November 24

United Nations Official Commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
Reflection

Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread human rights violations in our world today and remains largely unreported due to the stigma and shame surrounding it. According to the United Nations, 35% of women and girls globally experience some form of physical and or sexual violence in their lifetime with up to seven in ten women facing this abuse in some countries. It affects women regardless of their age, background, or level of education. This violence takes many forms, including physical, sexual, or psychological violence, as well as economic abuse and exploitation. Violence against women continues to be an obstacle to achieving equality, development, peace as well as to the fulfillment of women and girls’ human rights.

The 2021 theme for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is: Orange the World: End Violence Against Women Now! The Unite Campaign will highlight the universal nature of violence against women and girls and acknowledge the particular challenges related to COVID-19, humanitarian and conflict situations. It will also amplify successes to demonstrate that violence against women and girls is preventable, and mobilize greater investment in the proven solutions.

Prayer

Create in us a new heart.

Action

Honestly examine your real belief about the equality of women and men. Do not support any form of entertainment that exploits violence against women. Report any acts of violence that you may experience or witness.  Teach young girls to see themselves as  independent and equal and not to tolerate any form of disrespect. If you are a woman, what are your own convictions? Do you allow yourself to be a victim? Teach boy children that girls are equal.

Suggested Reading

How many times have we permitted a human being to be seen as an object, to be put on show in order to sell a product or to satisfy an immoral desire? The human person ought never to be sold or bought as if he or she were a commodity. Whoever uses human persons in this way and exploits them, even if indirectly, becomes an accomplice of injustice.
Pope Francis

Sexual violence against women and girls is rooted in centuries of male domination. Let us not forget that the gender inequalities that fuel rape culture are essentially a question of power imbalances.
Un Secretary –General Antonio Guterres

The truth is that domestic violence and violence against women touch many of us. This violence is not a private matter. Behind closed doors it is shielded and hidden and it only intensifies. It is protected by silence – everyone’s silence. Violence against women is learned. Each of us must examine – and change – the ways in which our own behavior might contribute to, enable, ignore or excuse all such forms of violence. I promise to do so, and to invite other men and allies to do the same.
Patrick Stewart

If we are to fight discrimination and injustice against women we must start from the home for if a woman cannot be safe in her own house then she cannot be expected to feel safe anywhere.
Aysha Taryam

Violence is central to patriarchy, and the forms of systemic violence are interconnected in Western societies. Recognizing similarities across forms of oppression is essential.”
Lisa Kemmerer

The biggest challenge is to convince a woman that it’s not her fault. There is no excuse for a man hitting a woman. Ever.
Senator Debbie Stabeno

The Violence Against Women Act protects the lives of tens of thousands of domestic violence victims. But the U.S. must also support gender equality around the world, and that means acknowledging that some nations we consider to be our friends are no friends to women. For example, domestic violence is not regarded as a crime in Saudi Arabia. The United States should not have ‘normal’ relations with nations that treat women as second-class citizens.
Senator Barbara Boxer

For most of recorded history, parental violence against children and men’s violence against wives was explicitly or implicitly condoned. Those who had the power to prevent and/or punish this violence through religion, law, or custom, openly or tacitly approved it. …..The reason violence against women and children is finally out in the open is that activists have brought it to global attention.
Riane Eisler

Domestic violence causes far more pain than the visible marks of bruises and scars. It is devastating to be abused by someone that you love and think loves you in return. It is estimated that approximately 3 million incidents of domestic violence are reported each year in the United States.
Senator Dianne Feinstein

If the numbers we see in domestic violence were applied to terrorism or gang violence, the entire country would be up in arms, and it would be the lead story on the news every night.
Rep. Mark Green

One in three women may suffer from abuse and violence in her lifetime. This is an appalling human rights violation, yet it remains one of the invisible and under-recognized pandemics of our time.
Nicole Kidma

Child abuse casts a shadow the length of a lifetime.
Herbert Ward 

It’s not enough for women to speak out on the issue – for the message to be strong and consistent; women’s voices must be backed up by men’s.
Rep. John Conyers, Jr.

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