International Women´s Day 2019 was moving and inspiring. It was a day in which women showcased their commitment to women’s equality, launched new initiatives and actions, celebrated women’s achievements, raised awareness, highlighted gender parity gains, and more.
However, this is also a day in which there is the opportunity to display slogans that showed a harder reality that women face:
STOP THE SILENCE; WOMAN DO NOT STOP FIGHTING; THEY ARE NOT DEAD, THEY WERE KILLED; ME TOO; WOMEN AGAINST PATRIARCHY … and much more.
This was a day in which women screamed:
NO MORE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN!
The following is the list of the 10 most dangerous countries in the world for women: India, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Yemen, Nigeria and surprisingly, the United State. This list considers the following parameters: medical attention, access to economic resources, customary practices, sexual violence, non-sexual violence and human trafficking.
Additionally, different countries give us alarming statistics:
In Mexico, 7 women are murdered each day, and 6 in 10 women suffered violence in their homes.
In Spain, 45 women were murdered in crimes related to gender violence in the recent year.
In the UK, 31% of women have experienced one or more instances of domestic abuse from the age of 16. An estimated of 66,000 women living in England and Wales have been victims of Female Genital Mutilation.
In China, where women suffered from enormous pressure to marry, 1 every 4 women are beaten by their partners. Despite the existence of laws to support women during marriage and divorce, there is still violence against women.
In the United State, 85% of domestic violence cases are women, 15% are men. Nationally, 50% of batters who abuse their partners also abuse their children.
In Chile in the last year, 30% of women have suffered some episode of physical or psychological violence, and 40% of women underwent domestic violence.
It was easy to get this information from the Internet, which tells me that those interested will also find it. For those who would like to be informed means they can also evaluate if this information is a problem for them. For me it is!
Not because we women are so special, but because pushes me to ask myself, what is the purpose of mistreating, murdering, humiliating, damaging, hitting, and abusing another being? What is the abuser looking for? What makes someone feels unable to stand up to such an abuse? Because for me this is an abuse!
In my opinion, violence reflects part of our being that seeks power and feels that all means are available to reach it. It is that character who lives in us who feels with the possibility to access to violence with an “almost” written permission.
Then for me, it is a global culture that gives this “almost” written permission to use violence against another being every time his power is in question, when obedience is not total and when the conversation is not available to give the other one an opportunity.
And this is the part that connects me with the title of what I am writing, the day after. In my opinion, it is fundamental to hold the conversation of the events that lead to violence, either as victims or victimizers. How do we make these conversations relevant in our homes, offices, schools, health centers, municipalities, etc.?
I believe is we, each one of us, who can change the culture of violence against women and others. This is not just a matter of women against men but rather of all against violence. In one-way or another, violence is part of our lives. So, how do we educate and transform it into a motivating act that can help us to be better human beings and not victims or victimizers? How do we make those cravings for power become a force that pushes others to empower themselves to serve a common purpose?
We are born in the midst of violence; we cannot hide it or avoid it, but we can face it, especially nowadays in which to be informed is often a click away.
This is an invitation to talk about violence, to look for help against it, as a victim or victimizer, to continue this cry that unify us and denounces what is an open wound for all of us.
We don’t want to be violent, but part of us it is, what do we do with this? Do we talk about it or do we silence it?
To go deep in this kind of subjects is fundamental to grow, to heal, to forgive, and overall to forgive ourselves as individuals and society.
The day after we can push ourselves to respect, take care, love, support, relay, connect, and have this conversation that is crying for help.
NO MORE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN!