Peru is a very “macho” country and everyday women and children are being abused and assaulted at every social level.
Lately, an incident in Miraflores, where a very jealous boyfriend hailed his young girlfriend through the streets and up the stairs of an apartment building took the headlines here in Peru. A neighbor grabbed her phone, recorded the incident after which she published it on Facebook. It only took a few minutes to go viral.
The video became headlines on every social media, newspaper, TV, gossip magazine and the man was arrested.
These kinds of incidents happen every day here and in the rest of the world. Most cases don’t get any attention unless you die or almost die like the terrible incident mentioned above when a couple of weeks ago, a boyfriend beat up his girlfriend with whom he has 4 children. She is still in a coma, he got arrested and the kids…Hm, good question. I don’t know.
Thomson Reuters Foundation earlier released a report stating that Lima is the 5th most dangerous megacity in the world for women. We cannot be proud of that and some things have to change. Also, we cannot be proud of the fact that more girls at age 15 and below are getting pregnant today than back in the year 2000. According to INEI, this number increased from 1.0% in the year 2000 to 1.9% in 2014.
It seems we are going backward instead of forward.
What we need is better management of women rights here and in many other countries. It is necessary to change the law so the punishment is according to the aggression, not less, not more. Many women are afraid of accusing their aggressors because they do not have protection.
We as parents, friends, husbands, as part of society, should teach our kids to respect women. NOW there is more hope in Peru after congresswoman Maritza Garrido, Presidenta de la Comision de la Mujer quit her post on Wednesday after giving misleading information about violence towards women.
Women are not only being assaulted and abused in Peru. Last week several women came forward and said #MeToo. Wednesday, the Danish newspaper Politiken published an article called “Dear men, it is now you should close your mouth and listen”.
The article talks about how women all over the world are sharing their stories about sexual harassment and are posting “#MeToo” on social media to express compassion for fellow victims.
Like the writer of this article, I too suggest all men listen and learn from this #MeToo campaign and instead of going on the defense, think about the harm we cause when we don’t respect the women around us. Most of the times it is just words, but remember, words often hurt much more than physical violence. I admit, I’m not the best example of what I’m preaching above, as I too, with my special humor for sure has crossed the line occasionally, which I often regret afterward; but I’ll try to become better.
Let’s listen to the #MeToo women and let them explain, where it is we fail and cross the fine line between a joke and being cruel.
I would like to end this post with a “James Bond” video, which was published to help promote the 100th annual International Women’s Day after which you can ask yourself – Are we equal?