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Violence against women a threat to community — Princess Basma

By JT - Dec 06,2015 - Last updated at Dec 06,2015

HRH Princess Basma speaks at a ceremony in Amman on Sunday to mark the ‘16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence’ campaign (Petra photo)

AMMAN — HRH Princess Basma on Sunday said that violence of all types, especially against women, threatens the safety and security of communities and undermines their accomplishments.

“Violence is a facet of daily life for many people in our region, and many live in the shadow of political and military conflicts that adopt violence as an ideology. It is women and children who suffer the greatest harm in these circumstances,” Princess Basma said.

The princess made her remarks during a ceremony to mark the “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence” campaign, organised by the Jordanian National Commission for Women (JNCW) in partnership with the embassy of the Netherlands, UN agencies in Jordan, and the USAID Takamol Gender Programme.

“This cooperative global movement aims to alleviate and ultimately eradicate the incidence of violence against women by drawing the attention of the world’s decision makers to its many dangers, and to the importance of putting in place a system of solutions and deterrents that will protect women and empower them to secure their constitutionally guaranteed rights,” Princess Basma told the gathering.

Violence comes in many forms, beyond the physical, and they are almost always intertwined, the princess stressed.

“Since most victims suffer in silence, many people come to believe that violence is an accepted fact of life, instead of an aberration,” she said.

To break down the barrier of silence, Princess Basma added, there should be easier means for women to report violence without fear of reprisal. “This means greater support and ensuring confidentiality.”

According to figures released by organisers, 57 per cent of abused women do not seek help, with the majority being victims of early marriages.

The annual percentage of early marriages in Jordan stands at 13 per cent, according to the figures, which also indicated that 98 per cent of the perpetrators of violence against women are the husbands.

“The 16-days campaign is an annual call to action towards our common goal: communities that reject violence against women, uphold their right to make a good living in a safe, productive environment, and treat women as essential partners in developing our beloved country,” Princess Basma said.

Around 500 stakeholders, including 150 young people, attended the one-hour event that took place at the King Hussein Business Park.

The objective of the event was to bring attention to the highlights of the 16-day campaign, which concludes on December 10, with focus on this year’s “Jordanian theme” of disseminating knowledge about the different forms of gender-based violence.

JNCW Secretary General Salma Nims, who also addressed the gathering, said the way "for women to escape the cycle of violence is to economically empower them”.

“Women’s economic empowerment will help them face violence and seek protection and justice without having their lives threatened,” Nims added.

The colour orange, which denotes optimism, inspiration and the rejuvenation of the spirit, is the emblem of the 16-day activities currently held in Jordan, which include lectures, workshops, awareness campaigns and free legal consultation services.

 

The 16 days of activism against gender-based violence are marked globally from November 25 to December 10 every year.

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