Expressing shock at the World Health Organization (WHO) report that physical/sexual violence affects over one third of all women globally, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed has urged the world to do serious soul searching on the treatment of women.
World could not even provide safer non-violent environment for women to go about their daily lives. It was a blot on all of us, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stated in Nevada (USA) today.
This WHO report “Global and regional estimates of violence against women”, in partnership with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the South African Medical Research Council, states that some 35% of all women will experience either intimate partner or non-partner violence. Impacts of violence can range from broken bones to pregnancy-related complications, mental problems and impaired social functioning, it adds.
Continuing indifference to the maltreatment of women was not acceptable in the 21st century world. Nations needed to urgently focus on the treatment women, forgetting their political battles. A strong political will and some serious and durable systemic reforms were urgently needed in this direction, Rajan Zed stated.
Quoting scriptures, Zed pointed out that ancient Manusmriti said: “Where women are revered, there the gods are pleased; where they are not, no rite will yield any fruit.”
Rajan Zed argued that although the world claimed to have made lot of progress in various fields, but it had not done enough for women, who continued to face inequalities and violence. We needed to empower our women and provide them better treatment under the law, better access to health-education-politics, and more opportunities for workplace participation; and open up more economic potentials for them, Zed stressed.
World needed to wake up and should not tolerate and condone violence against women, which appeared to be in epidemic proportions and extremely common. Society should look inward and address the factors which condoned violence against women.Men and women were equal in the eyes of God and they should be equal partners in the human society also, Zed noted.
Rajan Zed urged His Holiness Pope Francis and other religious leaders of the world to come out openly against violence at women. It was immoral and a sin to watch our women suffer from violence and do nothing about it, Zed added.
Violence against women was preventable and it was time for culture of violence against women, discriminatory family laws, and gender inequalities to go. Nations should be held accountable on treatment of women and legal institutions should be strengthened. We all, men and women, deserved a violence-free life, Zed said.