Speech of Homa Arjomand  on December 6th, the National Day of Remembrance and Action against Violence Against Women. 

 

Only a social movement on the rise for equality of men and women will put an end to violence against women.

 

 

The history of all societies to date has been a history of inequality, discrimination, deprivation, ignorance and political repression, and in reality discrimination against women and women’s oppression is

a hallmark of even the world today. In one section of the world backward culture and tradition have been promoted and guarded by religious movements and in actual fact the cruel punishment for women for not being obedient have become part of legislation. In advanced countries, where due to women’s rights and human’s rights movement sexual discrimination has essentially disappeared from the text of most laws women are still in many respect in practice discriminated against, and with massive intellectual and cultural U-turns in progress, one can never expect to end violence against women, male-chauvinism, and gender apartheid which has been a permanent fact of life and an integral part of society’s economic and political function of the world today.

 

The achievement through various national and the international campaigns to stop violence against women, or through various adopted resolutions to put an end on violence against women so far have been just risk reduction.  

For the past 20 years all women activist, service providers, shelters and outreach programs have put all their effort to prevent violence against women globally. An effort that needs to be cherished but despite all the effort, we are still nowhere close to end of violence against women. In Ontario since 1995, 258 women and 35 children have been murdered by an intimate partner.  It has been said that woman abuse is an epidemic. We March to Take Back the Nights as statistic says every 2.5 minutes another woman is sexually assaulted, on streets of Vancouver women are being slaughtered, at university compus women are being targeted and murdered. In so called Islamic countries and where religion and old traditions have a stronger hold of cultural structure and politics the situation is worse; oppression of women takes the foulest forms. One can add hour killing and dismembering to the uncountable lists of violence towards women.  

I strongly believe only a social movement on the rise, for equality of men and women will put an end to violence against women.  On the peak of this movement are the freedom seekers who are for freedom not only from political oppression, but also from economic pressure. They are for equality not only before the law, but also in the enjoyment of society’s material and intellectual wealth. This movement is on the rise.