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Campaign: Stop the violence against women!

With the perspective that it is not possible to build a more egalitarian society when gender oppression continues, the movements of Via Campesina engaged in a campaign to eradicate violence against women. The idea is to denounce all forms of violence, to charge policies from the government and  to encourage women to organize themselves to fight these problems.

The movements of Via Campesina understand that violence against women is a result of the patriarchal model in which personal relationships are not based on affection, but on relations of power and property. In this model, women appear as objects that belongs to man and have an obligation to serve and give pleasure.

In this way, violence is seen as something natural, which serves to maintain the established order. Therefore, women often have difficulty in understanding what they are suffering is violence, especially when violence against them is not physical. The difficulty in dealing with this matter stems from the fact that in most cases, violence is practiced at home by their own comrades.

There are several types of violence suffered by women beyond the physical (such as agression and even murder) and sex (rape and other acts against their will). There is also psychological violence (threats and blackmail), property (omission or destruction of objects) and moral (slander and injuries).

Violence against rural women

Adriana Mezadri, of the Movement of Rural Women (MMC), explains that for rural women, the situation is worse. “Because of the isolation and relationships in more conservative families, women finding it harder to report these cases. It is much harder to separate from their husbands, and more women are blamed for ending of the relationship” she says.

In addition to this type of violence, rural women are subjected to violence of agribusiness and large projects such as dams. “They are taking over our territories and expel us. And we know that these problems affect women more strongly, with lots of cases of sexual violence and prostitution, that accompany these projects. “

The MAB has been addressing the issue rather prominently this year at the Meeting of Women Affected by Dams, held in April in Brasilia. The Movement has also published a booklet on human rights abuses of women during the construction of dams, proving that they are the most affected by these projects. In addition, in several states are organized meetings of women to discuss the issue of the campaign, among other issues.

The militant MMC highlights the importance of women getting together to combat this problem: “The organization of women is fundamental. If you have nobody to talk to or to lean on, you think there’s no escape. Organized , women are help themselves, face the problems and fight for change” she explains.

Violence in numbers

  • More than 40% of Brazilian women have suffered domestic violence;
  • Every 24 seconds a woman suffers physical violence in the country;
  • Between 1997 and 2007, 10 women were killed per day in Brazil;
  • Up to 47% of women worldwide have had their first forced sexual intercourse.

Sources: Abramo Foundation, Instituto Sangari / DATASUS and WHO