Community Update

Digital Empowerment Toolkit Now Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits aim to provide the resources you need to advance your social change work.

We are excited to introduce our Digital Empowerment Trainers’ Toolkit, a dynamic resource to help you bring the benefits of connecting online to women in your community. Check it out today! »

ending violence toward women in India

Sisters, last week I sent an email to Bina Jain, President of All India Women's Conference and she responded the next day. She said that their organization is "deeply involved in eliminating sexual violence toward women in India" and asked what solutions we have come up with to change this. I told her about World Pulse and our group and shared that the best solution we found possible so far, was to encourage Indian parents to allow their daughters to attend school and stay in school until they finished their education.

Has anyone come up with some other ideas that we can present to Mrs. Jain? Their organization was developed (like) in 1927. They might be a good source with whom we could collaborate. Please write if you can imagine anywhere we could start the change, as the timing with AIWC might be now. Thank you sisters.
much love and many prayers,
William

Comments

Sutanuka Banerjee's picture

Thank you

Thanks for this initiative and your thoughtful suggestion. I think what is needed more is breaking the culture of silence and shame and start educating girls about their bodies and biological functions from early childhood. Possible steps should be taken to eradicate violence and build a kind of amiable atmosphere which will strengthen them to open up about street sexual abuse as it is frequent and occurs almost every time as soon as a girl goes out of home. They need to be reminded that it is not at all their fault. Most of the girls stay silent because of social calumny and do not want to drag their families. There should be focused guidance for building confidence through parent-children counselling and forming a friendly ambiance where women will not fear to disclose some untoward incidents even if the abuser is one of the family members. Dialogue will hopefully encourage them to report such crimes in future and take a stand. They should be given more examples about women's bravery and what social changes they could bring as an individual.

Furthermore education should not be only bookish and confined to domestic sphere. There should be hands on training on vocational education and every single job should be respected, whether she is a farmer or a doctor. Economic independence will ensure a better future and lead to independence.

Thanks and Regards,

Sutanuka

I live in my convoluted mind....

William's picture

educating girls

Dear Sutanuka,

Thank you for your insightful message. I agree about teaching girls from an early age that they are wonderful, equal humans and deserve to be treated with respect, especially from males. Do you have any specific ideas of how to start a program to teach males why they should respectic their wife, daughters and all females?
thank you again for posting.
William

Sutanuka Banerjee's picture

educating boys :)

Dear William,

I think it should start from the family and school. They should provide right kind of education based on humanity and without discrimination. Everyone is equal. Religion, race, caste, gender- nothing can divide people. We have drawn boundaries so we have to unchain ourselves.If there is no possible aid from the family for lack of education and resources of parents, then schools, social organizations and different institutes and individuals (like us) should take the initiative. If we can make changes in one person's life and if it is only ourselves then also we should not belittle it. Often we hear some sexist comments or jokes from our male friends, fathers, boy friends, uncles but we don't protest because those are directed at someone else. So we should change ourselves. We should try to put our perspective while talking to our male friends, brothers, sons, students and share our problems and objections instead of nodding at every word silently. We should stop sacrificing ourselves smilingly. Every drop of water counts and it makes an ocean. Whole-scale change needs a revolution or time.

With every single woman standing strong against violence a number of crimes can be prevented. We have to refuse to be disrespected, reject to be beaten down and maltreated applying every possible means. Have a look at Sampat Pal who is running such a group consisting of village women http://www.gulabigang.in/

If every empowered woman and truly sensitive man join hands nothing is impossible even if they begin their action in different places.

There is a famous line by Rabindranath Tagore "Proceed alone if nobody responds to your call" (my policy)

Always hopeful,

Sutanuka

I live in my convoluted mind....

