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One Billion Rising: Ending the Pandemic of Violence Against Women

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Written by Soraya Chemaly for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

Every day, girls and women the world over face a broad range of assaults which, in the aggregate, inhibit equality everywhere. In the United States we are dealing with a legislative assault on women's rights, well documented  here, that few people understand as a real and violent assault on women's physical integrity and right to bodily autonomy. More often than not, people think of the "war on women" in the United States as a politically expeditious metaphor when it is not. There is nothing abstract or metaphorical about it. That's too squeam-inducing for many people to consider. However, in direct and more obvious, "forcible" and "legitimately" recognized ways, women in the United States  experience directly recognizable physical violence, too. Among developed nations, the United States has a higher than average rate of violence against women. This violence sits squarely in the full spectrum of violence, much more crippling and extreme, that takes place in other parts of the world. It's all of a cloth.

Last Fall, I wrote an article in the Huffington Post called " Violence Against Women is a Global Pandemic." If you click on the link, you can review the still relevant deplorable statistics. It goes without saying, a scant 10 months later, that data regarding the chronic and oppressive reality of systematized gender-based violence are still valid. For an updated, dynamic and mappable resource, it's useful to explore the Womenstats database, the most comprehensive of its kind in the world.

The good news is that more and more people and organizations are working diligently to raise awareness and confront the pervasive risks that girls and women face just for being female. Among upcoming efforts are the United Nations UNITE to End Violence Against Women campaign, which recognizes the 25th of every month as an awareness raising Orange Day; Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October; The Pixel Project's  Paint it Purple initiative; and, at the end of November, the annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence takes place.

 

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