Violence against women and girls (VAWG) all over the world is a violation of Human Rights. It can occur in both public and private spheres of life at any time of their life span. Women in different phases of life are exposed to different types of violence.
Pre-birth & Infancy:
Female infanticide is violence during this stage of a woman. The U.N. Population Fund said that more than 140 million females are considered “missing” today because of a preference for sons over daughters and extreme neglect of young girls leading to their death. According to the Population Research Institute (PRI), around 15.8 million girls went missing in India due to prenatal sex selection between 1990 and 2018.
In 2018 alone, approximately 550,000 girls went missing, a government survey in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand found that out of the 216 children born in 132 villages in three months, none were girls, leading to investigations on sex-selective abortions in the area.
Child prostitution is a major violence and threat faced by a woman in her girlhood. Research suggests that there may be as many as 10 million children involved in prostitution worldwide. The practice is most widespread in South America and Asia, but the prostitution of children exists globally. There are estimated to be over 900 000 sex workers in India. 30% are believed to be children. Recent reports estimate that the number of children involved in prostitution is increasing at 8 to10% per annum.
This is a crucial and defining stage in a girl’s life. However, girls around the world too-often face unique risks of gender discrimination and gender-based violence (GBV), including sexual violence, human trafficking, forced marriage, sexual exploitation, and abuse. 15 million adolescent girls worldwide, aged 15–19 years, have experienced forced sex.
In the vast majority of countries, adolescent girls are most at risk of forced sex (forced sexual intercourse or other sexual acts) by a current or former husband, partner, or boyfriend. According to the study by WINGS 2018, the World of India’s girls report shows that 1 in 3 adolescent girls not only fears being inappropriately touched or harassed in public but expects it.
At the reproductive age, a woman faces different forms of violence like abuse by intimate male partners, marital rape, dowry abuse, and murder, sexual abuse at the workplace, rape, trafficking, forced prostitution, etc. Among these dowries are considered as a major contributor to violence against women in India. Every single day, 21 women die because of dowry in India.
According to NCRB, a total of 41,493 females committed suicides during 2019 in the country. Of females who committed suicides, the highest number (21,359) was of house-wives. The proportion of female victims were more in ‘Marriage Related Issues’, specifically in ‘Dowry Related Issues’. 7115 dowry death, 125298 cruelty by husband or his relatives
At old age, the last stage of womanhood, a woman experiences violence like sexual, psychological, and physical abuse. The women in old age are forced to live with many limitations. Sometimes, they find themselves marginalized and isolated all the time. As women live longer than men, a large number of older women have to live the life of a widow in their old age.
Sometimes they have to depend on children for financial support and undergo mistreatment and neglect from family. Most of them live alone in their home subjected to sexual violence, murder, and theft. According to NCRB, 63 cases involving the rape of women above 60 years were reported in 2019.
A woman plays a vital role in her life, such as daughter, sister, wife, and mother. In each stage of her life, she has the right to lead an honorable and peaceful life. She needs respect and dignity, which must not be touched or dishonored.
Every woman must have the right of expression, the freedom, and, of course, independence to live the roles assigned to them by nature. Then only civilization may flourish. Because only women have the capability to shape the future and personality of men anywhere and in every part of the world.