Femicide, as defined by the World Health organisation, is said to be the intentional killing of a girl or a woman for belonging to a specific sex. Diana E.H. Russell first heard about this term in 1974 from a woman in the USA who was planning to write a book about ‘Femicide’. Over the years, she has altered the definition, and finally, it has come down to ‘Killing of females by males because they are females.’ It is seen that harassment against women is not limited to physical abuse only. They include emotional, sexual and financial abuse also. Femicide has put the life of little girls in danger too.
In this article, the author will explain the types of femicide prevalent in the world.
When the woman’s life is in danger due to the presence of her husband or her boyfriend, it is called Intimate Femicide. According to a WHO study, 35% of women are murdered by their intimate partners. On the contrary, the same study stated that their intimate partners commit only 5% of the men’s murders. A parallel notion for the latter study is that women usually commit such offences as an act of self-defence. Another implication falls on the children who are born out of such relationships. They lose one of their parents due to murder. If the other partner is caught, they might end up in jail. As a result, they tend to be fearful of relationships.
A woman or girl is killed because of the family’s honour by a male, which amounts to honour killing. Honour killing is usually a result of the act of out-caste marriage, adultery, sexual intercourse and acts that might hamper the respect of the family. Such acts fall in the purview of femicide when they are done by a female. It is one of the most prevalent types of femicide in India. This not only harms the lives of women but also brings the issue of casteism into the light.
Dowry culture is also associated with femicide. This happens when in a marriage, the bride’s family does not suffice the requirements of the groom’s family. This leads to harassment of the bride in the house of her in-laws. In some cases, the harassment are so grave, that it leads to dowry death. It is very prevalent in the Indian sub-continent. In 2006, the Crime Records Bureau registered around 7,600 such cases.
One of the most significant of such is the non-intimate femicide. This was seen in Latin America. These killings are random and also include sexual aggression. The reason behind such killing is the mere existence of females. According to the WHO report, more than 700 women were murdered in Guatemala. In the same report, in 2006, USA shooters also had caused two mass shootings in school. They had singled out girls and female teachers.
One of the significant factors causing violence against women is the rampant socio-economic dependability of women, which further causes an unbalanced equation with their husbands and the other members.
Their fear of abandonment and social exclusion is one of the main factors leading to its rise. Lack of adequate response and follow-ups by the authorities also makes them timid regarding the situation. There are many cases that go unreported in India.
Gender stereotypes are often used to justify violence against women. Cultural norms have described men as aggressive and dominant while women are termed submissive and docile, which has led the society to foster a culture of abuse, such as genital mutilation, forced marriage and femicide.
Therefore, this menace can only be sorted when the legislative and executive work together. There have to be stricter laws, and the implementation also has to be proper. Mere law formulation cannot increase deterrence in the people.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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