The importance of continuing to work from different social strata for the eradication of violence against women can be seen in different data that are devastating, such as the fact that more than five women or girls are murdered by someone in their family around the world, in just one hour of time.
To think that one in three women has suffered sexual or physical violence at least once in her life or that 86% of women and girls live in states that do not have legal protection against gender violence are reasons to continue supporting the fight against this scourge.
How violence against women manifests itself
Generally speaking, violence against women manifests itself in psychological, physical or sexual forms and includes different acts or behaviors, which according to the UN definition are:
- Intimate partner violence. From physical violence to psychological abuse, including marital rape and even femicide.
- Sexual violence and stalking. It covers numerous assumptions, from the most obvious ones such as rape, forced sexual acts or child sexual abuse to others such as unwanted sexual advances, stalking and street or cyber harassment.
- Human trafficking, such as slavery or sexual exploitation.
- Genital mutilation.
- Child marriage.
Origin of the commemoration of November 25 as International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
In 2000, the United Nations General Assembly designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, inviting governmental and non-governmental institutions to take action on the issue.
However, the unofficial antecedents go back 19 years, to be precise in 1981, when a group of women’s rights activists launched their protests against gender-based violence to honor the memory of the Mirabal sisters, three Dominican activists murdered on November 25, 1960 by the regime of Rafael Leónidas Trujillo.
In 1979, the UN adopted the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, which was later joined in 1993 by the “Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women” resolution, laying the groundwork for a future free of gender-based violence.
Despite the progress that has been made, there are still 37 countries in which rapists are not prosecuted if they are married (or subsequently married) to the victim. Further evidence that there is still a long way to go is that there are 49 states that lack legislation to protect women from gender-based violence.
Technology and gender-based violence
As in many other facets of everyday life, the technological revolution can play an important role in the fight against gender-based violence, although it is true that the misuse of technology can also aggravate certain harmful behaviors.
Raising awareness about technology and gender-based violence
While it is true that prevention and awareness campaigns on the use of technology in general and social networks in particular are usually aimed more at young people, these are tips that apply to people of any age.
Avoiding certain behaviors (such as interfering in a partner’s online relationships with other people, demanding to see conversations with other people, spying on her device, monitoring her activity on social networks, censoring her publications, demanding her profile passwords or forcing her to send you intimate photographs) is a step forward in trying to put an end to control.
Technology against gender-based violence
Similarly, technology can also become an aid in the fight against violence against women and some innovative solutions can be allies:
- Artificial intelligence to detect maltreatment by voice in health calls related to other issues.
- Machine learning to identify possibilities of recurrence of abuse after the analysis of reports of gender violence and thus be able to strengthen the protection of the victim.
- Numerous apps of very diverse nature, from geolocation to alert buttons in risk situations, including the most obvious ones for awareness, awareness or prevention, can be helpful tools.
- In cases where a restraining order already exists, telematic monitoring devices (via GPS and radio frequency) serve both to enforce the victim’s right to safety and to document a possible breach and can even become a deterrent for the offender.
Thus, we can see that the use given to technology can turn it into an ally in trying to put an end to violence against women, although certain uses can serve the opposite purpose: to provide abusers with tools to control their partners.