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Pope: Violence against women is blasphemy against God

Pope: Violence against women is blasphemy against God

Pope: Violence against women is blasphemy against God

As we mark the Inter­na­tion­al Day for the Elim­i­na­tion of Vio­lence against Women, Pope Fran­cis reminds us that our lev­el of human­i­ty is mea­sured by how we treat women.

By Francesca Merlo

The Inter­na­tion­al Day Against for the Elim­i­na­tion of Vio­lence Against Women has been observed annu­al­ly on 25 Novem­ber since 1981. This date was select­ed to hon­our the Mira­bal sis­ters, three polit­i­cal activists from the Domini­can Repub­lic who were bru­tal­ly mur­dered in 1960 by order of the country’s ruler, Rafael Trujillo.

The obser­vance, that aims to help pre­vent and elim­i­nate vio­lence against women and girls around the world, calls for glob­al action to increase aware­ness, pro­mote advo­ca­cy and cre­ate oppor­tu­ni­ties for dis­cus­sion on chal­lenges and solutions.

Mean­while, UN sta­tis­tics show that on aver­age, a woman or girl is killed by some­one in her own fam­i­ly every 11 minutes.

This har­row­ing fig­ure is released by the Unit­ed Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, which states that the killing of women and girls by those they would nor­mal­ly be expect­ed to trust is “one of the most extreme man­i­fes­ta­tions of gen­der-based violence”.

A per­pet­u­al­ly rel­e­vant issue, this day is meant to raise women’s voic­es and con­demn all forms of trau­ma imposed on women, not lim­it­ed to domes­tic abuse and sex­u­al assault.

Since the out­break of COVID-19, emerg­ing data and reports from those on the front lines, have shown that all types of vio­lence against women and girls, par­tic­u­lar­ly domes­tic vio­lence, have intensified.

Pope Fran­cis has been vocal about the impor­tance of respect­ing women since the begin­ning of his pon­tif­i­cate, stress­ing that mis­treat­ing a woman or her body is “blas­phe­my to God” and pray­ing for all the women who suf­fer exploita­tion and vio­lence as they are used as sex work­ers, as they are traf­ficked, assault­ed and raped in wars and con­flicts, as well as for the vio­lence and dis­crim­i­na­tion they suf­fer in many oth­er dai­ly scenarios.

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