For the purposes of this Declaration, the term “violence against women” means any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.
However, there exist documents pertaining to the import of women’s equality based on a sense of realization of the Golden Rule expanded or the moral sphere extended into the arena of the sexes and, in particular, to the less dominant one often seen as subjected, subjugated, expected to be in obeisance, and kept down based on their sex; who now, they can be brought into the major fold of the power centers of the world: women.
As noted in Article 4 of the CEDAW and in Article 25(2) of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights, the nature of the special measures apply to women, especially in the instances of women who choose maternity (to be mothers), but remain temporary in their application in order to offset the historical unfairness against women and the historical injustices set upon them for simply being women.
As well, as noted by the CEDAW, women shall not be considered in any way having a greater advantage over men with these temporary special measures – whatever they may be and whenever they may be applied for a particular period of time – precisely because of two stipulations with the temporariness of them and also the intention to speed the trajectory of women’s equality with the men in their lives.
On December 20th, 1993, the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed Resolution 48/104 and, thus, became the actualization or instantiation of the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This became a basis within the lifetime of many of the young readers – and, of course, the older ones as well – of The Good Men Project for the further protection of women from the discriminatory practices of old, which means yesterday or a blink of an eye in recorded historical terms.
The document speaks to the equality of women directly in the main portions of the document, where the equality of women with others becomes an imperative. That is, the equality, security, liberty, dignity, and integrity of women shall be ensured by the signatories to these declarations and conventions, and resolutions, including this declaration.
The purpose of the declaration is to support and enshrine those documents on the international stage affirming the right to equality of women with men. The affirmations of the international community in a host of documents provide some reason for hope in the equality of the sexes and in the MDG transition into the SDG focus on gender equality.
Some documents insisting on the need for the non-discrimination of women and the equality of the sexes in the adherence to their inherent value as human beings, whether inhered in the divine through associated and linkage with the transcendent or down on Earth in the biological and genetic connection in a common species, and, therefore, need to be given human rights: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Convention Against Discrimination in Education (1960), The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966), International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979), Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984), The Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (1993), Beijing Declaration (1995), United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000), Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (2000), The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa or the “Maputo Protocol” (2003), and the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence or the Istanbul Convention (2011).
Each effective in different areas of the world and to different degrees based on the timing and the Member State taking the time to be a signatory to it. Whether an Indigenous woman – maybe 3-4% of the total population of the Earth by accepted expert estimates – or a non-Indigenous woman, the same rights and values as a human being apply for women with men based on these various documents.
With this particular declaration or the Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, Article I deals with the ways in which women, within the confines of the declaration, be assured in the precision and domain of the protections for their equality. In particular, the violence against women becomes any act of violence based on the gender of the individual. In these cases, far more often the violence gets meted out to the women.
The violence does not have to be regular; it does not have to be persistent, but could simply be a singular act in order to reduce the rights of women through an act of violence against her based on gender or sex alone. Based on the use of the overlay on top of biology with the term “gender” in place of “sex,” this seems to imply the manner of biological males who feel as if women who then transitioned into women while being biological males and also biological women who identify as women by gender.
Of course, the data seems clear with biological sex and gender attached to one another in some deep ways but not inextricably for all cases. The use of the term gender-based violence becomes quite salient in this light and the developments of socio-cultural life.
With respect to the violence based on gender, the next coverage enters into the area of the probabilistic with the statement of the likely result of physical harm or suffering of the woman. In fact, this being listed as the first of three types – with the other two, in order, as sexual and psychological – important to note. Because the violence against women, as women, comes in the form of physical harm, domestic violence, from men against women far more than other forms of violence.
In fact, the type of harm and violence exacted on women represents something noticeable in the markings on the body based on the severity. It is as Margaret Atwood notes about the mutual and distinct fears, but common emotion, of women about men and men and about women, “Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.”
The next form of harm for women, as listed, is the sexual violence based on gender. Women undergo vaginal rape; men do not, obviously. Furthermore and more to the point, women undergo rape more than men in normal circumstances, even though I do not mention rape – or sexual misconduct or sexual violence – as a normal case as in a “norm” but, rather, as a standard environment and expectation of a context. In that environment and context, women undergo rape those forms of violence more than men. The statistics bear this out.
Of course, women abuse men at about equivalent rates but the violence takes the form of psychological, social, emotional, and verbal abuse against men in contrast to the main form of violence by men against women with physical and sexual violence found in domestic abuse and rape; nonetheless, the violence rates remain about equivalent and only differing in style. The sexual form, happily, is being proclaimed as universally bad and called out through various movements expedited via social media.
It amounts as a cleaning-up act for the world’s cultures.
The final form listed in Article I is the psychological harm or suffering inflicted on women. An example of this that many women may relate to comes in the manifestation of a man continually, repeatedly threatening to cut off financial backing or livelihood, or simply threatening to leave. These sorts of violence inflicted on women amount to another type of violence.
Women lack financial resources in most societies compared to men. Many women live subordinate in the family, community, society, and within the frameworks set out in large swathes of interpretations of the religions of the areas. The threats to enact the cessation of monetary resources or abscond relational and potential paternal duties becomes life-threatening for these women with only theoretical and not actualized rights.
In fact, even if they have the rights and the rights come into the discourse of the society and the laws, the women may still yet live in societal conditions in which the women themselves are not actualized; and so do not realize their own equality with the men before the national law and international documents, it becomes psychological. The final portions of the article give some further indication as to what is meant in the context of the document, as follows:
…including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.
How this ties into the overarching referent point of gender equality, we see the threats, the coercion, and the deprivation of liberty, and importantly, in public or private indicate the ways in which the aspects of the right reduce the ability to abusers to take advantage of women with the threat of the force of law. Men or women partners can become severely punished for a violation of these rights stipulated in only the first article of the Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the Preamble, Article 16, and Article 25(2).
- Convention Against Discrimination in Education (1960) in Article 1.
- The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) in Article 3 and Article 13.
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966).
- Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979).
- Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984).
- The Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (1993).
- Beijing Declaration(1995).
- United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000).
- Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (2000).
- The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa or the “Maputo Protocol” (2003).
- Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence or the Istanbul Convention (2011) Article 38 and Article 39.
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