In South Asia, the rigid cultures and discriminatory attitudes towards women have led to the exploitation of women, from individual to community levels. Women and girls in this region are exposed to biased, inequitable practices and violent behaviors at all stages of life. The high incidence of female infanticide in India, the frequent incidence of culture-specific types of violence like honor killings, acid attacks, and stove burnings in Pakistan and Bangladesh, trafficking of women from Nepal, Sri-Lanka and India to other regions of world, forced into prostitution and other forms of sexual violence, as well as the high prevalence of domestic violence in all countries of the region, all constitute examples of violence against women in this region. The deeply entrenched cultural norms, lead to acceptance of violence as ‘normal life experiences for a woman’ and to dispel such cultural myths and norms is a formidable task. In the family unit the man is the undisputed ruler of the household. The ineffective legislations encourage abusers to commit abusive acts against women without any repercussions. To eradicate violence against women in this region there are some fundamental challenges which include: changing existing social and individual attitudes, both at the family and societal levels, as well as implementation of policies for equity and sustaining of the political will to achieve significant results.
Unaiza Niaz, MD, DPM, FRCPsych
Psychiatric Clinic and Stress Research Center
5A/11, West Avenue, Phase-1, Karachi 75500 (Pakistan)
Published online: February 05, 2013
Number of Print Pages : 16
Book Serie: Key Issues in Mental Health, Vol. 178, Year 2013
Editor(s): García-Moreno, C. (Geneva); Riecher-Rössler, A. (Basel)
ISSN: 1662-4874 (Print), eISSN: 1662-4882 (Online)
For additional information:
Book Title: Violence against Women and Mental Health
Editor(s): García-Moreno C, Riecher-Rössler A (eds)
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