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Essay on “Violence against Women” Complete Essay for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Violence against Women

POINTS TO DEVELOP 1. Violence against women not a recent development. Also cuts across all sections of society and cultures.

  1. Historical perspective
  2. Forms of violence against women.
  1. Violence against women related to their position in society.
  2. Causes and consequences.
  3. remedial efforts.
  4. Women have to help themselves and also draw in the men to create a better world.

VIOLENCE against women is not a new or recent phenomenon. Women have been the victims of violence all through the ages, in all societies, cultures, regions, and religious communities in the world. It is indeed, ironic that in India, which has given rise to apostles of peace and non-violence, women have to bear the brunt of violence – domestic as well as public. Physical as well as emotional and mental.

          Violence against women can be viewed in the historical perspective, for it is, to a large extent, linked to her ‘status’ In society.

          In the Vedic period, Indian women are reported to have enjoyed a relatively comfortable position, Gradually , violence against them began to be practiced; the doors of educational,. Economic, social, political and cultural opportunities were gradually closed for them. The birth of a son came to be an occasion to rejoice, that of a girl a matter of grief. Even their personal freedom in respect of movement, diet, dress, marriage, etc., came to be curtailed. Every effort was made to make them meek and docile. Women also began to be enslaved and prostituted. All this brought them to the level of chattel or cattle. They became commodities which could be sold and purchased, which could be tailored to perform different functions. Various obligations, restrictions and regulations were imposed on them , and different penalties and punishments were prescribed if a woman violated them. Thus violence against women came to have a societal sanction.

          Around the beginning of the Christian era, Manu laid down the  Hindu code. His laws insist that a woman must consider her husband as a god; she should be kept in dependency by her husband; the ideal woman is one who does not strive to break these bonds of control; the salvation and happiness of a woman revolve around her virtue and chastity as a daughter, a wife, and a widow. Worse  still, a widow’s right to  life began to be denied from around the sixth century AD when the practive of sati was introduced. Wife-beating got religious and social sanction with the Matsya Purana authorizing the husband to beat his ‘erring’ wife(though not on the head or the breasts with rope or a split bamboo. Violence against women further increased when young girls began to be forced to serve as the devadasis in the temples. This also made prostitution a part of religious life.

          In the medieval period, when two major cultures Islam and Hinduism-encountered and interacted with each other, violence against women increased manifold. It in clouded new elements. Even the purdah system which isolated the woman from the rest of the world was, after all a violence against woman. Girls began  to be married off at a tender age, and in certain communities the new born baby girls began to be killed by the parents themselves. Polygamy took strong roots in the society , and a woman’s right to the unshared love of her husband was eroded. Raped for vengeance, and forced marriages became common.

          The British government, by and large, remained indifferent to the violence against women except for the legislation they brought in to prevent sati. After independence violence against women has only grown in all its dimensions. Indeed. A few more forms of violence like female feticide have  developed because of the progress in science and technology. The dowry system has been with Indian society for a long time. But today’s growing materialism has increased its severity which results in a great number of bride-killings every year.

          Today, violence against women in India has assumed alarming proportions. According to one estimate, there are about thirty specific form of violence being committed against women  form the pre-natal stage to their death. Such forms include foeticide, infanticide, deliberate check on the supply of sufficient or/and nutritious food, medical neglect , sexual abuse of the girl child, forced marriage, rape, prostitution, sexual harassment, pregnancies at small inttervals, wife –battering, bride-burning cursing the widows, witch-hunting, neglect of the one’s own surroundings. These are also frequently reported in newspapers and other media.

          Most of the violence against women is related to and grows out of their position in society. If a female fetus is destroyed, it is because a girl child is unwanted as she is destroyed, it is because a girl child is unwanted as she is seen as a burden. If a wife is beaten, at least partly it is because women are seen as property- to be treated as the husband, her owner, desires. On a broader level it is also because a woman is perceived as the “weaker” sex, dependent on man , so he can bully her. It is a human tendency to take out one’s frustrations on anyone willing to put up with it or too weak or helpless because of  circumstances to resist it. Expected to submit to every whim of the man, the least sign of resistance on a woman’s part invites use of violence to make her comply. If she is uneducated, unskilled and economically dependent , a woman seldom has ay choice but to bear all the atrocities heaped on her. And a man, fully cognizant of this weakness, shows his power through more violence.

