Violence as the Biggest Challenge for Women Today
Violence against women is one of the most pervasive societal issues undermining the wellbeing of women. Violence and patriarchy are intrinsically related, with male violence against women being viewed as a means to exert power and control over the weaker gender. According to statistics by the UN, 35% of women have been victims of sexual and/or physical violence at least once in their lives. All women, regardless of their race, color, age, ability, sexuality, or class, are potential victims of male violence. Similarly, race, color, age, ability, sexuality, or class does not influence the tendencies of males to be violent against women.
One of the most prevalent acts of violence against women is rape. Perpetrators of this heinous act could be strangers, family members, or acquaintances of the victim. The second-wave feminist movement brought to the attention of the public the issue of rape while also creating an understanding that rape is a serious offense. Before this, society had been trivializing and minimizing the issue of rape. The issue of rape is especially pervasive in societies that are largely patriarchal as they tend to endorse rape-prone attitudes and beliefs. Research has shown that young men from such societies are open to coercive sexuality. In a study conducted in one of such areas, 51% of male college students taking part in the study attested that there was some likelihood that they would forcefully have sex with a woman they were dating if they were sure they would get away with it. Most of the time, female victims of rape are blamed for leading men on. This is consistent with observations made by Anderson, Simpson-Taylor, and Herrmann that most men do not subscribe to the school of thought that dictates that no means no and will go ahead to misinterpret innocent behavior by women as sexual consent, thereby pressing sexual advances on these grounds.
Public attacks by strangers are another form of violence against women. Aside from their homes, the public space is among the riskiest places for women as far as attacks by strangers are concerned. In Canada, for instance, women are more often than not worried about their safety in public areas, with the majority of attackers being men. Statistics show that 58% of women there are worried about their safety while in public transit or after dark. This is worsened by the existing notion that women should be in charge of their own safety, with a lot of safety guidance being offered on how best women can ensure their own safety. While this may be helpful to the women in the wake of an attack, it is not the best approach as measures should instead be put into place to enhance security.
Violence against women is a pervasive societal issue, with statistics showing that about 35% of women all over the world have been victims of violence. In patriarchal societies, male violence against women is perpetrated as means to exert control or power. Some of the forms of violence against women include rape and public attacks by strangers.