Redeeming The Rights Of Women: On Spousal Abuse
Over the years a plethora of doubt hounds society over how it treats women as secondary class citizens to men. The women’s status in society paved the way for abuse and injustice to be directed on them. In fact, over the years women had suffered from numerous injustices from sexual exploitation, to social, political and legal isolation, not excluding physical, mental and emotional abuse. In addition, the patriarchal social system further contributes to the escalating abuse on women. As the contributing factors grow very little attention and solution had been given to rectify the problems on the inequality that exist between men and women. It was not until 1948 that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was ratified calling for the equality of gender in the eyes of the law. This was the height of social revolution particularly aimed at redeeming the rights of women.
There are a number of injustices directed to women as mentioned earlier. This paper will focus on tracing the cause, implications and the remedies of spousal abuse among women. The goal of this paper is to foster understanding of this social problem thereby creating social awareness which is the first step towards redeeming and reclaiming the rights of women.
THE NATURE OF SPOUSAL ABUSE
Before proceeding on to the discussion, it is important to stress that women are not the only victims of spousal abuse. In fact, according to a survey conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention while 80-90% of spousal abuse as directed to women, a good percentage of 10-20% of reported abuse involves men being badly treated by their women partner. But while this fact stands, it cannot be denied that there are more women being abused by their partners as there are women who commit the crime. Author Fran Hosken states that the reason why there are more men abusing their spouses was because the society seems to tolerate this act of violence. Ever since social order has been created our society operates under a patriarchal system where men have the dominion over the women. Women are seen as the weaker sex, always dependent to men and totally submissive.
This connation made women an easy prey for the hegemonic male population. Thus, women suffered physical abuse not limited to battering. Others were raped, molested and sexually harassed, thereby increasing the number of women who became sex slaves. Unfortunately, when confined within the bounds of a matrimonial union sexual act becomes a legal obligation. Women therefore, are forced to have sexual intercourse with their spouses as part of their legal obligation as a wife. These are just among the implications of spousal abuse that degrades the status of women in the society.
To combat the implications of spousal abuse, the government along with international organizations reserved on protecting the rights of individuals collaborated in creating a law that would safeguard the interest of women in the society. The Declaration of the Rights of Women and the Female Citizen authored by the activist named Olympe de Gouges and the Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women initiated by the United Nations General Assembly are just two of the many ways created to restore the dignity of women by safeguarding their rights and their status in the society.
Over the years women have suffered all sorts of injustices because society has made people to believe that women are lesser than men in terms of strength, intelligence and capabilities. The dawn of civilization, the development of social organizations and creation of civil liberties liberated women. The enlightenment that came along with the laws and provisions of civil liberties and the fostering of the principles of equality paved the way for women to redeem not only their rights but their dignity as individual and as a citizen.