Violence Against Women
Violence against women is the world's largest pandemic -- and Breakthrough's central issue focus today. Our organization was founded, in fact, with the 2001 release in India of a record album about women's rights featuring the blockbuster song and music video Man Ke Manjeere, which celebrates a woman's freedom from violence and inspiration to others.
Partner assault, early marriage, "honor" killings, rape as a weapon of war: these and many other crimes are committed against women because they are women. Violence against women is not only a violation of women's human rights to safety and self-determination; it also holds families, communities and countries back. It keeps half the world's population from contributing fully to their local and national economies, from moving the world to its full potential. And it is what makes the most dangerous place in the world for a woman her very own home.
According to a recent major report by the World Health Organization, 35% of women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexual violence. Most of this violence is committed by their intimate partners. "Violence against women is not a small problem that only occurs in some pockets of society," the report reads, "but rather is a global public health problem of epidemic proportions, requiring urgent action."
Breakthrough works to transform the attitudes toward women that cause, justify, or excuse violence. We work to build a world where women -- and all marginalized people -- are safe in their homes and limitless in their ambitions. Our newest and largest initiative to combat violence against women is Ring the Bell: One million men. One million promises, which calls on men to take concrete action to help end violence against women and change the culture -- including the inequality and discrimination -- that allows it to persist. This is the first initiative of our global Ring the Bell campaign, which itself began in India as Bell Bajao ("ring the bell" in Hindi) and grew into our longest-running and most internationally-lauded effort to date. Bell Bajao calls on men to interrupt overheard domestic violence and, collectively, make the "private" public and the "acceptable" unacceptable.
We also work to draw attention to abuses and violations faced by women immigrants to the United States, and how current policies and practices contribute to violence against those women and their families.
Given the current, unprecedented attention to acts of violence against women from Delhi to Steubenville and more -- and the unprecedented level of action taken by men in response -- (not to mention momentum around immigration overhaul in the United States) we believe that we stand today at a global tipping point on the issue of our time. With your hard work, and with men as leaders and partners, we -- in this generation -- can build a world in which all of us can live freely, fully, and without fear.
watch and share View All
Ringing a doorbell is all you need to do to bring domestic violence to a halt.3 Comments
Featured ContentView All
In the wake of the UCSB shootings and a chilling anti-woman manifesto, further thoughts on how to engage men in the anti-violence movement.
Yet again global outrage and attention are focused on India. In the most recent rape-murder in Uttar Pradesh, a story of “boys will be boys” unfolded in a chilling and familiar pattern. Two teenage girls belonging to the Dalit caste went out to the fields because there are not enough toilet facilities for women in India. They never returned.
One year ago, Jyoti Singh Pandey—known in India as Nirbhaya, or “Without Fear”—was brutally raped and murdered in an unimaginable act of violence in a New Delhi neighborhood. Only months before, Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani student and activist, was shot by the Taliban—and, thankfully, survived.
It’s been one year since the fatal Delhi gang rape aboard a moving bus—one year since a 23-year-old woman captured the world’s consciousness. While violence against women and girls continues to remain the largest global human rights pandemic, her courage brought the issue out of the shadows into stadium lighting, initially a fight waged from a hospital bed, then days later in death.
One year ago, a 23-year-old physiotherapy student was raped and murdered. Her story showed the world that women across India are viewed as dispensable, undeserving of full human rights.
One year later, what has changed?