Chargé d’Affaires of the US Embassy, Bryan Hunt says the Embassy will be participating in 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence, which offers an opportunity to renew the global commitment to free women and girls from violence, whether it happens behind closed doors or as a public tactic of intimidation.
A statement from the US Embassy says, “If it occurs in our own neighborhood or on distant shores, violence against women and girls damages us all- men and women alike.”
According to the statement, gender-based violence cuts across ethnicity, race, class, religion, education level, and international boundaries. An estimated one in three women worldwide has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime.
“Research tells us that violence committed by spouses or family members is the most common form of violence experienced by women globally. Children are particularly vulnerable. Almost 50 percent of all sexual assaults worldwide are against girls 15 and younger.”
It was noted that around the globe annually, 150 million girls and 73 million boys are victims of forced sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual violence. Women with a disability are two to three times more likely to suffer physical or sexual abuse, as are those living in countries experiencing conflict or humanitarian crises. Indeed, the use of sexual violence as a tool of modern warfare is an increasingly disturbing trend, meriting global attention.
According to the US Embassy, “There is no doubt that globally, the scale of gender based violence is tremendous, the scope is vast, and the consequences for individuals, families, communities, and countries are devastating. Gender-based violence undermines not only the safety, dignity, overall health status, and human rights of the millions of individuals who experience it, but also the public health, economic stability, and security of nations.”
Decades of research and an overwhelming amount of evidence clearly demonstrate that women’s empowerment is critical to building stable, democratic societies; to supporting open and accountable governance; to furthering international peace and security; to growing vibrant market economies; and to addressing pressing health and education challenges, the statement explained.
Meanwhile, the Indian Arrival Committee (IAC) is calling upon all Guyanese especially those of Indo-Guyanese origin to lend their full support to the United Nations in their global call for the observance of the organisation’s activity ‘End Violence Against Women.’
The IAC says it welcomes this initiative by the United Nations and is pleased that this not just a one day activity but in fact, one that is spread over sixteen days to give full ventilation of all types of violent acts committed against women all across the planet.
The IAC also recognizes that abuse of women, globally, is not physical alone but also can be psychological; the organisation understands that psychological abuse of women is just as damaging as physical abuse and in many cases much more damaging because psychological abuse can linger in the minds of women for years.
The IAC is calling upon males in Guyana to respect the females because objectification of women, for example treating them as sexual object in a meat market, can lead to all kinds of abuse of these women.