Violence

Violence against women and girls is a global pandemic that is a human rights and public health issue as well as a major cause of death and disability. The prevalence of violence transcends boundaries of race, class, culture, social status and religion. UNIFEM estimates that six out of every ten women will experience some form of physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime. Violations can occur at home, in the workplace or in public. Of rising concern is the systematic use of rape and sexual assault as weapons of armed conflict, terror and intimidation. One of the most common forms of violence against women is intimate partner violence. There are also variations in the types of violence against women which include but are not limited to: human trafficking, dating violence, sexual assault, emotional and verbal abuse, and customary practices such as female genital mutilation and so-called “honor killings” and other forms of femicide. Re:Gender and its network members are working along with international partners to raise awareness about efforts to reduce and eliminate the scourge of violence.

FAST FACT: New Trends Exposed in Modern Day Slavery

February 19, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird According to the U.S. State Department, 800,000 people were trafficked across national borders in 2006. This figure escalates into the millions when including victims trafficked within national borders.   A recently released report by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime delves deeper into this troubling phenomenon:

Global Report on Trafficking in Persons (data from 155 countries)

--Most common form of human trafficking is sexual exploitation (79%) followed by forced labor (18%)


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ADVOCACY CORNER: International Violence Against Women Act Coalition

February 17, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird Last week, I participated in a very interesting conference call with the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA) Coalition. The Coalition is comprised of over 65 organizations, whose foci range from a human rights advocacy standpoint to a research-centered agenda.  Violence against women , both in the U.S.


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GIRLS FORUM: R-E-S-P-E-C-T

February 10, 2009 posted by admin My first memory in life is of my mom holding me up as a human shield to try get my dad to stop beating her—possibly to stop from killing her. I was 2-years-old at the time. My book for young women, RESPECT: A GIRL'S GUIDE TO GETTING RESPECT AND DEALING WHEN YOUR LINE IS CROSSED (Free Spirit Publishing, 2005), was born out of a life riddled with disrespect. Like many girls and women I’ve met, I grew up in this home where domestic violence, addictions, incarceration, near poverty and "-isms" from racism to sexism were diminishing my family. But I was one of the lucky ones who discovered the many keys to breaking this cycle. Through following my passions, discovering my mission in life and getting help--among other Steps to Respect--I learned that respect is always within reach because true respect starts on the inside.  Now as I travel the country coaching girls and women, I hear a lot of stories just like mine. And as part of this work, I share with them an amazing video made by Jennifer Uribe, our 19-year-old program assistant at Respect Rx (a venture I founded last year). Jen's video includes powerful stats  that some girls have heard and some haven't, like: 


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GIRLS FORUM: Navigating Girlhood to Womanhood from New Moon’s Nancy Gruver

February 5, 2009 posted by admin We asked activists and scholars in the girl’s rights movement to draft a letter to President Obama, outlining their Girls Agenda for 2009.  Here’s what Nancy Gruver, founder and CEO of New Moon Magazine had to say: Dear President Obama: As Malia and Sasha’s proud father I don’t need to tell you how having daughters can give you new eyes on the world.  My daughters, Mavis and Nia, are adults now.  But it feels like just last week that they were ten years old and I was worrying about how to help them navigate the treacherous journey from girlhood to womanhood.  We started New Moon Girls magazine together to give girls a place to express themselves and make the world better. I believe you agree that growing up should mean increasing opportunities as well as responsibilities for our daughters.  It should mean increasing respect and rewards for their intelligence, creativity, and skills.  It should mean they have access to equal education and healthcare, including effective pregnancy prevention.  It should mean they have the freedom to walk down the street or go on a date without worrying they might be attacked just because they are female.


