Saying enough is enough is a start
For those who work to end violence against women, they must wonder if what they do makes any difference at all. 500 women are assaulted sexually every day in the US. The figure is multiplied a thousand-fold worldwide. Violence against women is used as a weapon against individual women, groups of women and even nations of women. How can it ever end?
The United Nations has made the comment violence against women is not inevitable and has gone further in isolating a series of steps which would go a long way.
Women deciding enough isenough is a major step. #MeToo and #TimesUp are western examples which have a lot going for them. #TimesUp especially brings power because the women themselves are high-profile and with a level of influence. But it also shines a light on the extent of the problem, if it can happen to these power-house women, it can happen anywhere.
But on a wider platform, there is evidence of a wider resistance. When Indian and Bangladeshi women work to create a new normal and that silence will no longer be the way of dealing.
Taking power is one way and one of the more potent. But there are many ways in which women can be given the ability to take their own power. Wage equality laws will allow a woman who had been constrained in a violent situation to get out with some cash.
Victims are asked why did you stay? The answer is often economic, how could I get out? Creating an economically equal basis will allow women to take control of their own situation.
Never before has the voting power of women been as strong as it is today. This is only going to increase. It is easy to say this is a position of privilege enjoyed by western women, but we have seen the effect of a catalyst time and again.
In the US we might be on the cusp of seeing what effect the female vote will have on the electorate. The upcoming election is going to be one of the most interesting ever, simply because of the sense among women that we are pissed, and we’re not going to put up with this anymore.
Long-term change is, of course, the goal and it needs to be on a global level. But that is disheartening because 500 women are sexually assaulted daily and before a change is made another 3,500 individual victims will be added to the register just here in the US.
But now that we realize we need to teach our sons how not to rape and we need to teach our male friends how not to talk over us and all men hate being told they are mansplaining, there is the potential for transformation.
This needs to be translated into law and then backed up by the judicial system. Since adjusting its tax laws, Sweden has consistently seen violence drop because of state measures. We need to demand the same everywhere.