Violent mentality, behaviour and politics against girls and women have made the entire world insecure

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 25 November 2016 provides another opportunity for us to address and condemn the widespread, systematic, legal and customary violence and discrimination that afflict physically and psychologically half the population of the world. This year, we celebrate 25 November, while women’s conditions have deteriorated worldwide in comparison with previous years. War, despotism, migration, displacement, discrimination and suppression that prevails in the society and our homes, repressing women, carry on more barbarically than before. Discrimination and gender inequality have impacted lives of all women both in the West and in the East, creating a fundamental obstacle ahead of their access to an equal and impactful status in the society.

Today, we are on the brink of a precipice of world history, where naked and systematic violations are rampant in various dimensions of women’s lives to such an extent that humans have hardly experienced it before. The present world – an extremely horrendous and insecure place – is the outcome of the direct and indirect collaboration of low-knowledge politicians, huge arms manufacturing corporations, extremist belligerent forces, patriarchal traditions, and the purging of enlightened and conscientious men and women from making decisions on macro political, and economic spheres as well as private spheres and family lives. Hence, human beings have been deprived of the opportunity to pursue peaceful coexistence across the world. In this context, the most deprived social groupings, including women and children, suffer the greatest harms.

Women are engaged in the fight against numerous obstacles, which prevent them from achieving a deserving equal and discrimination-free status. At the same time, they must grapple with economic, social, family, cultural and legal discrimination. Even though the political male dominated world does not recognise women’s knowledge, which they have acquired with hard work through centuries of struggle, it must be admitted that this world has never before witnessed women as capable and as thoughtful as today. This situation is the outcome of many years of endeavour and struggle.

The fight against violence against women has many dimensions. The violence must be eliminated both within the families and in the public spheres. The discriminatory social relations must be fundamentally revised; equal educational, economic, social and cultural opportunities be provided to women; common and civil laws be amended; women’s rights on their body be recognised; and fanatic and repressive interpretations of religion be discarded. In addition, women must be given the opportunity to participate in macro political and administrative levels in the society. It is not acceptable that men may fight for various and vague reasons, declare ceasefire, achieve reconciliation and sign peace agreement, while millions of women and children are killed, wounded, displaced and sacrificed.

At this historical juncture, where fascism is arising from the depths of extremist neoliberalism, our resistance, extending from the US to Europe, to Middle East and the turbulent Central Asia and the plundered Africa, signifies our solidarity. Conscientious women and men shall never allow populism to serve as a channel for a return to gender stereotypes and repression of women.

Women worldwide must enjoy their deserving status, and their ideas and capabilities be put to practice in order to create a secure space for all to live in.

Armanshahr, together with all women at the heart of Asia, the region and the worldover, denounces the daily global violence. We believe that all humans, regardless of gender, are equal and must enjoy equal rights, security, opportunities and facilities. We believe that the world shall not achieve peace and justice without women’s participation. Until then, the flames of war shall continue to plague us all. We demand equal shares for women in all spheres: political, economic, social, cultural and family life.