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Unraveling Gender-Based Violence: Confronting Our Inner Demons

1 Sep 2023 5:28 PM | Michele Guarino (Administrator)

By:  Veera Mahajan

NFBPWC Gender Based Violence Committee Chair

Gender-based violence, a pervasive and insidious social issue, continues to cast a dark shadow over societies worldwide. Its roots run deep, intertwining with cultural norms, power dynamics, and personal attitudes. In our quest to eradicate this menace, it’s essential to recognize that the problem often lies not only in external forces, but within ourselves – in our discomfort, fear, and pride.

At the heart of the matter lies discomfort. We are often uneasy discussing gender-based violence, as it forces us to confront uncomfortable truths about the society we live in. This discomfort can lead to avoidance, denial, and harmful behaviors. It’s crucial to acknowledge this discomfort and actively engage in open dialogues, creating safe spaces to challenge and transform the narratives that sustain gender-based violence.

Fear, too, plays a significant role. Fear of backlash, ridicule, or retaliation can prevent individuals from speaking out or intervening. Fear of losing societal acceptance or personal relationships can keep victims trapped in silence. By acknowledging these fears, we can work towards fostering a culture of empathy and support, empowering survivors to come forward and allies to stand up against violence.

Pride can also be a stumbling block. Our ego sometimes blinds us to our own biases, making it challenging to recognize and address harmful behaviors. A culture that normalizes toxic masculinity or reinforces outdated gender roles feeds into this pride. Unlearning these ingrained beliefs is essential for dismantling the foundations of gender-based violence.

To combat gender-based violence effectively, we must embark on an introspective journey, examine our discomfort, fear, and pride. By acknowledging these internal barriers, we can actively work towards creating a more equitable and just society.

Only through collective self-awareness and action, can we hope to bring an end to the cycle of violence and abuse, fostering a world where every individual can thrive without the shadow of gender-based oppression.

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