New U.N. Report
There are the stories about women that make headlines. They include a gang rape of a young woman on a bus in New Delhi; assaults on women from both sides of a civil war in South Sudan; and sex enslavement by jihadists in Iraq. Even campus rape has become an issue in the United States.
What is the reason? Women are making great strides in every area of society. A new United Nations (U.N.) report says violence against women “persists at alarmingly high levels.”
The report say about 35 percent of women worldwide said they had faced physical violence in their lifetime. One in 10 girls reported that they were forced to have sex under the age of 18.
A conference is starting on Monday, March 16 at the U.N. in New York City. It is the follow-up to a conference held in Beijing in 1995.
The report points out the progress women have made in schools. It says women are doing well in the job market, but not so well in wage equity. It states that maternal mortality rates have decreased by half.
However, violence against women remains high. The incidents include rape, verbal and physical assault, murder and sexual harassment. It is high in countries whether rich or poor, and whether at war or peace.
Much of the violence takes place at home. The study found that 38 percent of murdered women are killed by their partners. Marital rape is still permitted in some countries. New media such as Twitter can send rape threats.
The threat level for women remains quite high. An expert said, “Violence against women has epidemic proportions. It is present in every single country around the world.”
Another expert added, “There is a great deal more attention paid to violence against women. It is a complex issue that is not solved easily.”
Experts say that the systems of justice – the courts, the police, the managers of institutions such as schools and workplaces – must take the work of protecting women seriously. Only then will progress be made.
Source: The New York Times March 10, 2015