• Jeffrey Ram

CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY, STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST GIRLS AND WOMEN

Written by: Jeffrey S. Ram, Toronto, Canada, March 2, 2021

March 8 is International Women's day designated by the United Nations. It celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women globally. The day also calls for action to accelerate gender equality and stop violence against females.

The United Nations defines 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." Such hate crimes target girls and women because they are female

All of us should celebrate March 8 as International Women's Day, promote equality between boys and girls, men and women, and do our utmost to stop violence against girls and women.

SOME FACTS ABOUT GENDER INEQUALITY

The World Vision reported that:

66 million girls are out of school globally. (UNESCO)

A child born to a literate mother is 50 percent more likely to survive past age five. (UNESCO)

14 million girls under age 18 will be married this year. That's 13 girls in the last 30 seconds. (UNFPA)

The number one cause of death for girls ages 15-19 is childbirth. (WHO)

A girl with an extra year of education can earn 20 percent more as an adult. (The World Bank)

Girls with eight years of education are four times less likely to be married as children. (National Academies Press)

Educated mothers are more than twice as likely to send their children to school. (UNICEF)

An estimated 60 percent of undernourished people worldwide are women or girls. (UNFAO)

SOME FORMS OF GENDER VIOLENCE

From birth till death, women are victims of some form of violence. This gender-based violence against girls and women takes place in a variety of ways.

1.Preference of male child and the murder of female fetus 2. Neglect of female child 3. Lack of educational opportunities for girls 4. Female-Gender Mutilation (FGM) 5. Child marriage 6. Forced pregnancy 7. Verbal abuse, offensive or derogatory comments and remarks, and butt of jokes and ridicule 8. Domestic violence 9. Physical violence-beatings, bullying, torture, and murder 10. Dowry deaths/ bride-burning 11. Religious, social, and cultural bias and conditioning as inferior and customs and male control traditions 12. Mental, emotional, and psychological torture. 13. Stalking 14. Discrimination in employment and pay 15. Sexual harassment at workplace 16. Online violence against women and girls 17. Human trafficking 18. Rape

REMEDIAL ACTION

Girls and women can be protected and empowered by education and job training to contribute to their family's income and gain economic independence. Counseling, health care, and strict enforcement of laws against gender violence will provide further security. Earning women will gain respect and dignity at home and also help improve their family's general wellbeing.

WOMEN HOLD UP THE TWO-THIRD SKY. STILL, THEY ARE OPPRESSED

There is a Chinese saying, "Women hold up half the sky." This might have been true in the olden days when men were the sole breadwinners and women took care of the household. Today, women work and contribute to the family income and take care of the home and family. Therefore, we can appropriately assert that women hold up the two-third sky. George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), Irish dramatist and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925, justly said, "Women are an altogether superior species." Unfortunately, despite all the sacrifices and hard work, women are still victims of offensive and derogatory comments, gender hate, discrimination, and violence.

MOTHERS ARE WOMEN TOO

All of us respect our mothers, but some of us put down their gender. Even in the 21st-century, women are not safe from male barbarity, and they have to struggle to achieve safety, security, equality, and justice. Those who hate females because of their gender and oppress them insult their mothers.

Edmund Burke (1729-1797), British statesman and political thinker, rightly declared, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." CONSEQUENTLY, LET US CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY AND DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO ELIMINATE ALL FORMS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST GIRLS AND WOMEN AND ENABLE THEM TO LIVE SAFELY WITH RESPECT, DIGNITY, EQUALITY, AND JUSTICE.


[Toronto, Canada-based, ReformAdvocate.com promotes the wellbeing of Christian minorities, immigrants, refugees, and other needy groups. The world has changed. The Christian World Mission should adapt to these changes. The subscription is free. Please subscribe.]

(If you have any suggestions to make the blog more effective and useful, please write to editor Jeffrey S. Ram at ram@reformadvocate.com)


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