Empowering Disadvantaged Women: A Call to End Domestic Violence
Opinions on topical issues from thought leaders, columnists and editors.
By : Siti Noor Fazelah Mohd Noor, PhD
Lately, we have been fed many news stories about domestic violence and discrimination against women. A lot of women in the world don’t feel secure even in their own homes. Millions of women suffer the effects of domestic violence and abuse each year, including physical and emotional trauma, a decline in self-esteem, and disempowerment. However, there are strategies that can be implemented to give victims of domestic violence and abuse the strength they need to finally leave their abusive relationships behind for good.
If a woman is experiencing abuse, she may begin to feel completely alone. The emotional and practical help they need to leave an abusive situation might be found through a network of friends, family, or community organisations. As an added bonus, women’s support groups can serve as a confidential space for open dialogue and the exchange of ideas.
Women who are victims of abuse may not understand their rights or lack the financial means to retain legal counsel. Women who have experienced domestic violence or abuse should have access to legal aid services provided by government agencies and non-government groups. Help with divorce, child custody, and restraining order filings is also available.
Victims of domestic violence and abuse may benefit from psychotherapy and counselling services. Their confidence and sense of well-being can be revived through therapeutic counselling. Counselling and counselling services for women who have experienced domestic violence and abuse should be made available by governments and non-governmental groups at no cost or at a reduced cost.
Women’s Economic Empowerment
Financial dependence on an abuser can make it harder for a victim to exit an abusive relationship. Women can acquire financial independence and freedom from abusive conditions through economic empowerment possibilities like job training, microfinance, and entrepreneurship initiatives.
Domestic violence and abuse are persistent problems, yet many individuals are unaware of the warning signals and the scope of the situation. Governments and NGOs alike should lead public education and awareness initiatives to combat the stigma around domestic violence and abuse. Women need to be taught about their rights and where to find help, while men need to be taught to respect women and speak out against abuse and violence in the home.
On the other hand, in order to ensure that women are being empowered, education is the key to advancing women’s equality. Women who complete higher levels of education increase their chances of financial success, improved health, and increased civic engagement. Every girl should be able to have a good education. Thus, governments and organisations should put money towards that end.
In all fields, including government, business, and education, women should have the same access to leadership positions as men. Policies, such as quotas or objectives, mentoring programmes, and leadership training, should be implemented by governments and organisations to increase the number of women in positions of power.
To truly empower women, we must prioritise their health and well-being. Funding for maternal, reproductive, and mental health services for women should be prioritised by governments and non-profits alike. Also, they need to deal with issues like poverty, violence, and discrimination that have an impact on people’s health.
Gender-discriminatory social norms and attitudes must evolve. Equal representation of both sexes in the workplace, in the media, and in the arts should be actively promoted by governments and institutions. Most importantly, to empower women, men and boys need to be taught about gender equality and encouraged to back women’s rights.
In conclusion, empowering disadvantaged women who are victims of domestic violence and abuse requires a multi-faceted approach that addresses their emotional, physical and economic needs. By building support networks, providing legal assistance, counselling and therapy, economic empowerment opportunities, and community education and awareness, we can help women break free from abusive situations and regain self-confidence. Domestic violence and abuse are unacceptable; we must work together to end them.
Siti Noor Fazelah Mohd Noor, PhD, is Head, Centre for Communication Science Research, at Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM).
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy or position of BERNAMA)