Posted June 9, 2019 from Nigeria

Gender Based Violence (GBV) is a type of violence based on gender. It is the violence directed at an individual based on their biological sex, gender identity or accepted norms and stereotypes. It can be physical, psychological, sexual, verbal or emotional. It's most times seen as a norm due to stereotypes placed on the sex which is as a result of gender. The woman is an egg who can be crushed by strong men! The perpetrators involve in the acts tend to see it as a right or privilege, hence, they derive pleasure from expressing their violent behaviours on the victims. This proves that there is no justification for these acts.

Gender based violence is also known as violence against women and girls because most victims are women and girls. This doesn't mean that boys and men are not victims. However, this violence is stemmed from detrimental stereotypes and gender roles which make the females suffer these things.

In reference to the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, also known as the Istanbul Convention, Gender Based violence Is defined as thus: a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination against women and shall mean all acts of gender-based violence that result in, or are likely to result in, physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.

It is also any act or threat of acts intended to hurt or make women suffer physically, sexually or psychologically, and which affect women because they are women or affect women disproportionately. According to World Health Organization (WHO), one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or abused in some other way – most often by someone she knows. One in five women is sexually abused as a child. USAID shows that women who have been physically or sexually abused are 16 per cent more likely to have a low-birth-weight baby, and they are twice as likely to have an abortion. In some regions, they are 50 per cent more likely to acquire HIV.

Gender-based violence includes physical, sexual and psychological violence such as domestic violence; sexual abuse, including rape and sexual abuse of children by family members; forced pregnancy; sexual slavery; traditional practices harmful to women, such as honor killings, burning or acid throwing, female genital mutilation, dowry-related violence; violence in armed conflict, such as murder and rape; and emotional abuse, such as coercion and abusive language; trafficking of women and girls for prostitution; forced marriage; sexual harassment and intimidation at work are additional examples of violence against women. Gender violence occurs in both the ‘public’ and ‘private’ spheres. Such violence not only occurs in the family and in the general community, but is sometimes also perpetuated by the state through policies or the actions of agents of the state such as the police, military or immigration authorities. Gender-based violence happens in all societies, across all social classes, with women particularly at risk from men they know.

Violence against women can fit into several broad categories. These include violence carried out by "individuals" as well as "states". Some of the forms of violence perpetrated by individuals are: rape, domestic violence, sexual harassment, reproductive coercion, female infanticide, prenatal sex selection, obstetric violence, and mob violence; as well as harmful customary or traditional practices such as honor killings, dowry violence, female genital mutilation, marriage by abduction and forced marriage. Some forms of violence are perpetrated or condoned by certain states such as war rape; sexual violence and sexual slavery during conflict; forced sterilization; forced abortion; violence by the police and authoritative personnel; stoning and flogging. Many forms of VAW, such as trafficking in women and forced prostitution are often perpetrated by organized criminal networks.(Wikipedia)

There are many forms of GBV that have been challenged as traditions in certain communities. Whether it is early marriages in certain U.S. communities, rape in South Africa and other countries around the world, trafficking of persons in India, sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, femicide in Guatemala, female genital mutilation, forced marriage and physical violence in Nigeria, so-called honor killings in Iraq or Pakistan, there is no justification for violence.

Violence based on a person's gender is wrong and an abnormal act. We'd be looking at each of the types of Gender Based violence in my subsequent posts.

Comments 3

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Jun 09
Jun 09

This is a very nice highlight on GBV for us. Some little details I got from your Wikipedia source. Thanks

Hello, Latoria,

Does Nigeria have a law against gender violence? One of the popular laws in the communities in our country is VAWC - Violence Against Women and Children. Men are now accountable to the law on whatever violence they do on their wives and children.

Thank you for sharing.

Jill Langhus
Jun 10
Jun 10

Hi Latoria,

Thanks for sharing your informative post on GBV. There are quite a lot of WP sisters blazing a trail to eradicate GBV in their particular areas, regions, and countries. Perhaps you will be one of them in the future?