By: Oyewale S. A Xander
“If we are to fight discrimination and injustice against women, we must start from the home; for if a woman cannot be safe in her own house then she cannot be expected to feel safe anywhere” the words of Aysha Taryam.
Fact is’ evidently seen in the Africa setting are factors as poverty, dependence, corruption, abuse of citizens fundamental rights and conflicts are rampant’ to speak, this posses threat most especially to the female gender and children. Therefore this article centered on the need to Stop violence against women and girls child’ World!
Africa as a continent are classified as third world country; and is faced with diverse contending issues and characteristics which poses threat in one way or the other thereby restraining citizens right, as well as limiting growth and development.
Overtime and in most recent times, this continent has witnessed diverse violent issues that plainly surfaced in various aspects which include Economic, Political and Institutional, Sexual and gender issues, Cultural and Religion.
According to WHO, Violence is one of the problem in many part of Africa. And in simple definition, Violence is the intentional use of physical force or power threatened or actual, against oneself, another person or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation.
Webster’s dictionary defines violence as the use of physical force so as to injure, abuse, damage or destroy. Violence is an act of infringement; violence is no doubt a clog on the wheel of progress of a country.
Violence against women and girls child
The United Nations define violence against women as any act of gender based violence that results in or is likely to result in physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty whether occurring in public or in private life.
Violence is characterized with injustice, violation, pain, destruction, aggression. Violence no doubt has harmful effect on the society and victims, survivors of violence.
Victims of gender based violence are faced with assault, molestation, segregation, subjugation, rape, sex trafficking object, domestic abuse, discrimination, inequality which is a violation of their human right.
It is evident that gender based violence has great traumatic effect on women and children as victims. It intimidate threats, I mean, the rage of violence by violent human whose action is nothing but a thorn in the flesh has often times led to lose of identity for women.
The case/scenarios of sexual abuse can’t be over emphasized. Yet the desperation of violent sexual perpetrators has left nothing but negative effects and impacted nothing but unsafe world and distrust on the victim.
Sure, the various form of violence against women and children has left no good than evil. These violence has traumatic and psychological dismay among victims, hence violence against women has ravaged the health, emotional and psychological state of women in Africa.
The devastating effect of violence on women has no doubt spread it is wings widely to the society; and such effect last longer if proper measures, care and therapy are not provided for victims wholeness as such when not properly given attention, leads to low self-esteem, insecurity which is the major characteristic of every form of violence. Thus, may constitute terrorism with the aim of vengeance to the nation in turn.
For instance, the issue and problem of violence no doubt subject the victim to ill treatment. Despite the convention on the rights of child, recognizes that, “states parties shall respect and ensure the rights set forth in the present convention to each child within their jurisdiction without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child’s or his or her parents or legal guardian race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or statues”.
The nature of Africa as underdeveloped has opened up citizens with the girls child inclusive to disastrous and harmful practices in the society. African societal belief and cultural ethics has undermine the ability and power of the girl child.
In most African society and culture, the practice of female genital mutilation, child trafficking, rape, early marriage, teenage pregnancy, child labor, lack or inadequate proper education, poor health and puberty sanitation, inequality, discrimination, favoritism of the male gender over the girl child, harassment, domestic machinery or slave are fundamental and key issues challenging and depriving the girl child of its right to unleashing her full power, ability and in built potentials.
Issues of violence against the girl child has overtime resulted in a whole lot of disadvantage to the society and the African state which includes increase in child mortality rate, poverty, homeless and dysfunctional children, diseases, low self-esteem; as a result of the neglect and sore treatment encountered by the girl child.
How to stop violence against women and girls child’ World?
The challenges of eradicating violence has led to contending issues as to what measures of eradication should be adopted. Meaning, measures should not only be adopted in fighting violence but they should be effective as well as efficient in enforcement.
Below are few measures that will go long way in controlling violence against women and girls child’ but, to put a final stop to it’ the whole World must act fast …
- It is known that a state of anarchy is a lawless state! Therefore, laws and policies should be made to protect, develop and advance rights and values of both the women and girl child from negative societal norms, violence, abuse and trafficking.
- Empowerment: Empowering girls child and women gives them strength and courage to live above societal pressures and beliefs, it enables them see beyond what the society term them to be, thereby unleashing the potentials and ability helping them do more.
- Education: Most countries in Africa deprive the girl child of her right to education which leads to illiteracy. Measure should be taken to ensure the girl child has access to education without gender discrimination and her educational needs should be met.
- Economic development: It is said that the economy determine other aspects of a Nations growth and development, with a grown economy helps combat poverty; thereby allowing a safe place for the utilization and enhancement of skills possessed by women in African states.
Africa and the world at large has been termed as unsafe for both women and the girl child, A safe environment which provides security and protection of rights for both women and the girl child should be enhanced.
Justice for every violation against women and the girl child, violators should be brought to book, thereby allowing Justice take its’ rightful place.
It should be known that gender is not a restriction and barrier to making exploit, a safe community is important to ensure that the state thrive and that no citizen is at loss.
No doubt violence has been a clog on the wheel of Africa’s progress but with strategic and a well-seasoned implementation of policy and advocacy, violence against women and the girl child can be eradicated.
Everyone deserves a safe place of habitation and one of the safest place is to know that as a victim of survivor, your voice count and you are important. A call on human right is an obligation to fight against the differences, discrimination and intolerance posed by the society.
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