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Gender-Based Violence

Samantha Toledano

E3 Civic High
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Abstract

Gender-based violence is any type of abuse, violence, and harassment against women in

general. Many women worldwide are victims of gender-based violence, but women that suffer

from it the most are women who live in Africa, Asia, and Europe. The women who live in these

places have no say whatsoever what they can and cannot do with their bodies. Everyday they are

getting raped, abused, and killed for sex. People all around the world feel strongly emotional

about this topic and are doing everything they can in their best ability to help stop it. At the end

of the day, no matter what ethnicity, background, age, skin color, etc., these women are human

beings. They have feelings and a future ahead of them just like everyone else in this world does.

It should not be up to mean what they can and cannot do with their bodies.

Key word: gender-based violence

In the novel, Half the Sky, there are many pressed issues for women that are addressed,

but gender-based violence is by far the most pressing issue for women in the 21st century.
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Although many feminists believe that maternal mortality is the main issue affecting women

around the world, gender-based violence is the most pressing issue in the 1st century. Three

good ways to prove this statement are by explaining, how to stop violence before it starts

(education for youth), how to stay employed and out of violence (education for women), and

how to not see women as just objects (education for men). Many women are abused and raped in

their countries every day. They have no say whatsoever what they can and cannot do with their

bodies. The way their country view things makes these women believe that they deserve to get

raped and get treated the way they do. Little girls grow up thinking that what they see happening

to their mothers, aunts, sisters, and cousins is a social norm. Women are treated like sex objects,

slaves and toys. In reality women are so much more than that, they make the world a better

place, which is why gender-based violence need to be demolished as soon as possible.

To begin with- How to stop violence before it stops. There are many ways to teach our

kids, students, friends, family etc. to help stop violence before more of it starts. Raising your

kids right and teaching them that gender-based violence is not something to condone or be proud

of. Whether it is a teacher, doctor, guardian, or a loved one teaching our next generation of

adults about gender-based violence, they will grow up with a safe mindset. Children may not

completely 100% understand what they are taught depending on their age and maturity level, but

as long as they are being taught that gender-based violence is wrong, when they are adolescents

it may spark them to want to make a change or help out, perhaps even begin teaching other kids

about it and wanting to make a difference in the world. With violence against women and girls

being one of the biggest and entrenched human rights issues in the world, many anti-violence

activists, educators, and charities see our next generation as our best hope for bringing an end to

gender-based violence. This is because if we can include todays children and teenagers with a
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firm belief in gender equality and non-violence, we would be gradually able to change mindsets

and cultural beliefs as the next generation takes over. The importance of education our children

and teenagers about violence against women is a principal of importance because in todays

extremely interconnected world where kids can get online with a simple tap on their

smartphones, they are likely to become exposed to violence and horror of beyond their own

communities. Therefore it is important for adults to teach children and teengaers about gender-

based violence against women and girls as soon as possible. Some example of good ways to

teach our youth the important reality of gender based violence are as follows: Read them books

about it, establish boundaries for your kids by teaching them what is right and wrong, act out a

story about someone's personal experience on gender-based violence, share personal

stories/experiences, or tell someone elses (if it is okay with the person), use the internet

correctly and show them a youtube video. There are many more creative ways to teach our young

ones about gender-based violence, better get started!

Education for women- how to stay employed and out of violence. There are millions of

women who have experienced the life scaring act of gender-based violence, but how can we save

women who can possibly be future victims of gender-based violence? Hard work! This is

probably easier said than done, but working hard will get you to where you want. Some ideas for

men and women who live in countries where gender-based violence is not a huge issue can work

hard and dedicate their time to making sure women who are exposed to gender-based violence

are safe. By running a company/organization, starting a campaign, or simply donating money to

other companies and organization could be put to great use and help majorly. Simply getting a

good education could be enough to take you farther than you ever even planned on going. By

being educated you could do great things to help putting gender-based violence to an end. No
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matter where you live. Mature and older women who live in countries where gender-based

violence is an enormous issue like countries in Africa do not have the same privileges many

women in a state like California have. These women dont have the right to stand up for their

own rights, which is a big issue having to do with gender-based violence. Women around the

world who are educated can help women who dont have rights to go far in life, helping them get

away from what to them is probably a living hell, and be able to help about other women who are

suffering just the way they did. Nothing is impossible when it comes to wanting to do the right

thing and making a change. No matter how low the circumstances are, women are strong, smart,

and capable enough to do something, speak up, and make a change. So whether youre living in a

country of poverty where women have no rights, or living in a stable country where women do

have the right to speak up, we can all do something to contribute to ending gender-based

violence once and for all.

