November 25th, International Day Against Violence Against Women

The United Nations defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”

“The World Health Organization” has declared gender-based violence as a public health problem worldwide and identifies it as a crucial factor in the deterioration of health, which occurs in all countries and settings and against women of any race, age, or social condition.

The Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence against Women, known as the Convention of Belém do Pará, defines violence against women, establishes the right of women to live a life free of violence, and highlights violence as a violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

This convention proposes, for the first time, the development of mechanisms for the protection and defense of women’s rights as fundamental to fight against the phenomenon of violence against their physical, sexual, and psychological integrity, both in the public and private spheres and their vindication within society.

El Salvador has ratified international agreements that are laws of the Republic and has institutions that seek to eradicate inequality and discrimination against women. This allows us to recognize advances and achievements of the last decades. However, violence against women continues to be a severe social and cultural problem.

The adverse psychological effects of violence suffered by women and girls are extremely harmful, as it affects their development at all stages of life. Psychological violence is very frequent and includes verbal or non-verbal behaviors that produce feelings of devaluation or suffering in women through threats, humiliation or humiliation, demands for obedience, submission, coercion, control, insults, isolation, blaming or limitations aimed at undermining the right to freedom. These types of manifestations can be exercised in the family, work, personal, public, and private environments as a form of aggression against women.

From the different sectors of civil society, we must become more aware every day to avoid being apathetic in the face of this problem. Corporate social responsibility programs and alliances with the public and private sectors allow us to collaborate and join efforts to send a message of awareness and respect (through web pages, and internal communication channels, among others) to women who have been victims of violence.