GEND 2004: SEXUAL POWER AND ILICIT DESIRE Name: Danielle Cox I. D. #: 620041842 Class: Monday 12 -1 Date: October 22, 2012 GEND 2004: SEXUAL POWER AND ILICIT DESIRE Name: Danielle Cox I. D. : 620041842 Class: MON 12-1 Date: October 20, 2012 Question 4: Critically evaluate patriarchal ideologies and practices that perpetuate gender based violence and the interventions that are necessary to eradicate it. “The man is the head of the household…”, “a real man provides for his family…” “Men are brave and strong and should protect their family and their properties,” “men should be in charge because they are great leaders… These are few of the common sayings and ideas in societies, across the globe that has shaped the concept or ideology of what men should be like, especially, when they are considered head of their homes or families. The ideology of patriarchy has evolved from the struggles faced and the stories told of women worldwide. It comprises structures of domination and exploitation that affect women’s position in the home society.
Patriarchy, according to Macmillan Dictionary, is defined as a society, system or organization in which men have all or most of the power and influence in other words, means the rule of the father or the patriarch (a male member of the household or society). In the feminist practice and theoretical approach, patriarchy has been observed differently from the liberal to socialist feminism. Despite being defined quite simply it, however, implies a system in which the father or a male member in the household who is onsidered as the head of the family, has control over aspects such as the economic and property resources of the household, makes all the major/important decisions of the family, provide disciplinary actions if necessary or deemed fit and thereby creates and maintain an ongoing control over all members of the family and those who have some relation to it. It has been seen that this system establishes male dominance and control over women in society, in general, and particularly so within the family and somewhat maintains it.
The “unequal power relationship” between men and women, gives or bestow power to men in an important institution of society. It is important to see patriarchy as both an ideology of the subordination and control of women, and, an idea of struggle against the same. The origins of patriarchy can be traced throughout the different stages of civilization. Several views have been expressed regarding the origins of patriarchy and its universality. Its roots have been traced in history, religion and in nature. There are views that the system of patriarchy has its beginning in history, i. e. t is man made and therefore can be ended by many historical processes in the future. Patriarchy, for others, is considered a natural phenomenon, i. e. , being based on different biological aspects of human beings which have been categorized between male and female. Research and/or observation reveal that, patriarchy is universal, incepted by God, and have become natural to the point where it is somewhat unquestionable; changing patriarchy would amount to changing nature. Many have not accepted the above explanations and have sought to find others to adequately satisfy their queries or provide a more logical explanation.
Since the term patriarchy has been established, there have been many claims that this system suppresses females and has, on many instances, resulted in violence one can look forward to critically evaluating patriarchal ideologies and practices that perpetuate gender based violence. Ideology; gender; violence, gender violence, terms to bear in mind while assessing how these practices affect different genders. Ideology can be classified as a body of doctrine, myth, belief, etc. that guides an individual, social movement, institution, class or large group.
Gender, refers to which sex one identifies themselves and how one is socialized. ‘Violence, is defined as the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against a person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation. This definition associate’s intentionality with the committing of the act itself, irrespective of the outcome it produces. ‘World Health Organization (WHO) 2003.
Gender-based violence can be described as violence against women based on women’s subordinate status in society. It entails any harmful acts or threats by men or male dominated organization which could cause/inflict psychological, physical and/or sexual harm to a woman or girl because of their gender. In cultures globally, norms, traditional beliefs and practices along with social institutions at times allow and aid in the perpetuating of violence against women. Gender-based violence at times manifests itself in different forms such as physical, psychological and sexual violence.
Acts such as sexual abuse, which includes rape and sexual abuse of children by family members or individuals close to their family; forced pregnancy; domestic violence; sexual slavery; traditional practices that tend harmful to women, such as burning or acid throwing, mutilation of the female genitals, dowry-related violence; honor killings for rituals or celebrations, violence during armed conflict, such as rape and in some instances murder; and emotional abuse, such as coercion and abusive language.
