Violence against women
That is the headline that caught my eye today when I opened the newspaper. The content is nothing new, at least not in our culture where subjugating women is deeply embedded in our tradition and social structure. The article was focused on education and how lack of quality, quantity, access to education and lack of gender relation is keeping us stuck in this cycle of violence.
Is it really only that?
The article specifically mentioned 2 women. Romana was studying for her PhD in Canada, came back to Bangladesh to visit her husband & daughter. The husband, an unemployed failed engineering student, lives with her parents with their daughter while the wife is the one who works, supports and eventually managed to go abroad for her education. Romana’s eyes were gouged out, she has lost permanent vision in one eye while retaining partial vision in another and her nose was bitten off by the so called ‘husband’. But was that really the start? Domestic violence doesn’t start suddenly and since she lives with her family, they must have noticed previous altercation between this pair. But no one took any action until this day when she paid the price of an eye and a nose.
The other case is that of Hawa Akhter, 21 who was tied up, her mouth taped shut and her right hand fingers chopped off by her husband. Her crime was that she had insisted on pursuing a college education. Was her husband’s brutality really a total surprise? Was his family not aware of what he plans to do? or how he would react? Had they not heard her scream or plea for help?
We blame the men in the society for the things that happen to woman.
Well… I am going to blame the women instead. We MUST accept responsibility for our failure in being the mother who fails to instill respect in her son for women. We MUST accept responsibility for being the silent family member who watch such atrocities occur within the four walls of our home and then counsel the victim to keep quiet for fear of what others, as in society, will say.
WE make up society. We do. Therefore it is each of our responsibility to take action, to take charge, to change the things that we want to change. We cannot sit within our four walls, condoning such brutality & violence with our silence. We need to speak up. We need to stop this violence ourselves. And when we know that our father, brother, husband or son is capable of such brutality, we need to be the one’s who watch out and the one who reports them. IF we sit down, silently and watch their brutality on our own kind, then who the hell are we to complain about experiencing violence in our society?
And since a picture is worth a thousand words…….
This blog is also published at http://www.transcontinentalsisters.blogspot.com
- Ending violence against women #IWD (blogs.vancouversun.com)
- Faith’s Response to Domestic Violence: A CSW-57 Workshop (umwomen.wordpress.com)
- Violence against women – one in three will fall victim (edition.myjoyonline.com)
- The Signs of Domestic Violence (everydayhealth.com)
- The price of violence against women and girls (bbc.co.uk)