- A Save the Children field guide provides a simple definition:
(From Judy A. Benjamin & Lynn Murchison, Gender-Based Violence: Care & Protection of Children in Emergencies, A Field Guide, Save the Children, 2004.)
- The same study quotes Jeanne Ward:
(From Ward, Jeanne. (2002). If Not Now, When? Addressing Gender-Based Violence in Refugee, Internally Displaced and Post-Conflict Settings. New York: The Reproductive Health in Conflict Consortium.)
In other words:
- When one experience violence in a certain way because one is a women, girl, boy, man... that is gender violence. Sexual violence is gender violence, and that includes rape, date rape, marital rape, child sexual abuse, incestuous abuse, etc.
- Gender violence expresses the power that one person has or wishes to have over another. The power to decide whether a girl child will be born, is gender violence.
- Gender violence can take any form. Stalking, obscene calls, sexual harrassment at the work-place, what we euphemistically call 'eve-teasing'... are all gender violence.
Gender violence has been described as a public health problem by the World Health Organization and a "problem of pandemic proportions" by the UN General Assembly. The UN Population Fund names 16 forms of gender-based violence:
- Sexual Violence as a Weapon of War
- Pre-Natal Sex Selection
- Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting
- Date Rape
- Bride-Burning or other forms of Dowry-related Violence
- Child Marriage
- Trafficking of Girls and Women
- Domestic Violence
- Crimes committed in the name of passion or honour
- Abduction of adolescent girls during combat
- Bride kidnapping
- Sexual harrassment at work
- Physical or emotional violence by an intimate partner
- Exploitation of domestic workers
- Forced sterilization or other coercive reproductive practices
Gender violence can only be eliminated when each and everyone of us takes a stand, takes action against it.
Prajnya's 16 Days Campaign against Gender Violence is our first step as an organization. What will yours be?