UpasanaC's picture

Thanks William

Hi William,
Thanks a lot for making an effort for us and I really thank and appreciate this from heart. Nobody from my own family have also ever thought of improving conditions against women who are suffering through it. My family believes in NOT EDUCATING GIRLS reason behind this is that once educated they will know their rights and then they wont be locked inside the 4 walls of the house which is such a big shame for them. Don't go any more further , just yesterday my mom being a women said that it was the biggest mistake of her life that she educated me and she will go n advise other people in the community not to educate their girls. This is the kind of mentality and thought process about educating a girl in a women forget about the men. Men wont talk without hitting. If you agree to what they say they are proud of u and if not then forget about proudness they have all the rights to disown and hit a girl.
I would suggest that please its a request from all the Indian Girls to EDUCATE THE PARENTS FIRST. Definition of education here does not mean about going to school or college. In my own case my mother have completed her post graduation too. Awareness among parents is very very very important because they are the roots of a family and girls life. So many of my friends have not even stepped out of the house even once in their lifetime because the parents wont let her to. Therefore even after the wedding the husband have all the rights to hit her if she is not listening to you. My husband will have it. If I go back and complain to my parents or his parents the answer will be that I deserve to be hit as I questioned and asked for my rights. Trust me William situation is extremely bad and the solution lies in only educating the parents one by one thus changing a community and thereby society and thus the whole country.
Who have given the rights to Boys to harass and rape women? The parents again. According to Indian society, anything and everything that a boy is doing is not wrong as they have all the rights to do anything.For a girl, there is a big and heavy set of rule books that she cant do. Therefore if a girl is raped its her fault and not the boy who raped her. The boy very well knows the fact that he can easily go and tell his father that I have raped her and now you bribe the police or the family and get this thing closed. Same case when a girl will go and tell the same in her family she will be told not to share about this to anybody at all as it will be a big insult for her and nobody will accept her in society now. To eliminate it from roots we have to eliminate the roots. A boy is confidently committing a crime because he have the support to do so. We have to pull that support from them and educate the parents FIRST AND FOREMOST.

Cheers to Life

Sutanuka Banerjee's picture

Educate parents

So true

I live in my convoluted mind....

William's picture

Educate parents

Dear Upasana, thank you so much for your honest sharing about the lack of respect shown girls/women in India. Your post shows that girls are not respected from infancy and does not end when married, become a widow even. Your suggestion to educate fathers and mothers first is a valid one. Your comment about your own mother's attitude toward your education does show how strong the influence of the men in Indian society is. Wouldn't a mother want her daughter to progress, have a life a little better than she has experienced it?

What will motivate a father and a mother to honor a girl baby? Would doing away with the DOWRY system change things? Or would the girl somehow being allowed to support her parents? What else could happen so a girl, whose goal is to be married (in most cases) would be seen as an asset instead of a liability? Is there some way to reduce the value of a son and share some of the respect to daughters?

We are getting into some very basic issues here, aren't we? In many parts of the world girls are not shown the same respect as sons. Even in the West, women don't get as many top career job positions due to the fact that they are female.

Please keep sharing on this secure website. Let's see whether we can find some answers.
blessings,
William

jap21's picture

Hi Mr. Cleek

There is an article I just wrote that I would like you to read and share. It is about Bolivia, but it reflects every society in the world that has violence issues. I think it is a good addition to the wonderful work you are doing.

I have posted it in Pulse Wire already, and you can read it and share it in this link:

http://worldpulse.com/node/76248

Killer Bacterium (In English and Spanish)

What they do to one of us, they do to all of us women. Today we get killed, we get trafficked, get raped, get burned, get pregnant very young, and get our dreams stolen. Bolivia has become an insecure place for women. Furthermore, we are the second most violent country against women in Latin America. We have gone backwards, like crabs.

It happens that I cannot accept the cruelty of deaths anymore. If we do not speak up, men will not do it. So we must begging by saying clearly the name of the infection... and the name of the bacterium provoking it. The infection is violence. And as any infection, it kills if it is not eradicated soon. If Bolivia were a human body, we could say that the infection in arms and brain is very serious. This is why we are in an emergency.

Why are they doing this? The cowardice of saying "we need to fight against violence towards women" surpassing the responsibility that men have in this violence, is like saying we need to cure the infection without saying which bacteria is causing it.

I cannot keep being silent. There have been too many deaths. And we have made the government be "in solidarity" with us by creating a new law against violence towards women that, notwithstanding and despite our lobbying in all strata, has only become an anthem to the flag. An illusion. An infamous chimera.

