One in three females experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, according to World Vision Ireland. Frighteningly, it happens most frequently by an intimate partner. The international aid charity also reports that almost 750 million females alive today were married before their 18th birthday. 200 million females have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM).
“Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations globally, today.” Niall Mc Loughlin, the CEO of World Vision Ireland reports. “It remains largely unreported due to the lack of support services, and the silence, stigma and shame surrounding it. Gender based violence manifests itself in:
- Physical, sexual and psychological forms (including intimate partner violence)
- Psychological abuse
- Marital rape
- Human trafficking
- Female genital mutilation (FGM)
- Child marriage
World Vision Ireland is working to raise awareness of these issues in Ireland and abroad. With international support, education and empowering women, we can reduce these figures significantly.”
What is ‘Gender Based Violence’?
The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women issued by the UN General Assembly in 1993, defines violence against women. It reads, “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women. This includes threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”
Who is Affected?
World Vision Ireland said that gender-based violence can happen to anyone, anywhere. Some women and girls, however, are particularly vulnerable. Young girls, migrants and refugees, indigenous women, ethnic minorities, or women living through humanitarian crisis are some examples.
“Violence against women is a barrier to gender equality, family development, education, child welfare, and human rights,” says Niall McLoughlin. “71% of all human trafficking victims worldwide are women and girls, and 3 out of 4 of these women and girls are sexually exploited. With robust international peace agreements and supporting women in vulnerable communities, we can hope to tackle and correct these issues.”
According to World Vision Ireland, only 52% of women married or in a union freely make their own decisions about sexual relations, contraceptive use and health care.
The charity also states that 1 in 2 women killed worldwide were killed by their partners or family in 2017. While males are also victims of domestic violence, the numbers are much lower. The figures show that 1 out of 20 men were killed under similar circumstances, although many cases go unreported.
For more information on World Vision Ireland’s work, go to www.worldvision.ie
Check out our other article on women who experience physical and sexual violence around the world. You won’t believe the issues Women have to face in Germany! Read here.