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By Mike P. Egan
The most fabulous human gift is the ability to think and make a judgment based on specific knowledge and experiences. However, as humans, some among us have decided to negate this fact and act all wild and have ended up raising the questions of what might have gone wrong. Gender-based violence is one of the greatest misguided vices of our society, it is the epitome of the deteriorating human logic that needs to be addressed.
In this 21 century, Gender-based violence is defined as any harmful act that is carried on a person because of their gender. These actions include sexual harassments, physical abuse, emotional torture and all inhumane acts directed to the perceived inferior gender.
What are the causes of gender-based violence?
· Poverty is one of the major reasons. The poverty aspect creates constraints for resources to be equally shared allowing only the strong one to take the lion share. Poverty also denies the society a chance to educate themselves on essential matters such as their rights and the changing roles of everyone in the society.
· The cultural set up mainly in Africa also creates avenues that propel the gender-based violence. In some communities, the female gender is often considered inferior, and they have or no say in the society. Other cultural practices are retrogressive like the female circumcision and forced child marriages.
· There is also the lack of equality, whenever gender-based violence is discussed everyone tends to associate it with women, even if statistics show that 1 in every three women experience GBV worldwide, the male side also should be considered. Another research has indicated men could also be suffering from emotional violence hence turning to masculinity advantage that they have.
· The lack of role model and deteriorating social norms, societies have neglected to impact the young ones positively by providing the right growth environment. Children brought up in homes that had these sort of violence, are more likely to carry them on in their adult life.
· The other cause which is a significant factor is the social mindset. The way we look at a person makes them what he is; we ultimately make one more susceptible to being mistreated by the superiors. The mentality aspect plays the critical role because it’s all what we have been conditioned to believe and it is what is perceived to be normal.
Solutions to Gender-Based Violence
· The first is to change our mindset, as discussed above any change has to start with I, how do I perceive the other person from opposite gender. When kids are growing up, they hardly know anything more than that they have different sex organs, but when they reach puberty and adulthood, there seems to be a realization, and indeed the BIG difference is established.
· Creation of equal economic empowerment avenues, this will ensure that no one depends on another person for financial help and poverty will be wiped out.
· Education and sensitization of the entire community are of great essence; this will make everyone aware of their rights and responsibilities toward the making of a great society.
· There are campaigns and crusades all over to sensitize the issues but more ought to be done to reach a wider audience.
· Abolishing of retrogressive cultural practices is another way to cab GBV, things like incest and FGM are some of the practices that need quick attention and harsh punishments to the perpetrators
· Involvement of both genders, concentration on creating awareness among women has been the primary issue leaving the boy child out and hence having a society that is unbalanced when it comes to knowledge.
Women and men were made to complete each other and not to compete, when we truly treat one another as we would like to be treated we promote equality and a better society. Chivalry does not mean women first, it means; I respect you not because of your gender, but because you are a human like me.
Mike P. Egan can be reached at email@example.com