"During the pandemic, sexual violence against girls has grown because they have been confined with their abusers. If the home is not a safe place for them, what is then, the streets?" Mía Calderón, a young activist for sexual and reproductive rights in the capital of Peru, remarks with indignation.
Left blind by a beating from her ex-husband, Susana Gómez barely managed to avoid joining the list of nearly 2,800 femicides committed annually in Latin America, but her case shows why public policies and laws are far from curtailing gender-based violence in the region.
Domestic violence is alarmingly prevalent in Peru. Not only is it statistically more common than in other, more progressive cultures, but Peruvian women tend to accept it as simply a ‘part of marriage.’
Four months in hospital and a number of operations saved the life of Maria da Penha Fernandes of Brazil, but the rifle shot left her paraplegic at the age of 37. When she returned home, her husband tried to electrocute her in the bathroom.
In Timor-Leste, the gap between rich and poor is most keenly felt by rural women and children. But while women are working hard to help rebuild Timor-Leste, their contributions are not always recognised, in a country where men’s narratives still heavily dominate.
Nearly half of the four billion people who reside in the Asia-Pacific region are women. They comprise two-thirds of the region’s poor, with millions either confined to their homes or pushed into the informal labour market where they work without any safeguards for paltry daily wages. Millions more become victims of trafficking and are forced into prostitution or sexual slavery.
“One time my husband started slapping me hard on the face because I had not cooked the rice to his satisfaction,” Suruchi* told IPS. “He hit me so hard that my infant daughter fell from my arms to the ground.”
The issue of domestic violence is moving to the forefront of public attention in Georgia after a series of killings of women at the hands of their respective spouses or ex-spouses made headlines in local mass media.
The UN agency for Palestinian refugees has launched an ambitious recovery plan for Gaza following the 50-day devastating war between Hamas and Israel which has left the coastal territory decimated.
A veteran women's rights activist, Patricia Brownell was still taken aback by the prevalence of abuse against older women she discovered during dozens of conversations she and her colleagues had with victims.
Back in the day when the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ran a de-facto state in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province, alcohol consumption was closely monitored, and sternly frowned upon.
Heightening their campaign to eradicate violence against women and girls, United Nations agencies and civil groups have called for increased action to end child marriage and female genital mutilation.
When Phumzile Khoza* came to the central Johannesburg antenatal clinic on a chilly day in August 2013, she was feeling on edge. Not about the medical procedures – she already had two children – but about talking to the nurse.
When banker Darkhan Botabayev tried to book a flight on Kazakhstan’s national airline last September, what started as a routine transaction turned into an assault that shocked the nation: Botabayev lost his temper and punched the young female ticket clerk in the face.
Married women in Lebanon who suffer abuse at home remain at the mercy of the country’s multitude of religious courts, because the hard-fought civil law against domestic violence has been stalled for a vote in parliament since the summer.
Selina, a resident of a small community in Malaita, the most populous province in the Solomon Islands, watched in horror as a man standing on the road in front of her house tore the clothing off his wife, then beat her and inflicted wounds with a knife.
Conservative sectors in Nicaragua have launched an offensive against the Comprehensive Law Against Violence Toward Women, seeking amendments including an obligation for women victims to negotiate with their abusers, human rights groups reported.
Up to a quarter of women in Europe have experienced domestic violence at some point in their lives, according to the Council of Europe. But despite the widespread nature of the phenomenon, more often than not we ignore it. A short video launched last month in Serbia managed to break this silence.
Several brutal, high-profile murders of women in the last few weeks in El Salvador are just the latest reminder that this is one of the countries in the world with the highest number of femicides, the term used to describe the killing of women because they are female.
Lynette Edwards (not her real name) grew up watching her mother being beaten by her partner each night. In high school, Edwards began associating with bullies, thinking this would protect her from being abused; but when she turned 16, two male acquaintances raped her.
Ecuador hopes to move forward in the fight against violence against women by typifying femicide – gender-motivated killings – as a specific crime in the new penal code.