By Maryam Qarehgozlou

Illogical reservations about bill on violence against women

December 26, 2017

TEHRAN — While there are news about adoption of a bill on banning violence against women there seems to be unreasonable reservations about the issue.

Violence against women is the violation of human rights which would seriously affect the women and young girls and even the whole society.

Regarding women’s role in the family as those in charge of bringing up children their physical and mental health is of great significance. Therefore, violence not only has negative consequences for women but also their families, the community and the country at large.

Drawing up national plans and policies to address violence against women in each country with regard to its constitutional laws and religious belief can play a major role in curbing such brutalities against women.

Despite the figures revealing social vulnerability of women in the country Majlis (the Iranian parliament) has been delaying discussing bills on banning violence against women for years, ISNA quoted women’s rights activist Leila Arshad as saying. “What matters more than safety of women and young girls that is delaying the adoption of the bill,” she asked rhetorically. 

However, La’ya Joneidi, vice president for legal affairs, has said that the administration is utterly determined to approve the bill.

“The directorate for legal affairs have done its best to draw up and submit the bill in association with the directorate for women and family affairs,” Joneidi said, adding, “we hope that the bill will be brought to a vote at the cabinet and then before the parliament at the earliest opportunity.”

Due to its legal nature the bill was brought before the judiciary by the Guardian Council, it should not take long before it’s passed by the legislative body, IRNA quoted Joneidi as saying. 

However, she stated, “the procedure is pretty time-consuming and we cannot decide an exact time for the formal adoption of the bill.”

As explained by officials Iran’s legislative body is seriously considering the adoption of the new bill on exercising women’s right but the reservations and procrastination may lead to some irreparable damage to this vulnerable group. 

Key facts about violence against women 

Violence against women – particularly intimate partner violence and sexual violence – is a major public health problem and a violation of women's human rights.

Global estimates published by World Health Organization (WHO) indicate that about 1 in 3 (35%) of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.

Most of this violence is intimate partner violence. Worldwide, almost one third (30%) of women who have been in a relationship report that they have experienced some form of physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner in their lifetime.

Globally, as many as 38% of murders of women are committed by a male intimate partner.

Violence can negatively affect women’s physical, mental, sexual, and reproductive health, and may increase the risk of acquiring HIV in some settings.

Men are more likely to perpetrate violence if they have low education, a history of child maltreatment, exposure to domestic violence against their mothers, harmful use of alcohol, unequal gender norms including attitudes accepting of violence, and a sense of entitlement over women.

Women are more likely to experience intimate partner violence if they have low education, exposure to mothers being abused by a partner, abuse during childhood, and attitudes accepting violence, male privilege, and women’s subordinate status.

There is evidence that advocacy and empowerment counselling interventions, as well as home visitation are promising in preventing or reducing intimate partner violence against women.

Prevention and response

There is some evidence from high-income countries that advocacy and counselling interventions to improve access to services for survivors of intimate partner violence are effective in reducing such violence. Home visitation programs involving health worker outreach by trained nurses also show promise in reducing intimate partner violence. However, these have yet to be assessed for use in resource-poor settings.

To achieve lasting change, it is important to enact and enforce legislation and develop and implement policies that promote gender equality by improving women’s access to paid employment and developing and resourcing national plans and policies to address violence against women.