Academic level – Undergraduate 1-2
Type of paper – Coursework
Topic Title – Gender-based violence
Create a discussion thread answering one of the following questions:
What societal and systemic changes need to occur in order to reduce and eliminate gender-based violence? Please cite video on any thoughts that are not your own.
Because gender-based violence is so strongly normalized in society, it has become crucial to educate people of all ages, but especially children, about gender equality and diversity. Many children develop false beliefs about others either because the adults around them share the same views or due to a lack of awareness of this subject. If such ideas are not rooted in their worldview, it would greatly improve the current problems. According to UNESCO (2023), introducing different changes to the curriculum, teaching educators about gender equality, and creating an inclusive and safe environment are essential in helping children debunk gender stereotypes. Unfortunately, gender stereotypes foster gender-based violence because certain ideas become inherent to a person’s system of beliefs, allowing them to justify their actions.
The lack of involvement from law enforcement agencies should be entirely eliminated because many people continue harming others due to the lack of any responsibility. Police dismissal and failures of law frequently put the victim in a worse state, which makes them unwilling to ask for help (Gender-based violence, 2022). Therefore, it is vital to seriously change many prevailing beliefs in society. Police officers should be accountable for their lack of action in the case of gender-based violence, regardless of the gender of the perpetrator and the victim. Similarly, the law system should make changes that would not allow the jury, the defense, or the prosecution to make decisions and judge one of the parties because of the existing gender stereotypes. Many individuals engage in such violence since they receive lenient or no punishment at all.
Even more, social norms should be slowly changed by targeting different areas nationally to demonstrate a comprehensive view of gender-based violence. Many people ignore situations happening behind closed doors. Victims may not ask for help because they are afraid of social shame and isolation (Gender-based violence, 2022). Programs rehabilitating people who were both the perpetrators and victims of gender-based violence should be introduced. Those willing to learn should be taught how to live in a society with the newly received skills.
Furthermore, the media should be used as a tool to offer gender representation and not romanticize gender-based aggression. Society is also the audience. When the media does not condemn violence and makes it romantic or describes the criminal as attractive, it builds harmful stereotypes. Quite often, people specifically search for partners with the features they have seen in movies or have read in books, not realizing that such traits are toxic. Similarly, people with a bias against individuals of other genders would react less negatively to rare images of men, women, or others behaving unconventionally. However, because they are infrequent, they react to such representations as attempts to persuade them.
Lastly, offering psychological support to people in many areas, including learning and working environments, can help people healthily address their challenges. Some people have not developed productive coping mechanisms, which motivates them to use other approaches that perpetuate the violent cycle. That is why offering them regular, free, and timely support is crucial so that their behavior does not shift to violence. Therapists can also assist their clients to tap into the harmful beliefs they might not even be aware of. Finally, it can teach people who were previously victimized to address their relationships with others assertively and observe the disturbing signs. Such steps can help society shift to the next stage where gender-based violence would be significantly eliminated.
Gender-based violence: What’s it all about? (2022). YouTube. Retrieved August 7, 2023, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Olt7TzgntA8.
Smashing gender stereotypes and bias in and through education. UNESCO.org. (2023). https://www.unesco.org/en/articles/smashing-gender-stereotypes-and-bias-and-through-education