Reasons for signing
See why other supporters are signing, why this petition is important to them, and share your reason for signing (this will mean a lot to the starter of the petition).
Thanks for adding your voice.
Thanks for adding your voice.
Thanks for adding your voice.
I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified, because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We've been taught that silence would save us, but it won't.
A gender-equal society would be one where the word 'gender' does not exist: where everyone can be themselves.
[In 16th century European society] Marriage was the triumphal arch through which women, almost without exception, had to pass in order to reach the public eye. And after marriage followed, in theory, the total self-abnegation of the woman.
Antonia Fraser, The Wives of Henry VIII
One distressing thing is the way men react to women who assert their equality: their ultimate weapon is to call them unfeminine. They think she is anti-male; they even whisper that she's probably a lesbian.
I'm happy to say that I'm a lesbian in the world. I know there are people who don't want to be called women comedians, but I think it gives a path to the fact that we live in extremely patriarchal times.
Women who love women are Lesbians. Men, because they can only think of women in sexual terms, define Lesbian as sex between women.
Rita Mae Brown
Enough is enough! Where is the respect for women?
Rape facts in Germany: An estimate of 240,000 women and girls has died up till now in Germany because of this crime. Germany is on the number six in the highest rape crime with the figures of 6,507,394 in this year which is really a big figure. German Catholics have allowed the morning-after pills for the victims. The country moving forward in technology is actually moving really backward in humanity.
Sweden has the highest incidence of reported rapes in Europe and one of the highest in the world. One amongst every four women comes out to be the victim of rape in Sweden. By 2010, The Swedish police recorded the highest number of offences – about 63 per 100,000 inhabitants. The country has third-highest rape crime in the world. In 2009 there were 15,700 reported sexual offenses in Sweden, a rise of 8% compared to 2008, of which 5,940 were rape and sexual harassment (including exhibitionism) accounted for 7,590 reports. In April 2009, it was reported that sex crimes had increased by 58% over the previous ten years. According to a 2009 European Union study, Sweden has one of the highest rates of reported rape in Europe.
Many people wish to live or even visit UK as it is one of the most developed countries. But they surely must not be aware that this country is also involved badly in the crime of rape. In January 2013, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Home Office released its first ever joint Official Statistics bulletin on sexual violence, entitled An Overview of Sexual Offending in England and Wales. According to report: Approximately 85,000 women are raped on average in England and Wales every year. Over 400,000 women are sexually assaulted each year. One in 5 women (aged 16 – 59) has experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 16.
The prevention and elimination of disrespect and abuse during facility-based childbirth:
Many women experience disrespectful and abusive treatment during childbirth in facilities worldwide. Such treatment not only violates the rights of women to respectful care, but can also threaten their rights to life, health, bodily integrity, and freedom from discrimination. This statement calls for greater action, dialogue, research and advocacy on this important public health and human rights issue.
Ensuring universal access to safe, acceptable, good quality sexual and reproductive health care, particularly contraceptive access and maternal health care, can dramatically reduce global rates of maternal morbidity and mortality. Over recent decades, facility delivery rates have improved as women are increasingly incentivized to utilize facilities for childbirth, through demand generation, community mobilization, education, financial incentives or policy measures.However, a growing body of research on women’s experiences during pregnancy, and particularly childbirth, paints a disturbing picture. Many women across the globe experience disrespectful, abusive or neglectful treatment during childbirth in facilities. (1-3) This constitutes a violation of trust between women and their health-care providers and can also be a powerful disincentive for women to seek and use maternal health care services.(4) While disrespectful and abusive treatment of women may occur throughout pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period, women are particularly vulnerable during childbirth. Such practices may have direct adverse consequences for both the mother and infant. Many women experience disrespectful and abusive treatment during childbirth in facilities worldwide. Such treatment not only violates the rights of women to respectful care, but can also threaten their rights to life, health, bodily integrity, and freedom from discrimination. This statement calls for greater action, dialogue, research and advocacy on this important public health and human rights issue.
UNICEFReports of disrespectful and abusive treatment during childbirth in facilities have included outright physical abuse, profound humiliation and verbal abuse, coercive or unconsented medical procedures (including sterilization), lack of confidentiality, failure to get fully informed consent, refusal to give pain medication, gross violations of privacy, refusal of admission to health facilities, neglecting women during childbirth to suffer life-threatening, avoidable complications, and detention of women and their newborns in facilities after childbirth due to an inability to pay.(5) Among others, adolescents, unmarried women, women of low socio-economic status, women from ethnic minorities, migrant women and women living with HIV are particularly likely to experience disrespectful and abusive treatment.(5) Every woman has the right to the highest attainable standard of health, which includes the right to dignified, respectful health care throughout pregnancy and childbirth, as well as the right to be free from violence and discrimination. Abuse, neglect or disrespect during childbirth can amount to a violation of a woman’s fundamental human rights, as described in internationally adopted human rights standards and principles.(6-9) In particular, pregnant women have a ight to be equal in dignity, to be free to seek, receive and impart information, to be free from discrimination, and to enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, including sexual and reproductive health.(10) Despite the existing evidence that suggests women’s experiences of disrespect and abuse during facility-based childbirth are widespread,(1-3,5) there is currently no international consensus on how disrespect and abuse should be scientifically defined and measured. Consequently, its prevalence and impact on women’s health, well-being and choices is not known. A considerable research agenda exists to better define, measure and understand disrespectful and abusive treatment of women during childbirth, and how it can be prevented and eliminated.To achieve a high standard of respectful care during childbirth, health systems must be organized and managed in a manner that ensures respect for women’s sexual and reproductive health and human rights. While many governments, professional societies, researchers, international organizations, civil society groups and communities worldwide have already highlighted the need to address this problem (11-14) in many instances policies to promote respectful maternal care have not been adopted, are not specific, or have not yet been translated into meaningful action.
