May 20, 2013 | 03:34 PM (BD Time)
20 May, 2013 Monday
Economic and social costs of violence against women
Rifat Zafreen :
Ma, I'll take you to America when I'll grow up like Baba as Baba does not love you how he loves me - once Jishan said so before going to bed. Ma wonders and thinking of little Jishan's pain says - no baba, we will also take Baba with us as he loves you so much and definitely will be very sad without seeing you if we do not take him with us. But Ma plunges in deep thought how her little baby could realizes his father's feeling for her!
This little little pain gets collected in the babies like Jishan and thus in the long run puts them in serious crises - one of the prices of violence against women. Not only on babies, had price of violence against women had a broader and vast effect and negative impact in all respects. Violence against women mainly is meant to be domestic violence. In the root of this, behavioural issue is related to gender norms and practices in marriage and even in many cases violence against women is accepted as normal, of which the price of violence against women becomes priceless in real sense which becomes beyond remedy and of which damage gets permanent, runs generation after generation individually and even socially.
This very attitude of violence against women comes out due to inter-connectedness between political context, power structures and gender relations as well as the community dynamics within which domestic violence against women takes place. Though Domestic Violence (DV) Act 2010 has been developed in our country in order to determine economic and social costs of violence to influence social mind set, national plans, policies, yet very little change could be brought in this field even after having such Act.
Violence against women has been recognized internationally as a major violation of women's human rights. Many efforts both nationally and internationally are being initiated to address this serious human rights issue, but the prevalence of statistics of VAW (Violence against Women) indicates that, it has not been reached at that stage and will not be prevented until and unless our mind set accepts violence against women can not resolve or change conflicts. We directly need to bear this powerful message to hit our so called, typical mind set. Along with this lack of awareness also adds fire in it that awareness raising messages are needed to develop since whenever issue like violence against women is said to be a major violence of human rights (HR), it is hard for the common people in most of the cases to grasp it, because human rights is an obscure terminology which can not be seen and when something can not be seen, it is hard to relate with behaviour change. So, if violence against women is tried to be related with pocket expenditure, it will become easier to relate the importance, as people in the community will see the direct value in it which actually will make differences as, by measuring cost implications of violence against women, monetary figure will actually be in it. And in this way visible demonstration will be reflected in how violence drains out resources from individual groups, families and communities along with mental and aesthetic severe loss and permanent damage for family and society and so for nation.
Monetary purpose at personal level like paying during the absconding period or paying fine for 'shalish' verdict even for those who could not earn day to day living. If these are knocked, it will easily make people realize the direct cost visibly for violence against women. But it is surprising that these people who had to pay, could never thought about the cost aspects behind violence against women.
On the other hand, the cost picture at local level also helps to shed light on its implications at the policy level. Like, in order to rationalize decisions about how public resources should be allocated, policy makers need to have scientific information about the end results. By having the economic cost information and seeing the multiple effect of violence, it becomes easier for policy makers to understand where the funding priorities should be given to affect outcomes.
Two types of monetary costs are involved with violence against women-direct tangible cost where money is spent out of pocket and time cost, meaning those items that have monetary value in the economy, but are measured as a loss of potential rather than actual expenditures. For example, measuring lost time at work and multiplying them by appropriate wage rate or for those women who do not work out side home, an approximation should be made to put their wage rate.
Even after having some pessimistic incidents, it is very much optimistic that there is an emerging understanding that violence against women is detrimental and we should not condone it. There are quite a good number of people who really want to see a change in our social mindsets but may be do not know how to achieve this tough and to some extent impossible task. A combined work from government, NGO, academia, research institutions, private sector and media need to give the prevention aspect of gender based violence programming with a focused push. We need to move beyond survivor focused or victim focused approach. We need to shatter all those extensively available tools and proven approaches to hit the socialization process that tolerate and even get benefited from domestic violence. And for that we have to learn the right skill, right dialogue with reasoning and a programmatic leadership to make prevention of violence a point of reference in all our concerned activities. With this aim and target how we would get attuned with the message no matter through familiarity, emotional rapport and professional training is very important to think about, find and implement sincerely and in this case we have no time to spare any more.
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