SPEAKING OUT: A woman walks with her face partially covered during a march for International Day of (sic) the Elimination of Violence Against Women in Colombia. (Fernando Vergara, AP)Resolution 54/134 (December 17, 1999) of the UN General Assembly designates November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
Article 2 defines violence against women to include, among other forms, the following:
(a) Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family, including battering, sexual abuse of female children in the household, dowry-related violence, marital rape, female genital mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women, non-spousal violence and violence related to exploitation;When South Africa held its Truth and Reconciliation hearings the issue of state sanctioned violence against women was mostly ignored.
(b) Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring within the general community, including rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment and intimidation at work, in educational institutions and elsewhere, trafficking in women and forced prostitution;
(c) Physical, sexual and psychological violence perpetrated or condoned by the State, wherever it occurs.
Rape as an apartheid tool, for example, is hardly interrogated anywhere in our post-apartheid consciousness.
Can it be that the appalling levels of violence and general degradation that women continue to suffer explains some of this troubling omission?
Ps. In South Africa a woman is killed every 6 hours by an intimate partner according to the United Nations Development Fund For Women (see their Fact Sheet for more information).