Your Cart is Empty

The Ongoing Struggle Against Violence Against Women

July 06, 2024

Silhouette of a woman breaking free from chains

Violence against women is a serious issue that affects millions of people around the world. It happens in many forms, from physical and emotional abuse to economic and social discrimination. This article explores the different ways women face violence, why it happens, and what can be done to stop it.

Key Takeaways

  • Violence against women takes many forms, including physical, emotional, and economic abuse.
  • Patriarchal norms and gender inequality are major reasons for violence against women.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has made the problem worse, especially with increased domestic violence.
  • Support services and legal frameworks are essential in fighting violence against women.
  • Public awareness and education campaigns can help change attitudes and reduce violence.

Violence Against Women in Public Life

Political Participation and Gender-Based Violence

Women in politics often face significant challenges, including gender-based violence. For instance, across Africa, 80% of women parliamentarians have experienced psychological violence in parliament, with nearly 70% subjected to sexist comments and behaviors. This hostile environment can deter women from participating in political life, undermining democratic processes and gender equality.

Workplace Harassment and Discrimination

In the workplace, women frequently encounter harassment and discrimination. These issues can range from inappropriate comments to more severe forms of abuse. Such hostile work environments not only affect women's mental and physical health but also limit their career advancement opportunities. Addressing these issues requires comprehensive policies and strict enforcement to ensure a safe and equitable workplace for all.

Public Harassment and Safety Concerns

Public spaces are often unsafe for women due to harassment and safety concerns. Women are 27 times more likely to face online abuse compared to men, highlighting the pervasive nature of this issue. Public harassment can take many forms, including catcalling, stalking, and physical assaults. Ensuring women's safety in public spaces necessitates a multifaceted approach, including public awareness campaigns, stricter laws, and community engagement.

Structural Causes of Violence Against Women

Violence against women is not just an individual issue but is deeply rooted in the cultural and institutional structures of societies. This type of violence, often referred to as 'structural' violence, manifests through discriminatory rules, laws, traditions, and customs.

Patriarchal Norms and Gender Inequality

Patriarchal norms are a significant cause of violence against women. These norms perpetuate gender inequality by promoting male dominance and female subordination. Such norms are ingrained in many societies, leading to widespread acceptance of gender-based violence.

Economic Dependence and Vulnerability

Economic dependence on men makes women more vulnerable to violence. When women lack financial independence, they may feel trapped in abusive relationships. This economic strain can increase their vulnerability to various forms of violence.

Cultural and Social Justifications

Cultural and social justifications often excuse or even encourage violence against women. In some cultures, traditional practices and beliefs support the idea that men have the right to control women. These justifications can make it difficult for women to seek help or escape abusive situations.


Perpetrators of Violence Against Women

Intimate Partners and Domestic Violence

Violence against women often occurs within the home, perpetrated by intimate partners. This form of violence includes physical, emotional, and psychological abuse. Most cases of domestic violence are committed by men who are close to the victims, such as husbands or boyfriends. The familiarity and trust in these relationships make it difficult for victims to seek help or leave the abusive environment.

Strangers and Public Assaults

While less common than domestic violence, assaults by strangers do occur. These incidents can happen in public places, often leading to heightened fear and anxiety among women. Public assaults can include physical attacks, sexual harassment, and other forms of violence. The perception of danger in public spaces can severely limit women's freedom and mobility.

Institutional and Systemic Perpetrators

Violence against women is not limited to individuals; institutions and systems can also be perpetrators. This includes law enforcement agencies, educational institutions, and workplaces that fail to protect women or, worse, perpetuate violence through discriminatory practices. Systemic issues such as inadequate legal frameworks and lack of enforcement contribute to the ongoing struggle against violence. Addressing these institutional failures is crucial for creating a safer environment for women.

Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls

Silhouette of woman with hand covering her mouth.

Sexual violence against women and girls is a grave issue that affects millions worldwide. It encompasses a range of harmful acts, including rape, sexual assault, childhood sexual abuse, and sex trafficking. These acts not only cause physical harm but also leave deep emotional scars.

Rape and Sexual Assault

Rape and sexual assault are among the most severe forms of sexual violence. Victims often face significant barriers when seeking justice, including societal stigma and inadequate legal frameworks. The trauma from such experiences can last a lifetime, affecting mental health and overall well-being.

Childhood Sexual Abuse

Childhood sexual abuse is a particularly heinous crime, as it targets the most vulnerable members of society. Survivors often struggle with long-term psychological effects, including depression, anxiety, and trust issues. Early intervention and support are crucial for helping these individuals heal.

