Violence against women is becoming more violent: special International Women’s Day post

As the world marks International Women’s Day, violence against women, although triggering pockets of protest and solidarity with victims and survivors across the world, is increasing in scale and the violence, in the words of UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, “is becoming more violent.” This year, the 57th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, which began its annual meeting in New York this week, has as its priority theme, the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls. Opening the meeting, Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, reminded delegates that violence against women “pervades all countries, even in the most stable and developed regions. (It) pervades war zones as well as stable communities, capitals as well as the countryside, public space as well as the private sphere.”

In answering the question posed by the title of her book, Are Women Human?American feminist scholar and lawyer, Catherine Mackinnon, says no. She writes:

If women were regarded as human, would they be sold into sexual slavery worldwide; veiled, silenced, and imprisoned in homes; bred, and worked as menials for little or no pay; stoned for sex outside marriage or burned within it; mutilated genitally, impoverished economically, and mired in illiteracy?

Read the full blog by AHRCentre Director Andrea Durbach at The Castan Centre for Human Rights Law.