Violence against women

JOHANNESBURG, 11 December 2013 (IRIN) - Nomsa*, 20, was on her way to register at a university outside Pretoria, South Africa, with four friends when the men grabbed her. "I was fighting with them," she said. They dragged her into a building, where the five of them took turns to rape her. The friends ran away and did not come back to look for her. The men took Nomsa's mobile phone.

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In 2012, a two-part study on the state of forced marriage was undertaken by Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) for its program on culturally-justified violence against women, supported by the Women’s Empowerment and Leadership Development for Democratisation (WELDD) consortium. This report is the documentation of that study and was subsequently revised as WLUML’s submission to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) for its report on preventing and eliminating child, early and forced marriage.

تخيلي أن بلدك الحبيب الذي عشقت نيله وارتويت من مائه هو أسوأ مكان بالعالم العربي يمكن أن تعيش فيه المرأة‏..‏ هذا ليس كلامنا بل هو نتيجة الدراسة التي نشرتها رويترز إحدي أكبر وكالات الأنباء وأكثرها دقة في العالم‏..‏ لم نصدقها وتم تكذيبها‏,‏ قالت الدراسة إن مصر فيها حاجة اسمها العنف‏...‏ تصوروا‏!!‏ الدراسة اعتبرت إن اللي بيحصل للفتاة والمرأة المصرية دا ممكن نسميه عنف مع أنها أمور عادية بتحصل في العالم كله‏!!..‏ فما الداعي لمناقشة وترديد هذا الكلام؟

بعد الضجيج الذي ثار في الهند هذا العام، حول الاغتصاب، في أعقاب اغتصاب فتاة جامعية، في حادث أودى بحياتها، يثور الآن جدل حول انتشار التحرش الجنسي في أماكن العمل، وخصوصاً بعد توجيه اتهامات إلى قاضٍ في المحكمة العليا .

Radhika Nair

She was 34. Born the year that I was. I knew what it meant to be that age, for a woman living in a city and pursuing a career and vibrant social life. One juggled deadlines at work and invitations to wine and cheese soirees, the struggle with self doubts and body image was giving way to a strange but unsettling peace and irreverence, making me wonder if it was the signs of menopause. But I couldn't possible imagine or know what Manorama's life was like. And yet, the news of her passing and the manner in which she was brutally murdered by security forces set me thinking and reading into the life and times of women caught in the web of militarism and violence. 

The year was 2004. Thangjam Manorama had been found dead in a field, her body ridden with six bullets including one in the genitals. The forensic report found semen stains on her skirt, suggesting that she may have been raped before she died. She was pronounced a separatist leader who specialised in improvised explosive devices and security forces claimed that she was responsible for several bomb blasts by the People's Liberation Army of Manipur, a revolutionary group that was trained by some of India's neighbours and was fighting for an independent socialist state of Manipur. Her family claimed that she was a peaceful activist, though many journalists privately agreed that she did belong to an underground outfit. She was picked up from her home, without an arrest warrant and was tortured and brutalised before being killed in cold blood. Even if Manorama was guilty, she deserved a process of interrogation, court proceedings and then a jail term. Not a brutal death at the hands of uncouth men in uniform. Her death remains shrouded in controversy even today, with security forces refusing to adhere to norms, refusing to attend court hearings and taking cover under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act which insulates them from the mandate of ordinary law. 

Reading the stories of women’s rights activists across the world in the 16 Days blog series has been an empowering experience. The experiences of violence, extra-judicial punishments and honour-based abuse taking place in countries such as Yemen, Iraq and Pakistan are humbling and give us an extra appreciation of the relative security and peace we have here in the United Kingdom. However,   we hear echoes of the climate of fear described in these blogs in the calls to our helpline from women and men living in towns and cities in this country.  Most of our callers are female, but a growing number are from men and boys. Some callers are too scared to say their names, using pseudonyms for weeks until they begin to trust us enough to tell us who and where they really are. Some speak in a whisper, calling from under their bedcovers or behind a locked bathroom door from a secret mobile phone they keep hidden from their family. 

Latifa Akay

‘Give women free guns!’  - It was one of those headlines that catches your eye, but not in a particularly good way. I read on with a feeling of unease I have learnt to associate with discussions of domestic violence in Turkey. The head of a women’s shelter, Şefkat-Der, it transpired – had suggested that women in fear of their lives be issued with licensed guns and receive state-funded shooting lessons as a last ditch effort to cut down on the murders of women.

شح المساعدات وضعف الاجراءات يزيدان من عرضة اللاجئات للأذى

نوفمبر 27,

2013  إن اللاجئات الوافدات من سوريا في لبنان، يتعرضن للتحرش الجنسي من قبل بعض أصحاب العمل ومُلاك المساكن بل وحتى بعض موزعي المساعدات من الجمعيات ذات الطابع الديني. قابلت هيومن رايتس ووتش 12 سيدة وصفن التعرض للملامسة والتحرش والضغط عليهن من أجل ممارسة الجنس.

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المهندس الميكانيكي أحمد عز يتحدث عن عمله التطوعي في قوة ضد التحرش/ الاعتداء الجنسي الجماعي، وهي حركة ناشطة مركزها في القاهرة، ومعروفة بتدخلاتها في حوادث الاعتداءات الجنسية الجماعية في ميدان التحرير.

وعندما يعلم الناس أن امرأةً تعرضت للتحرش والاعتداء الجنسي يكون رد فعلهم الأول هو: “كانت لابسة اه؟ إنهم دائماً يضعون اللوم على النساء أنفسهن، وقد شهدتُ ذلك الأمر مرات عدة.

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 رصدت جمعية معهد تضامن النساء الأردني 20 جريمة قتل بحق النساء منذ بداية عام 2013 حتى منتصف شهر آب، مشيرة إلى أنه لا يمكن إعتبار هذه الجرائم هي جرائم بداعي “الشرف” كون التحقيقات في أغلبها لا زالت جارية وأن المحاكم لم تفصل بها بعد.

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