United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (Un-Instraw): Violence Against Women in South Africa

Topics: Violence against women, South Africa, Domestic violence Pages: 6 (2173 words) Published: November 21, 2010
Located in the developing country, the Dominican Republic; the United Nations International Research and Training institute for the Advancement of Women (UN-INSTRAW), created by the United Nations in 1976 via recommendation of the First World Conference of Women. INSTRAW is an inter-governmental organization (IGO) whose mission is: “devoted to research, training and knowledge management in partnership with governments, the United Nations System, civil society and academia to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment.”

INSTRAW accomplishes their mission by undertaking action-oriented research from a gender perspective that has a concrete impact on policies, programs and projects. Research done by INSTRAW includes tracking women’s migration, studying the women’s role in the government, and looking at gender dimensions, such as availability to: water, food, credit, health, education, and work. Also, INSTRAW looks at the security of women against violence.

With the research INSTRAW strengthens the capacities of key stake holders to integrate gender perspectives in polices, programs and projects. INSTRAW teams up with governmental organizations, such as the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Japan Official Development Assistance. Together these organizations help create policies and programs to stop violence against women in South Africa. Some things INSTRAW can do are create education and training programs for the people and for the government of South Africa. South Africa can help INSTRAW by allowing the programs to be heard by the people of the government. Issue: Violence against Women in South Africa

Violence against women in Africa comes in several forms the most common are: rape, “honor Killings” and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
Rape is sexual intercourse without consent or with indifference to consent. Many people believe rape happens during a kidnapping, but rape is usually someone a person may know; such as a boyfriend or friend. A rapist may not be driven by hormones but rather to gain a sense of domination and control. Possible reactions of rape survivors are depression, the feeling of being unclean, self-blame, embarrassment, anger, fear of trusting anyone and helplessness. Rape can also be a way a woman gets AIDs, HIV or any other kind of STD.

“Honor killings” are often committed by a male figure to a woman of his family to regain honor to his family. An “honor killing” is usually brought on by an alleged crime committed by the woman. A father would kill his daughter because she was kidnapped and raped, therefore “dirtying” the family representation. An “honor killing” ends with death in almost all cases, as it is religious in some religions.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is the removal of all or parts of the external parts of the female genitalia. FGM was started in Africa as a cultural practice approximately 2000 years ago. It is a belief that a girl cannot become a woman without this happening. There are three categories of FGM, the first being Sunna Circumcision, sunna meaning tradition in Arabic, which is the removal of the prepuce and/or the tip of the clitoris. The second is Clitoridectomy which is the removal of the entire clitoris and the removal of the adjacent labia. The third being Infibulations, or pharonic circumcision which is a Clitoridectomy, but is stitched up to allow a small hole which allows for urine and menstrual blood to flow through. The Problem:

According to the Southern African Regional Poverty network (SARPN) South Africa has one of the highest per capita rates of reported rape in the world. Although this is only the reported abuse, it has been found that violence in relationships is becoming normal, so many women do not report violence against them. The problem is the violence is not only a social issue, but also an individual’s knowledge of what sexual abuse really is.

Countries of Africa that have high levels of oppression and violence to...
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