the 25th of November – the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women – See more at: http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/take-action#sthash.5kCHMTEQ.dpuf