And the name of the bacterium? Yes. You guessed. The bacterium is called MAN. It is a man who provokes, with its maculine violence, all the deaths and rapes of women and girls. But justice is in their hands. Media, money, and executive jobs are in the hands of men. And they do not want to be revealed in their violent nudity. So they make groups, they mimic, they defend one another, while more and more girls and women suffer by their hand.

These men, converted in bacteria that infect our country with the illness of violence, are our fathers, our sons, our brothers, uncles, cousins, but most of all, they are our beloved ones. Despite the fact that there are 95 violent men for every 5 violent women, they do not speak about their violence, but about how bad women are to reclaim.

Enough. We cannot keep hushing this truth: Violence is poverty. And not only economic poverty, but more importantly, poverty of the souls. We need to begin to talk about masculine violence. There is no such thing as "gender violence" anymore, as if the only ones having a gender were women. There is MASCULINE VIOLENCE. And it has many forms. The news just today are telling us that one woman who did not want to have sex was burned with alcohol, a girl was beaten and burned by her drunk father, a lost adolescent girl was found dead, an elderly woman was strangled by her own grandson, and so on and so forth, every day.

If eight years ago there was one woman raped every month, today there are 50. This is how much masculine violence has grown. If eight years ago there was one dead woman monthly, today we have 25. And deaths are more violent every time, more atrocious. And it is said that people have 4 times more money than ever before. Is this not a contradiction then?

The first step to cure the illness is to recognize that we are ill. Our manly and "macho" society is ill with the killer bacterium of violence, and there will be no remedy and we will all die if we do not begin to acknowledge the fact that our men, are too violent.

The bacterium of masculine violence will not let us women live. Furthermore, it is already killing us physically and morally as they are turning us into alcoholics, drug addicts and prostitutes at always younger ages. Today, we are not only demanded to be pretty and "giving", but also hard workers to earn money to support them.

Masculine violence, then, has many forms. All cruel. All unspeakable. This is why, even though we love them much and respect them much, we need to tell them that we need them healthy. Men, you need to strip yourselves off the bacteria! We know you love us. Show us your love with deeds, not with words. Caring for each other as women, and beginning to talk about masculine violence, can avoid your death woman, or the death of your baby girl. Do not keep silent. Overcome fear. Form groups. Demand that schools control men who sell or distribute drugs and alcohol as young as 11.

Denounce where there are male prostitutors who pay for having young girls just to calm their cruel carnal desires. Denounce in the media, in the social networks, and in the police. And denounce policemen who disregard you. We need to stop deaths. Please remember that your life, dear woman, is very precious.

La Bacteria Asesina

Lo que le hacen a una, nos lo hacen a todas las mujeres. Hoy nos matan, nos trafican, nos violan, nos queman, nos embarazan jovencitas y nos quitan nuestros sueños. Bolivia se ha convertido en un lugar inseguro para las mujeres. Es más, somos el segundo país más violento contra la mujer en América Latina. Hemos ido para atrás, como el cangrejo.

Es que no soporto más la crueldad de las muertes. Si no hablamos nosotras, los hombres no lo harán. Así que hay que comenzar a decir clarito el nombre de la infección… y el nombre de la bacteria que la provoca. La infección es la violencia. Y como cualquier infección, mata si no se erradica pronto. Si Bolivia fuera un cuerpo humano, podemos decir que la infección en los brazos y en el cerebro, son graves. Por eso estamos en emergencia.

Porqué hacen esto? Esa cobardía de decir que “hay que luchar contra la violencia hacia la mujer”, soslayando la responsabilidad que tienen los hombres en esta violencia, es como decir que hay que curar la infección sin decir qué bacteria la causa.

Ya no puedo seguir callando. Son demasiadas muertes. Y hemos logrado que el gobierno se “solidarice” con nosotras poniendo una nueva ley contra la violencia a la mujer, que sin embargo y a pesar de nuestro cabildeo, en todos los estratos, sólo ha llegado a ser un himno a la bandera. Una ilusión. Una quimera infame.

