16 Days: Safe Homes - Day 14

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8 Diciembre 2012

As part of the 16 Days Safe Spaces campaign, Advocacy Network members were asked to curate the website. They were asked to create content that explored different safe space topics. Hantaniaina from Madagascar wanted to explore the topic of Safe Homes. Below she discusses her views on gender-based violence and in particular focuses on domestic violence.

Violence against women is a scourge of the world, especially for girls, because out of every ten women and girls, 6 will experience violence at least once in their life time. That is why this phenomenon of gender-based violence should be taken very seriously by involving all concerned stakeholders.

For my part, I think the violence and domestic violence is one of the main causes of mortality among women and in my opinion deserves special attention to ensure change for a better world.

16 Days in MadagascarIn the case of Madagascar, although this phenomenon is trivialized by some people, the rate of domestic violence is quite high. A survey conducted recently on domestic violence in Antananarivo showed that 65 per cent of women in the city has been the victim of at least one kind of violence, and 43 per cent of several kinds of violence.

It is because of these facts why I totally agree with the WAGGGS campaign "Stop the Violence". I am convinced that it is only by speaking, shouting, and denouncing that we can stop it. Shout it in our society, at home, at school, at work, wherever it arises; to raise awareness of the severity and make sure that it does not go unpunished. All this will create a better world, a world without violence - create a safe space for women and girls.

Moreover, I think that this campaign will help women and girls who do not know the violence and those who understand it more. Especially during the 16 days of activism this understanding will be strengthened as the rights of women and girls will be protected.

For my part, my main interest is on the subject of safety in the home (safe home), to raise awareness of domestic violence, which is fairly common in my country.

‘till death do us part’

When we talk about home, what immediately comes to mind is the word family. Family encompasses relationships - father / mother, parents / children, brothers / sisters.

The Malagasy places the "family" above all their considerations, even more than money, because our ancestors said ‘better worth losing a lot of money, than losing the family.’  Also in the family structure, the father is placed as the dominant axil, the chef who makes ​​the rule in the home, and the one who has to feed his family. The mother is the housewive and has the tasks of cleaning, cooking, laundry, taking care of children. As children, when there is not school, sons help their father, daughters help their mother.

But although the "family" has this orderly hierarchy, it remains secret, and Malagasy wisdom says: ‘The home cannot be told and must remain secret.’ A woman who contradicts this theory is called ‘chicken that sings.’ Even if the forms of violence in families occurred and remained for ages, women and other family members were bound by the custom and kept silent about what is happening in their home.

But now, thanks to campaigns like our "Stop the Violence" women dare to and can finally talk about it. I think this is thanks to our awareness, our consciousness that it has become possible because now all victims of any forms of violence know they are not alone in their battles. And that if we unite our voices, whispers will echo, and the words will create a cry and shout. Together we can create a better world without violence.

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