Published March 15, 2017
The Need to Protect Women in Our Society
It is a general perception that anybody can be a victim of abuse, but those who suffer the most are women and children. Over the years, some gender activists and women have been fighting for gender parity in the society. This has been the case because issues about women were believed to have been relegated to the periphery. As a result, questions about the need to combine efforts to ensure the protection of women’s rights. Though many efforts have been made to this effect, it is recorded that women still remain the most vulnerable in our societies. They mostly fall victims to human exploitation, human trafficking and other related organized crimes. There is also a growing concern that women are increasingly getting involved in organized crime as participants rather than victims as the case used to be.
Women as Victims and Participants of Organized Crime
There are so many reports that actually argue that women remain the greatest victims of any form of organized crime. One form of organized crime to which women fall victim is Trafficking in Persons (TIP) which comes in different forms. One form of TIP is for the purpose of prostitution or sex slavery. These women are usually lured with vain promises of education and employment. They end up in their final destination only to realize that they have been actually recruited for sex slavery. The sad aspect is that those who recruit these young victims (i.e. women) are also women themselves. These women are sometimes former prostitutes who might have made a lot of money and have also graduated to being ‘boss ladies’. These networks that do the recruitment are well organized and well equipped. Other instances where women become participants in transnational organized criminal activities are drug trafficking, money laundering, etc. [Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2005). Transnational Organized Crime in the West African Region. United Nations, New York]
Women as victims of Abuse
For most women who are abused, the violence they suffer begins at home with their brothers, fathers, uncles, husbands, etc. Other women suffer other forms of violence at their work places. Other forms of violence that women suffer are rape, sexual abuse, physical attack, etc. It is sometimes disheartening to hear how some people speak ill about women because they consider them as weaker vessels. Women have an important role to play and they can only play their role with ease in a serene and safe environment. This therefore calls for much attention making women feel very safe by respecting and protecting their rights as women and human beings.
What is the way forward?
It is incumbent on all governments and policy-makers in the international community to put measures in place to ensure that the rights of women are respected and protected. Also, laws that are geared towards punishing people who trample upon women’s right need to be strengthened. Many a times, people get away with offenses they commit against women because these laws are weak.
Additionally, there is also the need to educate women on the rights that they are entitled to. Women, especially the young ones, need to be educated on how to carry and defend themselves when they find themselves in violent situation, be it rape, physical assault and any other form of violent related crime. They should also be encouraged to strive for higher educational heights in order to push for the women agenda in high positions.
All women in authority are been called upon to contribute their quota to use their influence to support the fight for protecting the rights of women and the less privileged. We encourage all women in Law Enforcement to ensure that cases related to violence and crimes committed against women should be prosecuted appropriately.