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NEW YEAR'S FORUM: A Conversation with Kavita

January 6, 2009 posted by  Linda Basch As we start off with our New Year’s Resolutions for the nation, I begin with an inspiring conversation I recently had with Kavita Ramdas, President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women. We were musing about the future, particularly with regard to women’s human rights at this optimistic moment for the country, with a new administration about to take charge in Washington. But as Kavita pointed out, as we begin to look forward, we also need to be self reflective as a nation. We need to develop a sense of collective responsibility. A number of problems have grown up over the past several years that we can’t sweep away, that we must address as a country and hold ourselves accountable for. I couldn’t agree more. I love conversations that are as wide-ranging as this one was.  We covered a lot of ground.  Some highlights:  As someone who works on global women's rights, Kavita hopes that the new administration will place a high priority on advancing women's rights worldwide. This can only be achieved by the US decreasing its emphasis on militarism and violence as the primary means to resolve conflict and re-focusing its efforts away from the so called "war on terror" towards efforts to eradicate global poverty, inequality, and injustice. Yet, she insisted, that much of the US's ability to achieve such results globally will depend on the choices it makes inside its own borders. So, I asked Kavita what she would like to see in terms of change right here at home….


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Highlights of 2008 on The Real Deal

January 2, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird The Real Deal blog at NCRW has only been live for three months. However, the posts people have shared have been so rich we thought we’d take a moment to highlight 2008 at The Real Deal for those coming to us for the first time.  During the election, we highlighted voices from Idaho, Michigan, and Ohion in our Views from the Swing States forum.


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VIOLENCE FORUM: Beyond Firewood

December 19, 2008 posted by Shyama Venkateswar

An op-ed just came across our desk that we wanted to share, as part of this week's Violence Forum here at TRD.  In a Boston Globe op-ed this week, Liv Ullmann, reminds us of the violence suffered by refugees in Darfur, Nepal, and Kenya.  Writes Ullmann:

For thousands of these impoverished women and girls, gathering firewood is more than a vital chore - it is often a matter of life and death. By doing what many of us achieve by simply turning on a stove, refugee women and girls regularly fall victim to rape, assault, theft, exploitation, and even murder... It's high time we get "beyond firewood" and explore alternative fuels and cutting-edge energy technologies, such as clean-burning fuels, fuel-efficient stoves, and solar cookers, Ullmann says.  We need to reduce women’s vulnerability to violence by investing in alternative sources of fuel that do not require women to travel long distances to collect firewood. 


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VIOLENCE FORUM: To End Violence Against Women, Target Misogyny

December 17, 2008 posted by admin


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VIOLENCE FORUM: Things to do Now to Stop Violence against Women

December 16, 2008 posted by admin If Vice-President-elect Joe Biden called me up seeking my input on how to build support for initiatives to end violence against women, I’d first thank him for wanting to hear from a young American woman, and a survivor of abuse, because it’s often women’s lack of political voice that enables violence to continue.  Acknowledging Biden’s longtime advocacy on this issue, most notably, his drafting of the Violence Against Women Act (1994), I’d say, Joe, if you want to build support for this important law, and make sure it truly is the “greatest breakthrough in civil rights for women in nearly two decades” (NOW), it’s time to break through the military code of silence surrounding servicewomen survivors of sexual assault, and realize that to really end violence towards women, we must end war.  As we celebrated the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this week, People magazine released the story of three enlisted women who were brutally murdered at Ft. Bragg, NC.  One in three women who join the US military will be sexually assaulted or raped by men in the military.  And in Iraq the Army may be covering up the rape and murder of dozens of women soldiers. 


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VIOLENCE FORUM: Enemies Within: Silence and Wartime Rape at Home and Abroad

December 16, 2008 posted by admin What does a skills training center for women in Sierra Leone, a village in Rwanda and an entire district in the Democratic Republic of Congo have in common? At each location, you are likely to find that the majority -- in some cases nearly all -- of the women and girls have been raped. What do women in these African countries have in common with women in the United States military? Silence and Inaction. A recent article reported that more than 37 women GIs in Iraq have experienced sexual violence at the hands of their own comrades: “The women…have reported poor medical treatment, lack of counseling and incomplete criminal investigations by military officials. Some say they were threatened with punishment after reporting assaults.”


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