Education for men- how to not be violent (see women as objects). Although men are not

the only ones who cause gender-based violence and there are women who do it as well, the

majority of the people who cause gender-based violence are mostly males. Nothing makes being

coldly and heartlessly violent to a women ok ever. However, there may be certain things that

men have been through in their lives that make them feel the need to destroy someone else's

happiness, be aggressive towards a women, or feel the need to take it out on women. For men

who feel those types of symptoms, they should definitely seek professional help as soon as

possible. Although there are many understanding people in the world, it is never okay to take

your personal feelings or issues out by raping, violating, or abusing a women. On another note,

there are sadly men on this earth to feel the need to violate a women for their own pleasure. In

order to stop men like this the first thing to do is to begin educating them as children in order to
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teach them that gender-based violence is not okay. Some men rape women for their own sexual

satisfaction, when really there is no need for that. Men can find someone who actually does want

them intimately. Whether it be in a relationship, no strings attached, or even with several

different women, but as long as the female is okay with it and gives the male permission to touch

them, then all of that is much better than raping an innocent child or woman. For men who feel

the need to have sexual intercourse so bad that they feel they need to rape in order to do so,

should be taught to see women as the beautiful strong human beings they are. Whether it be from

a friend, their mothers, a counseling group, etc., they should be taught that women are much

more than just a sex object.

Counter Argument

Many people believe that healthcare is the answer to stopping gender-based violence.

However; healthcare is really not the solution at all. While healthcare may stop the female

victims of rape from getting pregnant, it will not stop the revolting issue of gender-based

violence. The female carrying the baby may even bring them depression because theres a great

chance that birth control may not even work, leaving them with three choices: abortion. keeping

the baby, or adoption/abandonment Either way, those three options are harsh on the mother

because it is not easy for most females to have to abort their baby. Keeping the baby would not

be easy for them at all, because looking at the infant everyday would probably bring back the life

scarring memories of the time the victim was raped. The third option- putting up the baby for

adoption or simply abandoning it could be something that will come back to haunt the female.

Some of the female victims who get raped are only adolescent kids themseleves, some of them

dont even have family to help them raise the baby, so how would a kid raise a kid on their own?

On top of having to feel the tragic pain of being raped for the rest of their life, they would also
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have to deal with the guilt of not being able to give that baby a good life. On second hand, some

people do believe that maternal mortality is the most pressing issue for women in the 21st

century, but how could we ever end maternal mortality if in order to do so we would need to

cancel out gender-based violence first? Less gender based violence equals no maternal mortality,

because after being raped many mothers who give birth to the baby die, and theres a chance that

the baby could as well, especially in a country where technology is not advanced like in the

United States. Many people cannot afford health care at all, leaving us with the answer that

healthcare is not the way out.

Conclusion

In conclusion, gender-based violence is the number one pressing conflict for women in

the twenty-first century. In order to stop gender based violence we need to educate our youth, our

women, and our men. In order to do so we must teach them what is right, what is wrong, and

why. Women in countries where gender-based violence is a gigantic issue have no control or say

to what gets to happen to them or what they can do with their bodies. In order to contribute to

stopping gender-based violence, you can give what you can. Whether it be money, joining an

organization, or even just keeping it in your thoughts and spreading the word, you are

contributing to put an end to gender-based violence. Women are what keeps this world together,

they carry babies who for all we know could grow up to be someone amazing in life. Women are

much more than what people think and they serve an amazing purpose in life.
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Annotated bibliography

References

Kristof, N. D., & WuDunn, S. (2009). Half the sky: Turning oppression into opportunity for

women worldwide. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

In the book Half the Sky: Turning oppression into opportunity, by Kristof and his wife

WuDunn, is about digging deep into the lives of women in the Middle East, Asia, and

Africa. The book tells stories of real life experiences of women having to do with

violence against women. This book would be best for mature audiences. Kristof and

WuDunn started off by writing simple journals about violent things around the world,
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however, while doing so they came across noticing extreme violence against women and

were surprised to find out that it wasnt even rare aspect in some counties. Seeing what

some women have to go through in their life time inspired them to go out and understand

what women deal with and feel. This book itself obviously cant stop all violence against

women, but it surely can help out. The smallest positive acts of kindness are enough to

inspire just one person, and little by little it can change the world. This source supports

my thesis showing how gender based violence is the biggest pressed issue for women in

the 21st century.

Ward, J. (2002). If Not Now When? Addressing Gender Based Violence in refugee internally

displaced and post-conflict settings. A Global Overview

The UN data article: If Not Now When?: Addressing Gender based Violence in Refugee

Internally displaced and post-conflict settings, by the UN Women, first explains the acts

of gender based violence, and talks about the lifelong emotional and physical damage it

can cause women worldwide. The UN Women are women who believe strongly in

stopping women from being abused, harassed, raped, etc. They work everyday on helping

women all across the nation. To save lives and help our women is what they do. When

looking at their website it is noticed that they are ambitious to help people to vision how

gender based violence impacts many women. They are hungry to make a change in this

world. Their work is quite heart touching. Their goal is to get people emotional by using

pathos. These women havent fixed the world 100%, but theyre doing the best they can

and each day they are one step closer.


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Dunkle, K. L., Jewkes, R. K., Brown, H. C., Yoshihama, M., Gray, G. E., McIntyre, J. A., &

Harlow, S. D. (2004). Prevalence and patterns of gender-based violence and revictimization

among women attending antenatal clinics in Soweto, South Africa. American journal of

epidemiology, 160(3), 230-239.

In the journal article, Prevalence and Patterns of Gender-based Violence and

Revictimization Among Women Attending Antenatal Clinic in Soweto, South Africa, is based

purely on facts. It is not much of an emotional article. It simply tells the percentages of women in

different countries being assaulted, ages of women all around the world suffering from violence,

and what people are doing to resolve this conflict. This journal article very well supports my

thesis, because when I am writing my essay on gender-based violence I will be able to use the

facts stated here. The article is detailed and impressive. Perhaps the fact that it was written by a

good amount of professionals is why it is well written. The article talks about babies, to children,

to adolescents, to grown women, about what they are likely to face in the future, what is likely to

happen to them, and why being violated against ever even happened to these women in the first

place. This is a very strong article, it is great for throwing knowledge at people who would like

to know more about gender-based violence and how it works.

Shannon, K., Kerr, T., Strathdee, S. A., Shoveller, J., Montaner, J. S., & Tyndall, M. W. (2009).

Prevalence and structural correlates of gender based violence among a prospective cohort of

female sex workers. Bmj, 339, b2939.

This science article focuses on the scientific outcomes of gender-based violence. It talks

about the medical consequences once you are sexually assaulted or violated. Doctors explain that
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when a victim is raped there is a big chance of catching an STD. The most common STD is HIV.

HIV is a disease in which which the white blood cells are killed and your immune system slowly

fails you. There is no cure for HIV, and eventually when the body can no longer fight the disease

it causes death. Being raped can also cause, chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhea, any form of an STD.

When women in Africa, Asia, and The Middle East have there clitorus removed, there is a chance

that they may catch an infection. It explains how the clitoros is there for a reason and removing it

could cause damage. One of the medical consequnces to clitrous romoval is not being able to be

sexually aroused for the rest of your life. These women have no say in what they get to do with

their body.

Hedgepeth Maria, S., & G. Saidel, S. (2010). Sexual Violence Against Jewish Women During the

Holocaust.

The novel, Sexual Violence Against Jewish Women During the Holocaust, was written to be

dedicated to the victims of sexual violence during the holocaust, those who were silenced, those

who have not spoken, and those who chose to remain silenced. The holocaust was a horrible

war, in which many males and females suffered horribly. However; the sexual violence suffered

by females during the holocaust has rarely been spoken about. This book touches upon a very

ignored topic. It speaks about how Jewish women were assulted by natzis and their allies, but

also by Jewish men themselves, and even liberators. Hedgepeth is the professor of German at

Middle Tennessee State University. Saidel is the founder and executive director of Remember the

Women Institute. The authors, editors, and contributors to this novel deserve great credit for

bringing out a painful topic.


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