We’ve reached the end of #16daysblogathon2019! It’s December 10th, Human Rights Day and the final day of the global 16 Days of Activism 2019.
Fiona Mackay, Louise Chappell, Rukmini Sen, Caitlin Hamilton and Natasha Dyer (Co-curators)
We’ve reached the end of #16daysblogathon2019! It’s December 10th, Human Rights Day and the final day of the global 16 Days of Activism 2019 , the annual campaign that highlights the scale of gender-based violence (GBV) around the world and what is being done to stop it.
To honour this, we’ve run our third annual 16 days blogathon, a series of pieces posted every day over sixteen days from activists, academics and campaigners writing from Scotland to New South Wales, India to Northern Ireland. The stories and statistics we’ve read have been eye-opening, worrying, urgent and hopeful for those of us working to raise awareness, and put an end to gender-based violence around the world, once and for all.
The 16 Days Blogathon is a collaboration between gender ED at the University of Edinburgh, the Australian Human Rights Institute at the University of New South Wales, and Ambedkar University in Delhi.
what have we learnt this year?
On 5 August 2019, the Indian government annulled Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status and split Indian-administered Kashmir into two federally-administered territories.
On 5 August 2019, the Indian government annulled Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status and split Indian-administered Kashmir into two federally-administered territories. Astonishingly, the promotion of women’s rights was invoked as one of the discourses to justify the revocation of Kashmiri autonomy, whilst at the same time there have been widespread reports of gender-based violence by Indian troops.
In the run up to the abrogation, the central government mobilised a million troops across the territory of Kashmir in parallel with the unlawful arrest of over 4,000 civilians (especially young boys), widespread use of torture, sexual molestation and harassment of Kashmiri women, together with a climate of extraordinary repression against the local population. Curbs on the media have restricted public access to information on Kashmir.
In addition to these measures, the central government imposed a crippling communications blackout: internet, landline and mobile services were cut off; Kashmiris could no longer stay in touch with each other or know what was happening to them, or indeed about them in Kashmir, or in the world at large. Landline and mobile services have since been partially restored but the ban on the internet continues.
whats happening in kashmir
A critical question for feminists to ask when women turn to the law is whether a legal victory is always a triumph of the feminist worldview. Violence against women is ubiquitous in patriarchy.
Rachana Johri, Bindu K.C. and Krishna Menon
A critical question for feminists to ask when women turn to the law is whether a legal victory is always a triumph of the feminist worldview. Violence against women is ubiquitous in patriarchy. It pervades virtually all spheres of lives, happening most often in relational spaces. Without questioning the necessity of the law, it seems that the work of feminism must include a detailed analysis of the many moments in which women experience violence such as sexual harassment at the workplace and at educational institutions.
Every violent act – whether it is a comment on the looks of a classmate, persistent messages from one student to another, or rape – constitute violence. Must all these be treated within a legal framework? And is ‘punishment’ the only imagination of justice? Perhaps more pertinently, does ‘punishment’ belong in a feminist approach to justice?
Continue reading “Day Sixteen |When the law against violence becomes violent”
In recent years, universities and colleges across the world have begun to take steps to address the widespread problem of gender-based violence (GBV).
In recent years, universities and colleges across the world have begun to take steps to address the widespread problem of gender-based violence (GBV). There has been considerable attention paid to universities’ historical inaction on these issues, or where responses have been inadequate at best, and deeply harmful at worst. Research has highlighted ‘lad culture’ on campus and evidenced the high rates at which women students experience GBV. The NUS revealed 1 in 7 women students in the UK had experienced serious physical or sexual assault during their time as a student. The study also found that 12% had been subjected to stalking, and over two thirds had experienced some kind of verbal or non-verbal harassment in or around their institution, including groping, flashing and unwanted sexual comments.
Many students may have experienced GBV before coming to university. One in three (35%) women worldwide has experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime. GBV takes many forms, including sexual harassment and intimidation; rape and sexual assault; domestic abuse; coercive and controlling behaviour; child abuse and child sexual exploitation; trafficking; forced marriage; female genital mutilation; and so called ‘honour’ crimes. These experiences, before or during a university career, may impact on someone’s ability to be fully part of the university community and can have implications for their learning experience. Given what we know about prevalence, those employed in universities and those visiting the university campus are also likely to be affected.
Continue reading “Day Fifteen | Harnessing Community Power to Prevent Gender Based Violence: The #erasethegrey Campaign”
Manjula O’Connor, Jan Breckenridge, Sara Singh and Mailin Suchting
Reproduced from Shutterstock via The Conversation
The practice of dowry usually involves the giving of money, property, goods or other gifts by one family to another before, during or any time after marriage. It is a universal practice. For example, Bombay Island – now called Mumbai – was a former Portuguese outpost which was gifted to England as dowry in the marriage of Catherine of Braganza to Charles II (and was later leased to the East India Company in 1668).
In its modern day avatar, dowry as a practice has different customary characteristics across different communities. Dowry exchange in South Asian communities is characterised by the woman’s family providing goods (including but not limited to money, jewellery, furniture and appliances) to the man and his family. In North African and Middle Eastern communities, dowry is characterised by the man’s family providing goods (predominantly in the form of money or cattle) to the female and her family.
Dowry is an ancient practice most frequently associated with India, but in reality, it is a cultural practice globally. This blog mostly addresses dowry in the South Asian context. Dowry in ancient times originated as a form of ante mortem inheritance, meant only for the bride. In modern times dowry gifts are expected by the family of the receiver as well and has become a practice that is a product of patriarchy reinforcing gender inequality. Women activists have campaigned against dowry practices in India since 1961, recognising the toxic impact of patriarchy combined with greed, and growing evidence of serious violence, murders and suicides associated with dowry in India.
The Australasian Centre of Human Rights and Health (ACHRH) has refined the definition of dowry as ‘substantial gifts’ in the context of a marriage, where the value of gifts is out of proportion to the income of either family and causes financial distress to the giver.
what about dowry abuse?