So last week was international women’s day, where we celebrate the amazing pioneers, inventors, politicians and activists that have fought for woman’s rights, invested their whole lives in pursuit of their dreams against their odds and find time to raise families. Don’t get me wrong, there are many amazing men out there that have given so much to this world in education, laws, art and science, but it is the women that had to really push and stand up for themselves and their ideas for many years until they were finally heard and listened to when it comes to gender equality. In the end, the goal is to have as many choices and rights as men and this is what the world is slowly achieving.
Unfortunately, not all countries are as educated and have the resources to support women in that way. Many LEDC and countries with limited access to education, or that are simply very engrossed in their cultural norms, are not willing to look outside of their knowledge box resulting in extremely high crime rates, against women in particular. These are places like India, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen, Nigeria and many more. Here are some easy facts to digest:
- 35% of women worldwide have experienced either physical/ sexual violence by their intimate partner or others
- 30% of all women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner while in the relationship
- 38% of all murdered women are killed by intimate partners
- women who have experienced non-partner related violence are 2.3 times more likely to have alcohol use disorders and are 2.6 times more likely to experience depression or anxiety
- Central Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest prevalence of intimate partner violence against women at 65.64%, with 21.05% sexual violence committed by non-partners which is also the highest rate in the world
- East Asia has the lowest prevalence of intimate partner violence against women at 16.3%, with a 5.87% prevalence of non-intimate partner sexual violence against women
- South Asia scores the lowest on the prevalence of non-intimate partner sexual violence against women at 3.35%, but has a high prevalence of intimate partner violence of 41.73%
Sociocultural and economical factors are the key offenders that foster the normalisation of violence against woman, and these have to be addressed at global and local levels by governing bodies. There are also things like access to education, early exposure to violence, support groups, legislations and women economy that has to be looked at to fully support the victims and protect future generations. Most of these women are truly incredible to be able to go through these experiences and push every day to survive and support their families.
There are some amazing organisations out there that are currently support woman in developing countries, and here is a few you can check out and support if you like:
- The Malala Fund – supporting young girls to get an education in developing countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Nigeria and countries housing Syrian refugees such as Lebanon and Jordan.
- The Orchid Project – advocated against Female Genitalia Mutilation in developing regions such as West Africa.
- Prajwala – Indian organisation helping to rescue woman from sex trafficking and providing them with education, mental health care and skills training for jobs to keep them out of sex work.
- Every Mother Counts – organisation that provides training to professionals, improve transport care facilities and provides crucial supplies and grants to clinics and mothers in need of help mitigate the mortality rates in Tanzania, Haiti, and India.
I, of course like many other people, think that my mother is the most amazing female in the world. She has given up everything she knew and she moved to another country not knowing the language and literally did everything she can to give me and my sister a better life (and while doing that brought up and raised another little devil which is my little brother), a better chance for education, self-development and just better start into adulthood. As a result, I and my sister have always been very open-minded, always looking at the bigger picture, and just being appreciative of everything we have achieved, everything she has done for us and everything the world is offering. For me right now being able to work and travel in Canada would probably never have happened if not for her sacrifice. Her passion for the family, her strength as a female, her commitment to everything she does, her drive to grow and self-educate to achieve her goals and just constant support to us kids is something that I cannot admire more. I only hope to be as half as good as her and do the same for my children. She and my sister and big inspirations to me.
I also have to mention my godmother. While I grew up in the very religious country of Poland, my godmother has always been someone I looked up to. She would always have some amazing stories to tell, she was always a giver and someone that would get involved with the community and helping others. She has this amazing positive and happy way of communicating with others, and I always loved that energy around her. I thought she was the coolest aunty in the world when I was young, and she continues to inspire me.
There are many other amazing ladies in my life that I look up to and get inspiration from, but I can’t just mention everyone 🙂
I feel very privileged and just grateful to be raised in an environment and community that is much safer for women on daily bases, and where women can stand together, create communities and support each other when needed.
P.S. I started this post hoping to write about the amazing female animal kingdom but after doing further research into violence against woman, I wanted to give this a little extra of my time.
- NCBI (2015) – Violence against woman
- World Health Organisation (2013) – Global and regional estimate of violence against women: prevalence and health effects of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence.