by Dr. Simi Paknikar on  March 7, 2013 at 11:49 AM Health In Focus
International Women’s Day
The United Nations theme for this year's International Women's Day to be observed on 8th March is "A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women."

Women are subjected to violence right from the time they are conceived. With some people believing in the superiority of the male sex, the female fetus is aborted even before she can see the light of the day. As more and more women step out of their homes and share the responsibilities of their male counterparts, they are vulnerable to abuse at their work place and elsewhere. Some women are not safe even in their own home, with domestic violence being a part of their routine. Violence is not just limited to the underdeveloped countries; it is present even in the most affluent societies.

Though the promise against violence would appear farfetched to a lot of women, there are some women who have already done their bit to make sure that they and their sisters are not taken for granted. They have suffered violence and have made the world notice the sad plight of women. Here are some examples that we should celebrate on International Woman's Day:

The story of Aesha Mohammadzai reflects the plight of many women in Afghanistan. Her face was mutilated after she ran away from her in-laws to escape abuse. But today, with the help of a charity and a reconstructed face, she lives happily with her new family in America and has become a source of inspiration for the millions of women who are still abused.

Malala Yousufzai, a young girl from Pakistan, was shot in the head and neck for speaking in favor of education for girls. Fortunately, she survived the attack and has forced the world to take notice of the violence that girls and women are subjected to.

The story of the young girl, who was called Nirbhaya or the 'fearless one,' reflects that violence against women is a reality, no matter where you may be. The young girl was gang-raped and tortured in the Indian capital of New Delhi, and then left to die. She succumbed to her injuries a few days later, but not without bringing to attention of authorities the necessity to ensure the safety of women. In fact, the United States has decided to award her posthumously with the Secretary of State's International Women of Courage Award.

There are numerous other cases which may not have made to the front pages of newspapers. But the message is loud and clear; women should not tolerate violence. It may appear easier said than done; but the examples above show that it is not impossible!

Source: Medindia

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