Sex Trafficking and Exploitation

Sex trafficking and exploitation are global issues that disproportionately affect women and girls. Victims are often lured with false promises of employment or education, only to find themselves trapped in a cycle of abuse. Efforts to combat this issue must focus on both prevention and support for survivors.

In addressing sexual violence, it is essential to consider the structural causes and societal norms that perpetuate these acts. Public awareness campaigns and educational programs can play a significant role in reshaping perceptions and promoting gender equality. Additionally, providing resources like period underwear for women can help in maintaining dignity and health, especially for those in vulnerable situations. For more information, visit this link.

Impact of COVID-19 on Violence Against Women and Girls

Silhouette of woman breaking free from chains

Increased Domestic Violence During Lockdowns

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, reports from the front lines have shown a significant rise in all types of violence against women and girls, especially domestic violence. Lockdowns and movement restrictions have trapped many women with their abusers, making it difficult to seek help or escape. The pandemic has also exposed deep structural inequalities, reversing progress on women's participation in the labor market and increasing the burden of unpaid care work.

Barriers to Support Services

The pandemic has created numerous barriers to accessing support services for survivors of violence. Many shelters and support centers have been forced to close or limit their services due to health restrictions. Additionally, the shift to online services has not been accessible to all, particularly those in rural or low-income areas. This has left many women without the necessary resources to seek help.

Economic Strain and Increased Vulnerability

COVID-19 has led to economic strain for many families, increasing the vulnerability of women and girls to violence. Job losses and financial instability have heightened stress levels, which can exacerbate abusive behaviors. Furthermore, economic dependence on abusers has made it even more challenging for women to leave violent situations. The pandemic has also increased the number of women living in extreme poverty, further increasing their risk of experiencing violence.

State Responsibility in Addressing Violence Against Women

Silhouette of a woman breaking free from chains

Legal Frameworks and Enforcement

The state has a duty to prevent violence against women and to protect and support those affected. This includes developing and enforcing laws that punish perpetrators. Without a clear and comprehensive government strategy, efforts to combat violence against women will fall short. Legal frameworks must be robust and consistently applied to ensure justice for victims.

Support Services and Resources

Governments must provide adequate support services for victims of violence. This includes safe houses, counseling, and medical care. Society also bears the costs of violence through these services, as well as through court cases and police operations. Effective support services are essential for helping victims recover and rebuild their lives.

Public Awareness and Education Campaigns

Raising public awareness about violence against women is crucial. Education campaigns can help change societal attitudes and reduce stigma. These campaigns should focus on the root causes of violence, such as patriarchal norms and gender inequality. By educating the public, the state can foster a culture of zero tolerance towards violence against women.

Facts and Figures on Violence Against Women

Silhouette of woman breaking free from chains

Global Statistics and Trends

Violence against women is a widespread issue affecting millions globally. Every hour, more than five women and girls are murdered by a family member. Over 640 million women aged 15 and above have experienced violence from their partners, which is about one in four women.

Regional Variations and Specificities

In Europe, the number of femicides has risen significantly since 2019, with the highest increases in Greece, Slovenia, Germany, and Italy. A 2019 study revealed that twice as many women as men reported fearing revenge or reprisal from the perpetrator if they reported the incident to authorities.

Data Collection and Reporting Challenges

Collecting accurate data on violence against women is challenging due to underreporting. Less than 40 percent of women who experience violence seek help. Many fear retaliation or do not trust the authorities. Improved data collection methods and increased public awareness are essential to address this issue effectively.


The fight against violence towards women is far from over. This issue is deeply rooted in our society and affects women in many areas of their lives, from public spaces to their own homes. The causes are complex and include structural factors that perpetuate inequality and discrimination. It is crucial to understand who the perpetrators are and why this violence occurs. The COVID-19 pandemic has only made things worse, highlighting the urgent need for action. Governments, communities, and individuals must work together to create a safer world for women. Only through collective effort can we hope to end this pervasive problem.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is violence against women in public life?

Violence against women in public life includes harassment and discrimination at work, threats and attacks during political participation, and safety concerns in public spaces.

What are the structural causes of violence against women?

Structural causes include patriarchal norms, gender inequality, economic dependence, and cultural justifications that perpetuate violence against women.

Who are the perpetrators of violence against women?

Perpetrators can be intimate partners, strangers in public places, or even institutions that uphold systemic violence.

How does COVID-19 impact violence against women?

The pandemic has increased domestic violence during lockdowns, created barriers to support services, and heightened economic strain, making women more vulnerable.

What role does the state play in addressing violence against women?

The state is responsible for creating and enforcing laws, providing support services, and running public awareness campaigns to combat violence against women.

What are some facts and figures on violence against women?

Statistics show that violence against women is a global issue with varying regional specifics. Collecting and reporting accurate data remains a challenge.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.