The trafficking of women and girls for prostitution, sexual harassment forced marriage and intimidation at work are additional examples of violence against women. Gender violence can occur in both the ‘public’ and ‘private’ spheres such as the home. Such violence not only occurs in the family and in the general community, but is sometimes also at times perpetuated by the state through laws, policies or the even the actions of agents of the state such as the military, police or immigration authorities.
Gender-based violence happens in all societies, across all social classes, with women particularly at risk from men they know. Fig 1. 1 Table showing Examples of Violence against Women throughout Life Cycle The link between Gender-based violence and patriarchies can currently be seen throughout history and more recently in current society, within the family setting. Families around the globe, particularly those who live in patriarchal households, tend to respect the men or males in their family especially the ‘alpha male’ i. . the one who is at the head. One of many factors which influence gender- based violence is gender socialization. ‘Gender socialization is the process by which people learn to behave in a certain way, as dictated by societal beliefs, values, attitudes and examples. Gender socialization begins as early as when a woman becomes pregnant and people start making judgments about the value of males over females. These stereotypes are perpetuated by family members, teachers and others by having different expectations for males and females. LeMoyne, UNICEF Aug 2007. Chevannes highlighted/argued how boys and girls are socialized in order to fit in society, he states how from an early age they are dressed in colors to differentiate their genders and are taught how to act and conduct themselves according to their gender. Chevannes goes on to argue that females have been socialized to stay home (indoors) they are taught tasks such as house work i. e. ashing, cooking; cleaning; and are also taught how to take care of younger siblings in preparation for child bearing; females were to socialized be soft spoken, submissive and always well groomed, she was to accept the fact that the men were indeed head of the household, he was in charge of finances and properties while the female stayed home and reared the children while on the other hand males were expected to be outdoors, they were to be strong, full of energy and strength and be able to complete hard tasks such as yard work when needed.
Chevannes highlighted the fact that boys tend to be freer; less restricted than girls and, at times, were treated better than girls were. Boys growing, throughout almost every culture, are usually told or constantly reminded that one day they will be in charge of a company/ business but more importantly that one day they will be at the head of their households, they are told that they should learn to be strong and have a certain level of command and respect, many young men are also taught that women are their property or that a woman should always listen or be obedient; submissive to their partners needs however this is not always the case.
Some males may tend to allow their partners the ability to make choices while, on the other hand, there are some males that don’t expect or refuse any form of retaliation. Some males depending on the culture that they have been socialized in tend to find ways to discipline their partners which, at times, may lead to some form of violence. In countries such as India, Kenya and Russia women are constantly being abused by their partners and are subjected to treatments such as femicide i. e. urder of women by their batterers, forced prostitution, Sex-selective abortions, female infanticide and differential access to food and medical care, denial of fundamental rights. The table below provides statistics of abuse committed by men on their female counterparts in the Latin America and Caribbean Region and also Central and Eastern Europe Fig 1. 2 Table showing Statistics of Abuse Committed by Men on their Female Counterparts in Latin America and Caribbean Region and also Central and Eastern Europe.
Domestic Violence Against Women ‘Alive And Well’ In Caribbean from West Orlando News and Carib World News aribWorldNews, WASHINGTON, D. C. , Weds. Mar. 4, 2009: Allegations of domestic violence against Grammy singer Rihanna by her boyfriend Chris Brown may have put a more public face on the plight, but according to the latest human rights reports by the U. S. State Department, the scourge continues to affect many women across the Caribbean. In the Bahamas, U. S. fficials claim that violence against women continued to be a serious, widespread problem. The police reported that six of 54 killings recorded through September 23, 2008 were related to domestic violence. While statistics show that there were 114 rapes reported during the past year; a decrease, however, from 136 in 2007. In the Dominican Republic, domestic violence continued to be a serious problem with a local NGO estimating that 20 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 49 had been victims of physical abuse at some point in their lives.
