V-Day, Women's Rights

Until the Violence Stops

ali sent me this information in response to Eve Ensler’s letter written on Thanksgiving Day after the WHO statistics on Violence Against Women were released for the UN Elimination of Violence Against Women Day, November 25.

An avid supporter of my personal fight to stop violence against women, ali typed up the article taken from his weekly subscription to The Economist.

‘No place for your daughter’

“[…] Men still fill most of the bodybags in wartime, including in civil wars, even on DCAF’s (Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of the Armed Forces) figures, but their sisters, mothers, wives and daughters, it argues in a new report entitled ‘Women in an Insecure World’, face nothing short of a “hidden gendercide”.

Violence against women is nothing new, DCAF’s contribution is to collate the many figures and estimates – not all of them easily verifiable, it has to be said – on everything from infanticide to rape (in both war and peace), dowry deaths, sex trafficking and domestic violence (in richer countries as well as poorer ones).

According to one UN estimate cited by DCAF, between 113m and 200m women are now demographically “missing”. This gender gap is a result of the aborting of girl foetuses and infanticide in countries where boys are preferred; lack of food and medical attention that goes instead to brothers, fathers, husbands and sons; so called “honour-killings” and dowry deaths; and other sorts of domestic violence. It implies that each year between 1.5m and 3m women and girls are lost to gender-based violence. IN OTHER WORDS, EVERY TWO TO FOUR YEARS THE WORLD LOOKS AWAY FROM A VICTIM COUNT ON THE SCALE OF HITLER’S HOLOCAUST.

Women between the ages of 15 and 44 are more likely to be maimed or die from violence inflicted one way or another by their menfolk than through CANCER, MALARIA, TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS OR WAR COMBINED. Poor health care means that 600,000 women are lost each year to childbirth (a toll roughly equal to that of the Rwandan genocide). WHO estimates that 6,000 girls a day (more than 2m a year) undergo genital mutilation. Other WHO figures suggest that, around the world, ONE WOMEN IN FIVE IS LIKELY TO BE A VICTIM OF RAPE OR ATTEMPTED RAPE IN HER LIFETIME.

The Economist, 26 November – 2 December, 2005, ‘No place for your daughter’, p68.

Items capitalised for emphasis by ali.