Violence Against Women
In all countries from the UK to Uganda, women
and girls experience violence. Within these
countries, it happens to women at different
ages, classes, faiths and cultures. Womankind
believes that violence against women
happens because men and women are not
equal. While men also experience violence,
the number of women who are hurt and the
severity of their injury are far greater.
Preventing Violence Against Women
1. Providing services such as counselling and
safe housing to women and girls affected by
2. Supporting community education to end
acceptance of violence.
3. Working to change laws and practices for the
What is violence against women?
The term ‘violence against women’ means any act of genderbased violence that results in physical, sexual or psychological
harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts,
threat or random deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in
public or private life.
Some women experience violence at home by their boyfriend,
husband or other relative. Others face sexual harassment at
work. In some countries, women are subjected to harmful
traditional practices, such as female genital mutilation, or
many be forced to marry at an early age. Women may also be
forced into prostitution by traffickers and in times of conflict,
it is women who are most likely to be the target of sexual
violence especially rape.
What are the effects if violence against
Violence stops women accessing their most basic rights – to safety, health,
schooling and work. Due to violence women experience injury, mental health
and emotional problems. Violence limits women’s access to land, water and
food and their ability to participate in work, education, travel and community
meetings. It also stops women and their families from making positive changes
in their own lives in order to end the poverty they and their communities
Violence against women has economic costs for both the individual and society,
including missed work, health care for survivors, emergency shelters and legal
cases. For these reasons, violence against women constitutes a major obstacle
to development, peace and security.
The issue of violence against women cannot be separated from other important
issues affecting women, such as HIV and AIDS. Women are at a heightened risk
of infection due to violence, but are also subject to violence of their positive
status is disclosed.
What causes violence against women?
Womankind believes that discrimination and unequal power relations lie at the heart
of women’s greater vulnerability to violence and that addressing the inequality that is
at the heart of all societies must be our priority.
Violence is used as a way of controlling women, both in families and wider society, to
keep them in a subordinate position to men. Inadequate laws to challenge violence,
negative media image, cultural practices, government complacency and the absence
of educational programmes to address the causes and consequences of violence all
add to the violence women experience.
What is Womankind doing to tackle the
problem of violence against women?
Womankind supports women around the world to end the violence they, their family
and friends are experiencing. Through their active partner organisation in Africa, Asia,
Latin America, they support local solutions to violence against women including
counselling, safe houses and community education to reduce acceptance of violence.
They also work with women’s organisations to carry out research and to persuade
decision makers with the power to change laws and policies to benefits women, both
in the UK and internationally.
They encourage women and men to work together and to involve the wider
community in order to bring about community in order to bring about lasting change
in attitudes and behaviours. They also bring partners together to share information
about lessons learnt and new strategies and to use this information to inform future
planning and to shape the views of decision-makers.
Sexual harassment can be a source of much
irritation, anger and misery in the workplace,
and anyone (female or male) suffering from
unwelcome sexual attentions in entitled to
the protection of the law. The criminal law
covering the field of ‘offences against the
person’ deals with the most serious forms of
sexual misbehaviour such as indecent
assault or rape. An employee committing
such acts would certainly be accountable to
instant notice for gross misbehaviour.
Women Self-Defence (Just
learn to fight)
Many women interested in self-defence enter some sort of martial arts program. These
programs vary widely in style, philosophy and approach. For the purposes of this paper a
discussion of martial art styles and their subsequent strengths and weaknesses in
relationship to women's self defence would be an inordinate undertaking. However, a brief
discussion of sexism in martial arts is warranted. Women have been excluded from martial
arts education either directly or indirectly for most of its history.
Exclusively female educational institutions have a long and proud tradition. Some research
on women's colleges includes findings that these colleges encourage leadership skills in
women, provide women with more female role models, and that they encourage women to
focus on traditionally male-dominated fields of study. However, other research finds that
factors such as the level of selectivity of the college may play a part in the institution's
positive effects on students. One of the responses to female exclusion and sexism in martial
arts is the emergence of all-female schools and a general discussion among female martial
artists about how to deal with sexism in co-ed schools. Organizations like the National
Women's Martial Arts Federation and schools like Brooklyn Women's Martial Arts and Valley
Women's Martial Arts, Inc. offer women the opportunity to train in an all female
environment devoted exclusively to women's self-defence issues and physical attributes.