¿Y el nombre de la bacteria? Si. Adivinaron. La bacteria se llama HOMBRE. El hombre provoca, con su violencia masculina, todas las muertes y violaciones de mujeres y niñas. Pero la justicia está en sus manos. Los medios, el
dinero, las jefaturas, están en manos de hombres. Y no quieren ser descubiertos en su violenta desnudez. Así que se agrupan, se mimetizan, y se defienden entre ellos mientras más y más niñas y mujeres sufren por su causa.

Estos hombres, convertidos en bacterias que infectan a nuestro país con la enfermedad de la violencia, son nuestros padres, nuestros hijos, nuestros hermanos, tíos, primos, pero sobre todo, son seres que amamos. A pesar de que por cada 5 mujeres violentas, hay 95 hombres violentos, ellos no hablan sobre su violencia, sino sobre lo malas que somos que nosotras al reclamarles.

Basta. No podemos seguir callando esta verdad: La violencia es pobreza. Y no solo es pobreza económica, sino sobre todo, pobreza de alma. Tenemos que comenzar a hablar sobre la violencia masculina. Ya no hay eso de “violencia de género”, como si las únicas que tenemos género fuésemos las mujeres. Hay VIOLENCIA MASCULINA. Y tiene muchas formas. Solo hoy las noticias nos dicen que una mujer que no quiso sexo, fue quemada con alcohol. Una niña fue golpeada y quemada por su padre borracho. Una adolescente perdida fue encontrada muerta. Una viejita fue estrangulada por su propio nieto. Y así suman y siguen los casos todos los días.

Si hace ocho años había una mujer violada al mes, hoy hay 50. Así ha crecido la violencia masculina. Si hace ocho años había una muerta al mes, hoy hay 25. Y las muertes son cada vez más violentas. Atroces. Y se dice que la gente tiene 4 veces más plata que antes. Entonces ¿no es este un contrasentido?

El primer paso para curar una enfermedad es reconocer quién está enfermo. Nuestra sociedad varonil y machista está enferma con la bacteria asesina de la violencia, y no habrá ningún remedio y moriremos todos, si no comenzamos reconociendo que nuestros hombres, son demasiado violentos.

La bacteria de la violencia masculina no nos va a dejar vivir a las mujeres. Es más, ya nos están matando físicamente, y moralmente también, pues nos convierten en alcohólicas, drogadictas, y prostitutas desde cada vez más pequeñas. Hoy no solo nos exigen ser bonitas, y “dadivosas” sino también ser trabajadoras para mantenerlos.

Entonces, la violencia masculina tiene muchas formas. Todas crueles. Todas indecibles. Por eso, aunque los amamos mucho y los respetamos, tenemos que comenzar a decirles que los necesitamos sanos. Sáquense la bacteria de encima! Sabemos que nos aman. Muéstrennos ese amor con hechos, ya no con palabras. Cuidarnos entre todas, y comenzar a hablar de la violencia masculina, pueden evitar tu muerte mujer, o la de tu niña. No quedes en silencio. Vence el miedo. Forma grupos, exige que en los colegios y escuelas, se controle a los varones que venden o distribuyen droga y alcohol desde incluso los 11 años.

Denuncia dónde hay prostituidores varones que pagan por tener niñas jovencitas para calmar sus crueles deseos carnales. Denuncia en los medios, en las redes sociales, y en la policía. Y denuncia a los policías que no te hacen caso. Tenemos que parar la muerte. Recuerda, tu vida, querida mujer, es muy valiosa.

Aquí puedes visitar mi Blog, con este y otros artículos.

Here you can visit my blog, with this article and others:

http://jap21.wordpress.com/2013/08/15/la-bacteria-asesina/

Jacqueline Patiño FundActiva
Tarija - Bolivia
South America
www.jap21.wordpress.com

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

PAKISTAN: They Went to School and Never Came Back

PAKISTAN: They Went to School and Never Came Back

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Blog »

Read the latest from World Pulse headquarters

Announcing Our Prize Winners!

Announcing Our Prize Winners!

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative