Gender Based Violence
Around the world, violence against women is an everyday occurrence. Up to 70 percent of women experience violence in their lifetime. In Columbia, one woman is reportedly killed by her partner or former partner every six days. In the Congo, 1,100 rapes are reported each month. In China, there have been over 250 million births that have been prevented between the years of 1980 and 2000. Over 140 million women and girls worldwide have been affected by the consequences of female genital mutilation. There is an estimate of 24 people per minute that are victims of rape. Women aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria, according to World Bank data. The statistics can go on and on because gender based violence is real, alarming and needs to be addressed. The definition of gender based violence is “Any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivations of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.” Throughout this paper, we will be focusing on four main topics of gender-based violence. The areas of female genital mutilation, rape, girls killed in China, and honour killings will all be addressed.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. Around the world over 140 million girls and women are currently living with the consequences of these procedures. The average age to have FGM carried out is between infancy and 15, especially, between the ages of 7 and 10. Female Genital Mutilation is categorized into four major surgeries. Type one is considered a, clitoridectomy, which is the partial or total removal of the clitoris (a small, sensitive and erectile part of the female genitals) and, in very rare cases, only the prepuce (the fold of skin surrounding the clitoris). Type two is considered an excision, which is the partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora (the labia are "the lips" that surround the vagina). Type three is Infibulation, the narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the inner, or outer, labia, with or without removal of the clitoris. Type four consists of all other surgeries and all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g. pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterizing the genital area. A traditional circumciser commonly performs the surgery and generally knives, scissors, razorblades, or shards of glass to make the cuts. FGM is associated with cultural ideals of femininity and modesty, which include the notion that girls are “clean” and "beautiful" after removal of body parts that are considered "male" or "unclean". FGM is often considered a necessary part of raising a girl properly, and a way to prepare her for adulthood and marriage. FGM is said to have no health benefits and only causes harm in many different ways. Many long-term consequences can include recurrent bladder and urinary tract infections, cysts, infertility, and an increased risk of childbirth complications and newborn deaths. The World Health Organization is taking the necessary steps to see this practice eradicated across the globe. In 2008 WHO together with 9 other United Nations partners, issued a new statement on the elimination of FGM to support increased advocacy for the abandonment of FGM. Female Genital Mutilation is a prime example of gender-based violence that is performed all around the world and affects millions of women. Another major gender-based violence concern is rape. Globally, women under the age of 24 suffer the most from this violent...
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