OneMama.org Joins UN Women in the Fight to Eliminate Violence Against Women
Elizabeth Mann – OneMama.org Contributor
Lauren Ito – Media Manager
We hope that in this modern age violence against women is becoming an increasingly open issue to talk about, but in some countries the pure dialogue puts women in danger. We as a society still have a long way to go when it comes to gender-based violence and violence against women in particular. Why, you ask? Well, it’s 2016, and these are still the numbers.
- Its been 20 years since the 1993 UN Assembly to Eliminate violence against women and ONE IN THREE women still experience physical or sexual violence.
- Adult women account for almost half of all human trafficking victims detected globally.
- 70 percent of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime.
- Homicide was the second leading cause of death on the job for women in 2000—of the 4 million workplace crime incidents committed against females from 1993 through 1999, only 40% percent were reported to the police.
And those are just some of the numbers that give us a statistical look into what is happening to the women of the world. Numbers aside, this is not new information. We must remember that these shocking statistics are not just in developing countries, but developed countries as well. In 2008, approximately, 500 women were raped a day in the United States. “Violence against women knows no national, political, ethnic, religious, or socio-economic boundaries,” writes Lisa Schechtman of Human Rights Now. In developed countries as well, violence against women remains a plague embedded deep within society—with ripples that affect all of us. You have without a doubt—knowingly or unknowingly—spent time with a victim of gender-based violence. Most worrisome of all surrounding this issue, is how gender-based violence has become normalized or tolerated over time as “just the way things are.”
With 1 in 3 women experiencing physical violence mostly done by an intimate partner, violence against women is an issue that demands attention and demands change. As an issue involving both men and women, it requires the participation of both men and women to end it. People of both sexes need to be equally engaged and committed. Men and Women both need to be educated on what violence looks like and how to put a stop to it if it’s accruing in their communities. This is some of the important work the United Nations is doing as well as programs OneMama.org is developing and implementing in communities in Uganda. As stated by the United Nations:
“Prevention should start early in life, by educating and working with young boys and girls promoting respectful relationships and gender equality. Working with youth is a ‘best bet’ for faster, sustained progress on preventing and eradicating gender-based violence. While public policies and interventions often overlook this stage of life, it is a critical time when values and norms around gender equality are forged.
It also means making the home and public spaces safer for women and girls, ensuring women’s economic autonomy and security, and increasing women’s participation and decision-making powers—in the home and relationships, as well as in public life and politics. Working with men and boys helps accelerate progress in preventing and ending violence against women and girls. They can begin to challenge the deeply rooted inequalities and social norms that perpetuate men’s control and power over women and reinforce tolerance for violence against women and girls.”
OneMama.org is following a similar vision through their programs on-the-ground in Uganda. By teaching men and women what violence looks like through classes and workshops, providing resources –jobs and education—more women have the opportunity to provide for themselves and gain their own independence. We are also active in teaching conflict resolution, which include ways to have verbal conflicts as opposed to physical conflict in cultures that abuse is very present and a way of asserting control over women.
“We all want prosperity for our daughters and our sons so we need to be teaching these things and making sure that equality is at the forefront of all we do” founder, Siobhan Neilland says. “It’s also about breaking down those subtle biases against women and understanding that those comments that you think don’t matter are actually setting us back in eliminating violence against women.”
The United Nations is focusing on prevention to end the violence, with 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign (#OrangeTheWorld) from the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on the November 25th to Human Rights Day on December 10th. The 16-day campaign to against gender-based violence arrives at a tumultuous time in which many individuals do not feel safe in their own skin. Standing in solidarity with those around the world to show support for this issue is a step in the right direction.
OneMama.org continues to speak up against the violence to women because we know that some women can’t voice this for themselves.
We commit to the fight on this 25th of November, United Nations Violence Against Women Day! …and until we as a society commit to ending it for good.