Status of Women in the West (5)
In the name of God. One of the bitter experiences throughout history has been oppression against women and violation of their rights and security. Violence against women is a rampant across the world and most of the countries are gripped with this problem. The sad point is that the scale of violence against women in the western countries is the same (or even worse) than that of the poor countries or the so-called underdeveloped countries.
Dear friends, as usual we listen to the expert of the program and activist of women's rights, Ms. Akhundan on the issue:
“Statistics indicate that in the western countries violence against women has been in the rise. In fact, in the western civilization despite the activity of movements defending women's rights like feminism, women have not fulfilled their rights and are rather deprived of their basic rights. In this civilization, as per the rights claimed by the west, women have the right to be free, to wear freely, to behave freely and so on; whereas this very unconditional freedom has become a catastrophe called violence against women.
Moreover, due to the freedoms given to women in the west, the striking and provocative behaviors of women in various forms have been the cause of harassments; and according to the evidences, nobody is after solving the problem but everybody just presents the problem, i.e. increase of violence against women. Naturally, in the societies where hijab and sexual ethics are not observed, violence against women is more prevalent. Alcohol, egotism, white marriage and sexual discrimination are enumerated as some of the factors for violence against women. The fact of the matter is that in the so-called developed countries of the west women are exploited under the guise of independence. Indeed, white marriage is also to the detriment of women as they suffer more in this kind of relationship. According to several researches, violence against women exposes them to increased physical and spiritual diseases and damages their social performance. Those women who are prone to violence are more likely to excessive alcoholism, drug consumption, suicide and anxiety."
In spite of claims on progress in various domains, the west has totally failed to protect women against social ills. According to a report, although there are strict laws on family affairs, violence against women has increased in Europe. Family Violence refers to an aggressive behavior which occurs between couples. It has been described as Spousal Abuse, too. Experts of family affairs, Barnet, Miller and Perrin presented expressive definition on family violence in 1997. They have defined spousal abuse as an aggressive and coercive behaviors including physical, sexual and psychological assaults and economic threats which individuals enforce against their intimate partner.
In view of this definition and, according to the report of the European Parliament, out of every 4 European women, one suffers from violence.
Reports have shown that in France, 95% of the victims of violence are women and 51% of them are the victim of their husbands. In France, every month at least 6 women die as a result of family violence. One thirds of these women are killed with cold weapon and another one thirds are killed with firearm. 20% are choked and 10% are beaten till they die. In this so-called cradle of freedom, if a man beats his dog in public he will be protested by people; while people won’t react if he beats his wife.
German women are also prone to family violence. Daily Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger reported that every 17 seconds at least one woman is beaten at home. Every 4 days, 3 German women are killed by their husbands or male partners; i.e. 300 in one year. In Britain, more than 10% of women are harassed by their husbands. More than 1/4 of British women experience humiliation, insult and maltreatment by their husbands. In this country, too, at least 1 woman is murdered every three days.
The dire circumstances in the western societies have triggered the protest of many activists of women's rights. Britta Thomsen, Danish politician and member of the European Parliament, wrote to the European Commission, "The suffering of women from sexual and family violence has caused shame and ignominy. The EU should take legal measures in this regard. We have waited for the European Commission's reaction and now we call for an instant measure to legally consider violence against women as a crime. We ask the European Commission to present the annual statistics on sexual violence including the number of murdered women."
Researches reveal that in the United States, which masquerades as the pioneer of human rights, every 18 minutes at least one woman is badly beaten and injured. 22-35% of American women are hospitalized because of family violence. Young women from low-income families, aged 20-24 years old, are more liable to family violence and sexual harassment.
Besides, 25-30% of the American women are physically harassed by their husbands. 15-25% of these women are beaten while they are pregnant. According to another report by the FBI, 79% of American men beat their wives. Serious beating is the main factor that harms American women. This goes to the extent that the number of such women using first aid and hospital care surpasses the victims of car accidents, pickpocketing and rape.
SoundVision.com website, mocking at the US claims on violation of women's rights in Islamic countries, writes, "Every year more than 500,000 women and girls over the age of 12 are raped in the United States and the number of other types of violence against this group is over 3.8 million cases. 20-30% of the women who go to the emergency department of hospitals have effects of beating on their bodies."
The website of National Organization for Women (NOW) wrote that in spite of the efforts made by groups defending women's rights in the US, the figures of violence against women and rape are skyrocketing. UNISEF also confirmed this in report and announced that the United States of America ranks first among the countries in which women are beaten and injured; and that it is more regrettable to say that the violence women face in America, which claims to defend human rights, is similar to the violence enforced against women in Zimbabwe and Cambodia.
Of course, these figures pertain to physical violence whose consequences are visible; while there are other kinds of hidden violence whose consequences cannot be seen but are more painful. These include telling lies, indifference towards the wife's needs, continuous reprimanding and nagging, separating mothers from children, aggressiveness, forcing the wife to leave home and accusations against her. Loss of self-confidence, depression, taking refuge to superstition, and so on are some of the consequences of hidden violence. Thus, the family life has been seriously shaken in the west and it is not a calm and safe place for women anymore. This has further undermined the inclination toward marriage and motherhood.
In short, the western countries, for the past decades, deceived the world with the motto of defending women's rights whereas they not only didn’t take a step to defend women's rights, they rather trampled their rights and dramatically increased their woes.