In 2007, 177 women were killed as a result of violence against women. The scenario was similar in neighboring Haiti, where women’s rights groups and human rights organizations reported that domestic violence against women remained commonplace and underreported. Government figures reported 31 incidents of domestic violence in 2008. Among them was the January 26th 2008 beating of 27-year-old Martine Lindor of Petit-Goave, who was allegedly beaten by her former spouse and lost sight in her left eye.
Police conducted a swift investigation and arrested the suspect, but an investigative judge intervened the same day to procure his release without notifying the prosecutor or speaking with the victim. When the victim pursued further legal action, a higher court returned the case to the same judge. Then in July last year, MINUSTAH’s Child Protection Unit reported numerous incidents of gang rape and sexual violence against women and children in the “No Law” areas.
National police statistics showed that 282 rapes were reported during the year, an increase of 89 percent over the 2007 figure of 149; 90 rape victims were adult women, 189 were female minors, two were adult men, and one was a male minor. Guyanese women were also the victims of widespread domestic violence that crossed racial and socioeconomic lines, said the U. S. report. During the past year, Help and Shelter handled 468 abuse cases, including child, spousal, no spousal, and other domestic abuse while 306 of the cases involved spousal abuse directed against women.
According to the NGO, government enforcement of laws against domestic violence was poor while NGOs reported a perception that some police officers and magistrates could be bribed to make cases of domestic violence “go away. ” Jamaican women also suffered widespread spousal abuse and violence even while many women were reluctant to acknowledge or report abusive behavior, the report said. There was also a general apparent reluctance by the police to become involved in domestic issues, which led to cases not being pursued vigorously when reported.
And while rape is illegal, during 2008, there were 774 rapes reported even as NGOs believed the actual numbers were much higher. In St. Kitts/Nevis, the Ministry of Gender Affairs reported handling an annual average of 25 to 30 reports of domestic violence. However, its director believed that, due to the nature of the crime, many women did not feel comfortable reporting it or asking for a protection order. There were no prosecutions or convictions for domestic violence during the year. The situation was similar in St.
Lucia, even as during the first six months of 2008, police reported 39 cases of rape and 60 cases of statutory rape and the DPP’s office received 15 sexual assault cases from police investigators. The cultural `norm` of staying quiet despite domestic abuse was evident in St. Vincent and the Grenadines as well, where the Gender Affairs Division of the Ministry of National Mobilization, Social Development, reported that, in many instances, domestic violence went unpunished due to a culture in which victims choose not to seek assistance from the police or the prosecution of offenders.
In Trinidad and Tobago, many community leaders asserted that abuse of women, particularly in the form of domestic violence, continued to be a significant problem. While reliable national statistics were not available, women’s groups estimated that from 20 to 25 percent of all women suffered abuse. Citing a 10 percent increase in the number of domestic violence cases filed in the magistrate’s court during the previous year’s law term, outgoing Chief Justice Sharma asserted that domestic abuse was a detriment to the country’s peace and security.
This as one group, the Rape Crisis Society, stated that there were 229 new cases of rape reported during the year, in addition to 615 continuing investigations. Over 60 percent of its clients were between 12 and 26 years of age. In Barbados, Rihanna`s homeland, the U. S` latest report claims that violence and abuse against women continued to be significant social problems on the island. While the laws of the island prohibits rape, including spousal rape, at year’s end the RBPF reported 54 rapes, four assaults with intent to rape, and 25 cases of sex with a minor.
But there is no appropriate mechanism for collecting and evaluating data on incidents of domestic violence though the laws prohibit domestic violence, provides protection to all members of the family, including men and children. Penalties depend on the severity of the charges and range from a fine for first-time offenders (unless the injury is serious) up to the death penalty for a killing. In Antigua and Barbuda, spousal abuse was a problem and even though the law was on their side, many women were reluctant to testify against their abusers, according to the U. S. report.
In Cuba, human rights advocates reported that violence against women was a problem, and police often did not act on cases of domestic violence while in Dominica, it was reported that domestic violence cases were common and enforcement of restraining orders were difficult because of a lack of police resources. Grenada women’s rights monitors claim that violence against women remained a serious problem, with a hot line receiving an average of two calls per week, while an office line in a government ministry received approximately 12 calls per week that met hot line criteria.
