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PostSubject: Info on Gender Violence   Sat Nov 21, 2009 6:01 pm

Feel free to incorporate any of the facts listed below into your creative pieces.



WHAT IS GENDER OR GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE?



Many terms are used to describe or label essentially the same thing: gender violence, gendered violence, gender-related persecution, or sexual and gender-based violence. According to UNHCR’s guidelines on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence against Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons, sexual and gender-based violence (or SGBV) refers to ‘violations of fundamental human rights that perpetuate sex-stereotyped roles that deny human dignity and the self-determination of the individual and hamper human development.’5 The terms ‘refer to physical, sexual and psychological harm that reinforces female subordination and perpetuates male power and control.’ 6 According to these guidelines, ‘the term “gender-based violence” is used to distinguish common violence from violence that targets individuals or groups or individuals on the basis of their gender [or sex]’.7 Gender violence may affect both men and women, but it disproportionately affects women and girls. The term has thus been predominantly used to apply to women and girls.

I wish to make just two brief observations on how we use terminology. First, there is concern that the primary focus on ‘gender violence’ as opposed to violence generally narrows what is included within the discourse on gender violence and refugees and, therefore, within our work more generally on refugee protection. To put this another way, generalised violence is not always seen and understood as falling within the scope of the protection needs of refugee women as focus is primarily given to genderspecific or gender-based violence. This can lead to either overlooking or downplaying the impact of non-gender-specific harm on women and girls that is also serious and needs action to prevent and respond to it. Such violence may include attacks on civilians, excessive use of force, genocide, disappearances, physical violence, harassment, arbitrary detention, torture, or forced recruitment into armed groups. It can also lead to artificial classifications of particular types of harm as gendered violence, resulting in programs and resources to combat it, while other harm is left aside.




Stop Violence Against Women Campaign: Overview
Violence against women and girls is a global pandemic.

At least one out of every three women has been beaten, forced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime.


Every year, millions of women are raped by partners, relatives, friends and strangers, by employers and colleagues, soldiers and members of armed groups.


The World Health Organization has reported that up to 70% of female murder victims are killed by their male partners.
Violence affects the lives of women everywhere, cutting across boundaries of wealth, race and culture. In the home and the community, in times of war and peace, women are beaten, raped, mutilated and killed with impunity.
The violence affects women in different ways depending on factors such as their income, who controls it, social status, occupation, ethnicity, religion and sexuality.

Amnesty International's Work
In 2004, Amnesty International launched its global Stop Violence Against Women Campaign to help break the silence around this pandemic. Our aim is to stop the violence and support the work of women’s human rights advocates around the world. With this campaign, Amnesty International is showing that the right of women to be free from violence is integral to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As long as this violence continues, the promise of the Universal Declaration to humanity cannot be fulfilled.
These are the changes that the Stop Violence against Women campaign focuses on. States must ensure that:

Survivors of violence and their families have access to justice and compensation.


The rights of survivors are protected at all times.


Survivors can escape the violence and begin to heal and rebuild their lives.


Girls receive an education in a safe environment.


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Safe Schools: Every girl's right

Safe Schools report cover. A young girl leaps through the ribbon as she wins a race at her school in Dhaka, Bangladesh."©️ 2004 Roobon/The Hunger Project-Bangladesh, Courtesy of Photoshare
When a girl grabs her book bag and runs off to school in the morning, she looks forward to having fun with her schoolmates, learning new skills, exploring the world under the guidance of a thoughtful teacher and playing games on the sports fields. Or does she? Does she instead fear for her safety, dread humiliating and violent treatment or simply hope to get through another day?
Schools reflect their wider society. The same forms of violence which women suffer throughout their lives – physical, sexual and psychological – affect the lives of girls in and around their schools. Schools must be places for children to learn and grow. But many girls all over the world go to school fearing for their safety. This reality threatens many girls’ right to an education.
Without an education, it is difficult for girls to break the cycles of poverty, violence and disease. Education is a human right, and therefore every girl’s right.
Girls experience many different forms of violence. Every day, girls are assaulted on their way to school, pushed and hit on school grounds, teased and insulted by their classmates and humiliated through whisper campaigns, cell phone messages or on the Internet. They face sexual assault from other students, are offered higher marks by teachers in exchange for sexual favours, even raped in the staff room. Some are caned or beaten in the name of discipline.
In war zones, the dangers increase, with girls being seized by armed groups or injured or killed on the road or when their school is attacked. Sexual abuse and exploitation of girls are common in refugee or displaced persons camps.
Other factors increase the risk of violence. Lesbian girls and those with disabilities often face discrimination. Migrants, orphans and those with HIV are at higher risk, as are those discriminated against because of caste, ethnicity and race.
The result of these abuses is that girls are kept out of school, drop out of school or do not fully participate in school. Abused girls not only experience fear and pain, but lowered self-esteem, poor school performance, sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancies and depression. When violence disrupts a girl’s education, she faces poorer employment opportunities and her chances of entering into an early marriage are greater.
The problems caused by violence are exacerbated by the fact that girls often choose not to report the abuse. It continues to be a taboo issue in some societies. Or the girls may fear retaliation. That leaves such acts under-reported and allows the abusers to go unpunished.

Changes Amnesty International wants to see:
Under international law, primary education is a right for all children. Governments, teachers and school authorities must work to:

Prevent violence against girls in schools


Promptly investigate reports of abuse


Impose appropriate punishments on offenders


Support those who have suffered violence to recover


Ensure that such abuses do not recur.
Amnesty International is demanding that states take immediate action to fulfill their commitments to make schools safe for girls. They can do that by taking the following six steps:
Step 1: Prohibit all forms of violence against girls

Step 2: Plan to make schools safe for girls

Step 3: Respond to incidents of violence against girls

Step 4: Provide support services for girls who have suffered violence

Step 5: Remove barriers to girls’ access to education

Step 6: Protect girls from abuse


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Violence against women

Aurélie was 10 years old when members of an armed group attacked her village, killed her mother and father, then raped her. Aurélie was desperate for help. But because she was raped by the "enemy," she was seen as the "enemy’s woman" with no right to health care, legal aid or schooling.

Aurélie lives in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo where thousands of girls and women have been raped and murdered by members of armed groups.

But the Congo is not unique. In conflicts around the world, women and girls are directly targeted for sexual violence as a way of dividing and demoralizing the enemy. Then they are denied medical, economic and legal support – again because they are women.

We demand that governments bring to justice anyone responsible for violence against women. And we demand that governments provide the health and legal services
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