Interesting articles about the Medical Aid industry and Medshield position in it
Posted in Medshield Medical Scheme   |   December 2nd, 2019
The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence
against Women and Children is campaign that takes place from 25 November to 10
December annually to address violence against women and children.
The most vulnerable members of our society
– women and children – are most often the victims of violence, and as ordinary
citizens we may feel helpless to combat this. Medshield takes the matter
seriously and we thought we’d share a few suggestions on how you can make a
difference during this period and beyond …
Combating violence against women and
children will not happen if only half the population is talking about it – men
have to play their part, too. According to a 2019 study by Brazilian gender
relations organisation Promundo, actions that can be taken include speaking up
when witnessing harassment or abuse, having conversations with other men about
abuse, and accepting that all these conversations may not be comfortable but
We get outraged at gruesome violence, but
what is often overlooked is how the “small” acts of violence embolden the
perpetrators of violence in our society. This can be as simple as the language
used when speaking to and about women and children. The lack of agency and
self-ownership afforded to women leads to some men feeling entitled to women’s
time and bodies, and being violent towards them. This lack of agency also
happens regarding children, which results in parents treating their children
however they wish, as the children are not seen as complete human beings who
deserve agency and respect.
The insistence that different genders have
inherent characteristics unique to them – for example, the societal pressure on
men not to express emotions or on women to be submissive – can lead to
imbalanced power dynamics that in turn can lead to abuse.
Barring girls from accessing education and
pursuing careers of their choice – or any careers at all – because of gender
stereotypes also leads to loss of agency and self-sufficiency, which them makes
them more vulnerable to abuse. There are also instances where children behaving
in ways that are atypical of their gender can lead to parents being abusive.
This has to be addressed and stopped.
Although statistics from several sources
indicate that incidents of false accusations for gender-based crimes are no
higher than any other crime, these crimes, for some reason, can elicit doubt
when discussed. Rape Crisis Scotland cites several studies that show that false
accusations for rape make up between 3% and 8% of reported rapes, while a 2010 US
study places this number between 2% and 10%. These are both within a range
common for false reporting of other crimes. Yet gender-based violence and rape
crimes often see victims not believed. Further, research shows that
gender-based crimes are under-reported, which means many victims do not receive
the help they so desperately need.
Apart from assumptions that rape
accusations are false, when victims are, in fact, believed, some people then
blame the victims for their experience. Questions such as, “What was she doing
out at night?” or “What was she wearing?” when women are the victims of sexual
violence, or questioning why victims stay in relationships in cases of physical
abuse, are damaging, not only to current victims, but to future victims, too,
because they embolden perpetrators. When the victim is blamed, would-be
perpetrators may feel justified in their actions because the victims are
“asking for it”. Blame should be placed entirely on the shoulders of the
Organisations such as People Opposing Women
Abuse (POWA), the Thuthuzela Care Centre and Childline always need support. You
can help either with donations or by giving your time as a volunteer (they deal
with numerous cases at any given time and the load can be heavy). These
organisations help to empower vulnerable members of society and offer support
if they fall victim to violence.
We can all make a difference, even in the
smallest ways. All it takes is caring enough to do something about it.
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