Peace in the Home and Peace in the World: Help End Violence Against Women!

By Tarah Demant, Co-Chair of Amnesty International USA Women’s Rights Co-Group

A life free from violence is a fundamental human right, yet daily, women and girls are targeted specifically because of their sex or gender, and violence in communities often affects women disproportionately. Violence against women is a global epidemic; no country or community is immune.

Violence against women is used as a tool of discrimination, control, and intimidation, and it restricts women’s choices and increases their vulnerability to further injustices. 1 in 3 women will be raped, beaten, or abused in her lifetime, yet violence against women affects us all. Consider the following cases:

  • In Sudan, women can be can be stopped by the police, arrested, jailed, and even sentenced to public flogging for nothing more than wearing pants or leaving her hair uncovered.
  • In Egypt, women protesters have faced harassment and assault while Egypt’s political leaders have remained silence about the rampant sexual violence and discrimination.
  • In Syria, more than 2 million people have fled the armed crisis, and now tens of thousands of women and girl refugees in Jordan risk further violence simply because they have no safe access to a toilet.
  • In the Democratic Republic of Congo, often ranked the worst place in the world to be a woman, women human rights defenders provide grassroots assistance to civilians, yet they themselves face intimidation, attack, rape, and sexual violence for their efforts.
  • In Bangladesh, women human rights defenders work for the rights of indigenous people throughout the country, yet 17 years after the disappearance of a high-profile Pahari activist, her family and community still waits for justice.
  • In Honduras, women human rights defenders are threatened with sexual violence for championing human rights throughout the country.
  • In Mexico, Miriam López Vargas and hundreds of other women wait for justice after torture and rape by Mexican soldiers.

What these cases have in common is a global culture of discrimination and violence against women as well as impunity for those who commit gender-based violence. And this year’s theme: From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against Women highlights the relationship between heightened militarism and communal and interpersonal violence.

Despite a culture of violence and discrimination women around the world are raising their voices against violence and discrimination, demanding their basic human rights, and standing against intimidation and fear. Today, what unites women internationally is their vulnerability to the denial and violation of their fundamental human rights, and their dedicated efforts to claim those rights.

You can join them this 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence as we join activists worldwide from Nov. 25 – Dec. 10 to help end violence against women. This year, we’re highlighting the seven cases above – in each instance, you can learn more, take action, and stand with women demanding their rights!

Imagine a world without violence against women. Join us this 16 Days to make that vision a reality.

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7 thoughts on “Peace in the Home and Peace in the World: Help End Violence Against Women!



  2. In my view, in order to fight this anathema the laws must be made more strict and should be imposed by all governments. There must not be any compromise on it. Also as the saying goes, "men may be hanged for stealing horses but horses may not be stolen". This implies that there is need for teaching ethics about respecting women to male members of the society. For this, again , women will have to play an active role as a mother , teacher , sister and a wife . Sexually provocative literature, mobile applications, images, website and media should be officially banned. You cannot treat a problem unless you don't acknowledge what its roots are.

  3. Our International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, is 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, until we conceive a world worthy of the children of tomorrow.


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    We don't wish you a happy International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Our wish is that you become so morally outraged, that the last fiber of restraint is broken, so you don't just rise for justice, you demand it with every fiber in your blood, that you speak so loudly that silence dissipates in fear of your humanity.

    We don't need a day to eliminate violence against women, the largest, oldest human rights crisis in the history of our common inhumanity. No, we need a global movement. A movement that connects every good woman, and man everywhere in the bond of outrage, as modern abolitionists, as street ambassadors of hope, whose very identity is written in this movement.

    We want change, not moving around the pieces to not step on the toes of those who have misused their power. We want change, and that change won't come from public relations of artists who engender rape culture 364 days a year, but speak against it one day a year. We want change, and that doesn't mean exonerating those who fought before us, but matching the spirit of their sacrifices, the lessons of their history, to the wisdom of TODAY, right now. We want change, and that doesn't mean simply installing toilets, or celebrating the release of someone who shouldn't have been jailed in the first place, the outcome of court cases hanging men who stole a dream that shouldn't have been robbed from us. We want change, and that means not demeaning someone's culture, or religion when it happens on one side of the world, but being silent, or saying its a shame, when it happens on ones own side of the world. We want change and that means recognizing that these crimes, these crimes against our dreams, the crimes against our future's potential, our daughters, our tomorrows, our friends, our sisters, mothers, and forgetting the bold steps of our grandmothers, and the women who spoke out, are happening everywhere on this planet, and so pointing fingers at geographies, or invoking "East" and "West," and continuing to use man's tired cosmetic ideals for who can participate, need to end. We want change in board rooms, and where products manufactured, because climbing up the ladder on the backs of others is not change. We want change, and that means celebrating not just celebrities who speak out, but the women who risk bullets, who risk disappearing, beatings, and economic marginalization, whose social stigmatization carries a heavier handed punishment than a bad write up in a magazine.

  4. The fight against discrimination against women is genuinely difficult as women's rights violations are common to all cultures. One of the immediate reasons behind this is that almost every religion treats women as inferior to men, and prejudice against women is ingrained in the liberal people of many western societies as well. Another indicator is that many states enact laws discriminating against women. In Sudan, women are beaten up in public, and an overwhelming number of Muslim countries made reservations on CEDAW. Women have to rise up for their own rights. If a Malala can stand up for her right in a rigid country like Pakistan, most women should be able to do so all over the world.

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