          Domestic violence apart, women are victims of public violence more often and more humiliatingly than men. Rape is not just the act of an individual man against an individual woman, a manifestation of psychological aberration. It is increasingly becoming an instrument, a weapon , to prevent women form raising their voice against atrocities. In personal or family feuds or in wars, rape of the women flok has always been a form of humiliating the adversary, clearly signifying the position of woman as property. Now, women , in their own right, are threatened with rape if they dare to speak out against injustice or crime. The activist who , for instance , stopped a child marriage in Rajasthan was gang-raped by men raped by men form the child’s family.

          The violence continues unabated because no social action has been forthcoming. Legislation exists, but is seldom implemented with care or readiness. Indeed, those very persons in charge of protecting a woman assault her and humiliate her.

          It is not just actual physical violence that is used to intimidate women. Even the threat of it is enough cause for mental agony, and that too is a form of violence. The fear of being beaten, having to bear the pain, the humiliation and trauma of rape helps to keep women in a state of subjugation. Furthermore, there is a peculiar attitude in e society and , worse , in our judiciary that rape in the case of a woman of ‘loose’ character is not quite so heinous a crime. By a queer inverted logic, all raped women come to be looked upon as ‘loose’ women. Can there be a greater violence against a human being?

          Violence against women is further complicated by other factors in society. Caste, religious , communal and class factors also play a role in the violence against women. Caste wars result in rape or molestation of women. So do communal riots. Religious fundamentalism imposes restriction first on women, and they are the ones penalized for trying to break out of blatantly unfair and unrealistic codes of behavior that have no relevance in the life of today.

          Sporadically , individual women react, returning violence for violence. But on the whole, they suffer in silence. The effect of violence on women , unfortunately not getting the attention it deserves, is not confined to the women victims. It affects, directly and indirectly , the immediate family, and ultimately, the society itself. Children growing in a family in which the mother is violently treated either develop violent reactions against the father or are the, selves inured to violence and get brutalized. This quality spreads in society as a whole if it is indifferent to violence perpetrated on women.

          Violence against women is also to be seen as an aspect of the increasing violence in society , as a whole. In that context , the causes of violence are rooted in the psyche of human beings- their temperament and the desires they nourish. There are three basic factors – accumulation of wealth, egocentricity, and basic animal instincts – which  have caused violence, either against women or any group/ section of society. As the race for owning and accumulating wealth increases, violence too increases. Today, most of world’s wealth has been exploited, but material hunger is terrible, and there has been a proportional decline in wealth. The competition for wealth is excessive, and so is the violence. Egocentricity has tempted men to dominate others,  including women, on the strength of economic , political and social powers. One of the major components of animal instincts  is the use of force –without bothering about its pros and cons, advantages or disadvantages- for immediate benefits.

          Hence , the remedy  for violence lies within ourselves what we have to do is to leave the animal kingdom, be human, and to give humane treatment to others, this will be the greatest fight ever fought. But this fight is not between men and women, between men and men; this a fight  between the good and evil, a fight between the human and the inhuman . if we, men or women, are not ready to participate in this fight, we will be doomed.

          Utopia apart, however, in the short and middle term, there have to be some practical steps to put a check on the violence against women. The law –enforcing machinery must be trained and made sensitive to the issue. Women must organize themselves in groups and raise a collective voice against a system that turns a blind eye towards, if not actually condones, violent acts against women. Every public –minded person and the media must contribute to spreading a civilized attitude in society. United effort can certainly create a public opinion and outcry against situations when women are humiliated by public officials or by others with their connivance. Women, too have to be persuaded to become aware of their rights find stand up for them. For the more they retreat inside their shell the more ready are the predators outside to seal that shell and suffocate the vary life out of them.

          Women must help themselves and each other in the fight against violence. But it is, in fact, a social issue that affects many others and the system as a whole. In a democratic polity and society violence against any section cannot be condoned. Right thinking men, too,  have to be drawn into the movement against violence. Attitudinal change in society is required if women are to live in the world s free human beings without fear.

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