As a youth, a woman, gender advocate and an aspiring Human Rights Lawyer; I add my voice to the ongoing international campaign against gender-based violence dubbed “16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence”.
The campaign which started on 25th November is running through to 10th December. These dates are not mere coincidental dates, but are significant dates that shows the link between gender base violence and human rights issues. The 25th of November is set aside by the international body as the United Nations International Day of Elimination of Violence against Women and the 10th of December has also been set aside as the Human Rights Day.
Women everywhere in the world, face discrimination or violence in one form or the other based on their gender. There are startling statistics that reveal the extent to which women are abused each day around the globe. In fact, one out of every three women worldwide, face abuse, violence and rape everyday.
In my country Ghana, there is never a single day without the news of rape, defilement and domestic violence being reported by the media in the country. From the defilement of months-old babies, the rape of adolescent to the abuse of married women; are just a few of instances of gender-based violence that happens around me almost everyday of my life. Some of these victims, lose their lives in the process. An instance, was a news item on our national television station one evening where it was reported that a man had severed off the head of his girlfriend in the cause of an argument.
This automatically got me down and thinking, this could be me or my sister or my mother!
What at all could be the sustainable solution to gender based violence?
To me, purnishing perpetrators of this heinous crime, is not enough. We need to sensitize everyone in the society, including children that discriminating and abusing women is against their inherent human rights. The education should start from schools, since perpetrators grow up from innocent children to be perpetrators of violence against women.
Let us be up and doing. Gender based violence has a lot of negative consequencies on the victims, perpetrators, the society and the world as a whole. Say no to violence against women and any vulnerable people in the society.