>It is another 25th of November. It is another international day for the elimination of violence against women. It is another reminder of the role you can play to put an end to gender based violence.

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Leave no one behind: End violence against women and girls . That is the theme for this year’s celebration and it advocates for the total elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls irrespective of their location or colour.

Gender violence and discrimination occur in developed nations as well as developing nations. The only difference would probably be in the magnitude and penalty.

An experience I had recently taught me that Violence against Women (VAW) does not necessarily mean physical violence. It cuts across emotional and psychological violence.
I dated and loved someone I thought was the best guy there was. Turned out he was not just a chronic womaniser, but he had very little respect for most of these women. I was blind to that part of him because he gave me 100% respect and what I thought was love. But when the chips were down, he made me realise he held little respect for the other women by the way he picked, used and tossed them aside. They were only there to satisfy his sexual desires. Their opinions, rights and feelings di not amount to anything. After all, they are ‘mere women’. As far as I am concerned, he exposed me as well as those other ladies to emotional and psychological violence and it was uncalled for.
I believe every woman, irrespective of job, color or location, has experienced one form of violence or the other. I recently listened to the Nigerian novelist, Chimamanda Adichie speaking on feminism and I realised that even the celebrities are not left out of this inequality mindset. Personally, I am getting used to having waiters and waitresses greet and fuss over the man beside me while acting like I am not even there.

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Image courtesy of http://www.chimamanda.com
But when the famous Chimamanda explained how it also happens to her, I could only laugh at our society.

Funny enough, some men believe VAW is a thing of the past while many more others believe the female victims asked for it. They ask, what was she doing in a room alone with a guy? She asked to be raped. Like seriously?

But for me, it is more painful when women themselves think through their anus by joining the men to ask such questions. Or when they spearhead the maltreatment of widows or fail to teach their sons to respect and care for their sisters. Who would blame a guy whose mother taught from childhood, that he is more important than his sister? That he can rough-handle the neighbour’s daughter if she refuses to dance to his tunes?
And what about those women that fold their hands and watch their husbands and sons and brothers, rape their daughters and nieces and cousins? They sacrifice the happiness and future of these young girls on the alter of ‘family name’. They stand and watch mutely lest they bring the family name to shame. Is that one even a family?

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There are more female excisors than males, women who still believe that a woman must be genitally mutilated to please a man and keep the ladies loyal and pure – for the man. Excuse me!

No one deserves to be treated like an animal. No girl, no woman deserves to be violated, for any reason at all. There is absolutely no justification for violenece against women. I mean, how can you justify punching a woman senseless by saying she talks too much or rudely? Who punches you when you misbehave? Is she justified to rape the guy because he visited her?

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Today, all of us, male and female, young and old, white or black, we are being called upon to make a difference,  to help end violence against women and girls.
Will you stand up to be counted?

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