Violence against women takes a large share of all acts against human rights and freedom. Women make half of mankind, yet according to United Nations` sources one in three women experience some kind of physical or sexual violence during their lifetime, most frequently by an intimate partner. Traditionalist attitude towards gender relations oftentimes prevents law enforcement from punishing culprits or preventing future violence.
Child marriage and/or female genital mutilation leave permanent damage to physical, emotional, psychological, sexual and overall social wellbeing of many women even before the beginning of their adult life.
Human trafficking for forced labour or forced prostitution and various adjacent forms of sex slavery are also some of the worst breaches of basic human dignity and freedom, besides facilitatiting huge organized criminal networks that terrorise or corrupt local communities and/or otherwise change for worse the fabric of society.
Everyday-life violence in the street or in the workplace, sexual harassment, or misogyne hate speech, prevent women from taking equal footing in the job market, advance their skills and participate freely and equally in social and cultural life of their communities. Moreover, in various parts of the world pressure is put on girls by extremist groups not to attend schools at all, thus losing basic opportunities in later life and having their subsequent freedom and choice decimated.
Finally, even at home, thousands of women every year die as a result of domestic violence, while many millions suffer from it. Worldwide, only 52% of women who are married or in a union freely make their own decisions regarding sexual relations, contraception and health care.
Governments around the world fight child marriage or abuse, or human trafficking, or domestic violence, or other forms of violence against women with varying determination and success. Setbacks due to retraditionalization of family relations, or to giving in to conservative forces on other fields, considerably slow down curtailing that violence.
25 November is observed as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women since 1981. Since then, United Nations have passed several resolutions and declarations, inviting governments around the world to step up their activities to eradicate violence against women and girls worldwide.
In its Freedom Barometer project of measuring freedom, including rule of law and human rights, liberal Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom also monitors state of gender equality, equitable access to education, work, justice and other social goods, and activities of governments as they either implement or neglect these tasks, in 45 countries of Europe and Central Asia. These could be found at: www.freedombarometer.org or on the Freedom Barometer`s Facebook page.