While in Suriname, during the year 2008, the Nieuwe Haven Police Unit for Domestic Abuse, the most active such unit in the country, reported 191 cases of abuse. According to the World Health Organization, between 15 and 71 percent of women worldwide have suffered physical or sexual violence committed by an intimate partner and the abuse cuts across all social and economic background Fig 1. 4 Article Highlighting the Rapid Rise of Violence Against Women Statistics presented by the World Health organization shows that there are a sizable percentage of females experiencing gender based violence or some form of abuse.
Despite the statistics presented not a lot has been done to rectify the situation at hand. There have been many efforts from many organizations around the world which has had campaigns lobbying for the cease of violence against women. There have been programs established geared towards making changes in behavioral issues among many other however it has still proven to be inadequate. In order to evoke a change, one must highlight the issues that need to be addressed in order to achieve desired results.
If observed carefully, there aren’t many legislative laws that are geared towards protecting women and the few that are provided inadequately serves to really and truly protect a woman, another issue is that victims are often threatened not to talk to anyone or at times hide because they tend to be ashamed, the economic gains that some of these victims stand to gain at times are one of the many contributing factors which makes them stay in such situations they face, the lack of opportunities provided for these women forcing them at times to do menial or demeaning jobs.
In order to rectify the situation at hand these are just some of the issues to be fixed. More stringent laws geared to towards the protection of females which are actually tailored to suit their needs are required. Also there need to be new rules, policies and laws set in place that will actually be able to help women; aiding them is able to have faith in the authorities or the state if problems with abuse arise again. The issue of accountability is a major factor to be dealt with.
Individuals who are responsible for committing heinous acts against women and also those who condoned or upheld such practices should be reprimanded and punished also, having special laws and policies in place to be able to penalize the culprits. There . Fig 1. 3 Diagram showing an Excerpt of how Males after shown Statistics tried their bests and re evaluated themselves and tried their best to make improvements. is also a need for more policies and opportunities as it relates to women in the work environment.
Women should be able to access certain fields of interest if desired and also be able to be granted the same opportunities and privileges as their male counterpart. There is also a need for women to be educated more on the fact that there is nothing wrong with speaking out against abuse, they need to understand that the quicker they voice their woes the better they are able to deal with the situation, avoid the abuse and remain alive. Also more support groups can be formed or even revamp old supporting groups to help females deal with such situations when they occur.
Gender- based violence comes in many shapes and forms it and it is evident around the world in many societies. This type of violence has left many women, children, family and friends of individuals distraught over the matter and for many no resolution has surfaced. It is imperative that we reform our rules and policies, provide the adequate resources and materials necessary for women and more importantly cherish women and stop the abuse. BIBLIOGRAPHY Brown J, Chevannes B (1998) Why man stay so – tie the Heifer and loose the bull: an examination of gender socialisation in the Caribbean.
Mona: University of the West Indies. EuroJournals Publishing, Inc. . (2009). Conventional Patriarchal Ideology of Gender Relations: An . European Journal of Scientific Research , 561-569. Innocenti Research Centre. (2006). Domestic Voilence Against Women and Girls. Innocenti Digest , 1-30. LeMoyne. (2007, August 29). unicef. Retrieved October 20, 2012, from unicef. com: http://www. unicef. org/earlychildhood/index_40749. html Macmillan Dictionary (2009) Innocenti Reasearchers. (2000, June). Unicef.
Retrieved October 20, 2012, from Unicef: http://www. unicef-irc. org/publications/pdf/digest6e. pdf LeMoyne. (2007, August 29). unicef. Retrieved October 20, 2012, from unicef. com: http://www. unicef. org/earlychildhood/index_40749. html THE UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES MONA CAMPUS INSTITUTE FOR GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT STUDIES Undergraduate Coursework Accountability Statement This form is to be attached to any coursework essay submitted for undergraduate courses in the Institute for Gender and Development Studies.
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