by Massimiliano Fanni Canelles
The Declaration of the United Nations on the Elimination of Violence against Women describes as unacceptable “any act of violence on grounds of gender or likely to cause damage to cause physical, sexual or psychological, including threats of violence, coercion or arbitrary deprivation personal liberty, both in public and private life”. While affirming the right to equality has long been an integral part of human rights only in 1993, in Wien, with this paper the issue of violence against women entering the international debate. Have passed 16 years from that clear statement of position, but violence against women is still present in the industrialized countries, as in the developing world, with no difference in social class or culture. In Italy, the percentage of women who have suffered physical or sexual violence reaches 32% and for the most part the author is a partner or the ex partner. The incidence is higher for the divorced and separated women and in almost all violence cases are not reported. But not only the physical forms of violence to influence the women’s world: 2 million women undergo behavior persecutors (stalking) and 7 million are victims of psychological violence. To all this, we must add the labor and sexual exploitation of immigrants in Europe, the phenomenon of trafficking for purposes of prostitution or forced labor. But in the third world the situation is even worse abuses, abductions and murders take place in the total indifference of the authorities, which are absolutely failed in undertaking appropriate actions to not only prevent but also to investigate and punish those responsible for violence. Many of the girls no time to be born: it is “deleted” at the time of birth. The adolescent may be the “prize” to be reserved for combatants or a means to extract useful information.
During the war in Bosnia were 20,000 women raped. During the civil war in Sierra Leone almost all the thousands of women and girls abducted by rebel forces during the conflict were raped and forced into prostitution. Not only: in Rwanda, the scene of one of the most tragic massacres of the century, women raped are dying of AIDS. Even in the genocide in Darfur, thousands of women and girls were raped and infected by HIV. These facts, as other equally dramatic, such as female genital mutilation, discrimination towards women’s access to food, health and education, the prenatal sex selection and the lack of birth registration could be the cause of the disproportion between population male and female existing in certain regions of our planet. The origin of time, God wanted to give a companion to man. The man, however, decided to punish it by considering the cause of the loss about Eden. Thus, over the centuries, women were humiliated, raped, beaten, made slaves for having inherited from their mother is to blame, both the unfairness and immorality of Eve. It is “likely”, however, that the real causes of this tragedy are resident in other reasons: the ruthlessness of the human race, perhaps in the hormonal characterization, the characterization of sexual difference and the mechanisms of survival of the ancestral species. Certainly, today, the man should be aware that, thanks to that apple made with courage and curiosity, Eva was the conquest of knowledge.
Translated by Martina Delser