Shalom

I have longed for thy salvation, O L-RD; and thy Torah is my delight. Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments. Psalm 119:174-176


09 March 2014

International Women's Day 2014

Sunset in the Mountains of Germany - Photo by A.Stahl

Yesterday was International Women's Day. Since 1977, women and men all over the world have taken one day (March 8th) out of all days in the year to recognize women and women's issues.

This year's theme was "Equality for Women is Progress for All". Google had a special doodle with video this year.


Just before International Women's day, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights has highlighted the issue of abuses against women within the European Union. You can find information on this study under "Violence against Women: every day and everywhere" and "Fundamental change needed to help combat violence against women". You can download the PDF fact sheet in English here, and the survey results here.  If you do not have time to read the articles right now, I would highly suggest watching these two videos from FRA.




The survey asked women about their experiences of physical, sexual and psychological violence, including domestic violence. Questions were also asked about incidents of stalking, sexual harassment, and the role played by new technologies in women’s experiences of abuse. In addition, the survey asked about respondents’ experiences of violence in childhood.
Drawing on the survey responses, some of the key findings show that:
  • 33% of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15. That corresponds to 62 million women.
  • 22% have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by a partner.
  • 5% of all women have been raped. Almost one in 10 women who have experienced sexual violence by a non-partner, indicate that more than one perpetrator was involved in the most serious incident.
  • 43% have experienced some form of psychological violence by either a current or a previous partner, such as public humiliation; forbidding a woman to leave the house or locking her up; forcing her to watch pornography; and threats of violence.
  • 33% have childhood experiences of physical or sexual violence at the hands of an adult. 12% had childhood experiences of sexual violence, of which half were from men they did not know. These forms of abuse typically involve an adult exposing their genitals or touching the child’s genitals or breasts.
  • 18% of women have experienced stalking since the age of 15 and 5% in the 12 months prior to the interview. This corresponds to 9 million women. 21% of women who have experienced stalking said that it lasted for over 2 years.
  • 11% of women have experienced inappropriate advances on social websites or have been subjected to sexually explicit emails or text (SMS) messages. 20% of young women (18-29) have been victims of such cyberharassment.
  • 55% of women have experienced some form of sexual harassment. 32% of all victims of sexual harassment said the perpetrator was a boss, colleague or customer.
  • 67% did not report the most serious incident of partner violence to the police or any other organisation.
    FRA: Violence against Women: every day and everywhere

Here is some news coverage about the study:

"What emerges is a picture of extensive abuse that affects many women's lives, but is systematically under-reported to the authorities," said FRA director Morten Kjaerum.
Press TV: One third of EU women suffered abuse in lifetime: Study
"Yet, as an illustration, only 14 per cent of women reported their most serious incident of intimate partner violence to the police, and 13 per cent reported their most serious incident of non-partner violence to the police," Mr Kjaerum said.
He said that "violence against women, and specifically gender-based violence that disproportionately affects women, is an extensive human rights abuse that the EU cannot afford to overlook".
TheJournal.ie - One in three European women have experienced physical or sexual violence since the age of 15

The report calls on EU countries to treat domestic violence as a public, not a private issue. It says laws and policies relating to sexual harassment should be reviewed.

The survey asked women about their experiences of physical, sexual and psychological violence, at home and in the workplace, as well as stalking, sexual harassment and violence in childhood.
BBC News: Violence against women: One-third of EU women affected - survey
 
Almost a half of women have experienced some form of psychological violence by a partner, such as public humiliation; forbidding a woman to leave the house or locking her up; forcing her to watch pornography; and threats of violence.
Serious incidents of partner violence are rarely reported, with only 67 per cent taking it to the police or other organisations.
The Telegraph UK - Violence against women: a third of women assaulted in the EU
  Just 23 percent of women in Germany had seen or heard of a campaign against violence against women. This put the country right at the bottom of the list – only in Austria was this number lower.
TheLocal.de - One in three women experience violence
The emotional and psychological consequences of physical and sexual violence "can be long-lasting and deep-seated," the survey said.
Over a fifth of the victims of sexual violence suffered from panic attacks, over a third became depressed and 43 percent spoke of difficulty in subsequent relationships as a result.
There are sizable differences when the survey's findings are broken up by country, although the report said higher levels of gender equality could lead to more disclosure of violence in some countries.
Al Jazeera America - One-third of EU women suffered physical or sexual assault, report says

When the data was broken down by country, the findings showed that Denmark and Finland were among the countries with higher rates of women indicating they had experienced physical and/or sexual abuse (52 and 47 percent respectively). Women in Poland reported the lowest levels of abuse. The report authors suggested this might be because increased gender equality could lead to more disclosures of violence.
TIME: Study: One Third Of E.U. Women Suffer Abuse


The report also found that 55 percent of women had experienced some form of sexual harassment, 18 percent had been stalked and 11 percent had experienced inappropriate advances on social web sites or had been subjected to sexually explicit e-mails or texts. Among women between 18 and 29, 20 percent said they had been victims of such “cyber-harassment.”
France24: A third of women in EU have suffered 'sexual violence'
There were surprising differences between countries, although the FRA stressed that this could be due to a number of factors and not necessarily because levels of violence were higher.
The Raw Story: One-third of women in EU are victims of physical or sexual abuse, report shows


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