In order to prevent and eliminate disrespect and abuse during facility-based childbirth globally, the following actions should be taken:1. Greater support from governments and development partners for research and action on disrespect and abuseGreater support from governments and development partners is needed for further research on defining and measuring disrespect and abuse in public and private facilities worldwide, and to better understand its impact on women’s health experiences and choices. Evidence on the effectiveness and implementation of interventions in different contexts is required to provide the necessary technical guidance to governments and health-care service providers. 2. Initiate, support and sustain programs designed to improve the quality of maternal health care, with a strong focus on respectful care as an essential component of quality care Greater action is needed to support changes in provider behaviour, clinical environments and health systems to ensure that all women have access to respectful, competent and caring maternity health care services. This can include (but is not limited to) social support through a companion of choice, mobility, access to food and fluids, confidentiality, privacy, informed choice, information for women on their rights, mechanisms for redress following violations, and ensuring high professional standards of clinical care. The focus on safe, high-quality, people-centered care as part of universal health coverage can also help inform action.photo: World bankThe prevention and elimination of disrespect and abuse during facility-based childbirth
3. Emphasizing the rights of women to dignified, respectful health care throughout pregnancy and childbirthInternational human rights frameworks highlight disrespect and abuse during childbirth as an important human rights issue, (6-8,15) and can aid women’s health advocates in raising awareness and developing policy initiatives on the importance of respectful maternal care. Rights-based approaches to organizing and managing health systems can facilitate the provision of respectful, quality care at birth.4. Generating data related to respectful and disrespectful care practices, systems of accountability and meaningful professional support are requiredHealth systems must be accountable for the treatment of women during childbirth, ensuring clear policies on rights and ethical standards are developed and implemented. Health-care providers at all levels require support and training to ensure that childbearing women are treated with compassion and dignity. Those health services that already provide respectful maternity care, promote participation of women and communities and have implemented processes to track and continuously improve respectful care need to be identified, studied and documented.5. Involve all stakeholders, including women, in efforts to improve quality of care and eliminate disrespectful and abusive practicesEnding disrespect and abuse during childbirth can only be achieved through an inclusive process, involving the participation of women, communities, health-care providers, managers, health professional training, education and certification bodies, professional associations, governments, health systems stakeholders, researchers, civil society groups and international organizations. We call upon these entities to join in efforts to ensure that disrespect and abuse is consistently identified and reported, and that locally appropriate preventative and therapeutic measures are implemented.
Hate crime: child marriage
The Facts on Child Marriage
Get the latest news and updates in your email
What is Child Marriage?
“Child marriage” is generally understood to mean marriages that take place before age 18, but for many girls, marriage occurs much earlier. In some countries, girls as young as 7 or 8 are forced by their families to marry much older men. The reasons girls are married are diverse, and parents sometimes believe that through marriage, they are protecting their daughters and increasing their economic opportunities. However, child marriage exposes girls to increased health problems and violence, denies them access to social networks and support systems, and perpetuates a cycle of poverty and gender inequality.
According to the UN, 37,000 girls under the age of 18 are married each day. We now have the greatest number of married girls and girls at-risk of child marriage than ever before
1 in 3 girls in the developing world are married before 18; 1 in 9 are married before the age of 15
If present trends continue, more than 140 million girls will be married before the age of 18 in the next decade
Globally, almost 400 million women now aged 20-49 were married before the age of 18
Consequences of Child Marriage:
Child marriage effectively ends a girl’s childhood, curtails her education, minimizes her economic opportunities, increases her risk of domestic violence, and puts her at risk for early, frequent, and very high-risk pregnancies
Girls under 15 are five times more likely to die in childbirth than women in their 20s and face higher risk of pregnancy-related injuries, such as obstetric fistula
Child brides are often unable to negotiate safer sexual practices and are therefore at a higher risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections
The negative consequences of child marriage reach beyond the girls themselves: children of child brides are 60 percent more likely to die in the first year of life than those born to mothers older than 19, and families of child brides are more likely to be poor and unhealthy
Where Does Child Marriage Occur?
Child marriage occurs in every region of the world, and is practiced across cultures, religions, and ethnicities. The highest rates of child marriage by country are observed in Sub-Saharan Africa, in countries such as Niger, the Central African Republic, and Chad. However, the largest number of child brides live in South Asia, where 46 percent of girls are married before the age of 18. Incidents of child marriage have been shown to increase as instability increases, making girls living in conflict or crisis settings particularly vulnerable to the practice.
Why should the U.S. Government Care About Ending Child Marriage?
Ending child marriage is the right thing to do. Girls around the world deserve to live full childhoods, go to school, be free of the violence and negative health consequences associated with child marriage, and choose—for themselves and without violence or coercion—when and whom they marry. Not only does child marriage negatively impact the lives of girls themselves, it also directly hinders the accomplishment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which set development priorities for the world. Efforts to end child marriage and advance the health and rights of girls must be at the center of the global development agenda in order to end extreme poverty and ensure human rights for all.
Ending child marriage is the smart thing to do. Child marriage perpetuates the cycles of poverty, poor health, illiteracy, and violence that have negative impacts on overall development, prosperity, and stability. As the U.S. government continues to invest in development programs around the world, a focus on child marriage could ensure that goals on issues as diverse as education, health, violence, and economic advancement are met for both this and future generations of girls, their families, communities, and countries.