Victim Blaming

Victim blaming is an unhelpful reaction to crime, tragedy and hardship. Rather than empathising with and supporting survivors, people who victim blame place the responsibility for their trauma on victims, often by blaming their behaviour, circumstances or culture. It is an attitude that contributes to the cycle of abuse and deprives people of the empathy, support and justice they deserve.

In its most extreme form, victim blaming is the type of commentary heard in the wake of terrible events such as the murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile by police officers or the rape of Jennifer Willoughby by her husband Rob Porter. But it also takes place in more subtle and unconscious ways. Any time a person who has experienced a traumatic event starts to ask what the victim could have done to prevent their experience, they are engaging in some degree of victim blaming. Even something as simple as hearing about a burglary and thinking to yourself, “I would have been more careful in that situation” is an example of victim blaming.

The reasons for victim blaming are complex. Some of them stem from a lack of empathy, while others are tied to societal beliefs and values, such as racism and misogyny. The media and public have a strong role to play in perpetuating this distorted way of viewing victimhood and its causes.

As such, it is critical that media outlets and people of influence take a stand against victim blaming. But it’s equally important that they encourage a more compassionate and empathetic approach to these topics.

This starts with a willingness to challenge the language used, especially by younger children and young people who are still developing their literacy skills. In particular, challenging the language of shaming and victim blaming when discussing risk taking behaviour online is crucial. This might include explaining that if you share a nude image of yourself with someone you don’t know, it may be seen by other people without your permission.

When victim blaming is seen as acceptable and normal, it can make victims less willing to report crimes or to seek help. This silences victims, who can’t speak for themselves, and deprives society of the vital data that crime prevention depends on.

In order to reduce the incidence of victim blaming, we need to understand the reasons for it. It’s a human response to tragedy, but it can lead us down dangerous paths, including believing that bad things only happen to bad people and that we can protect ourselves from becoming victims by assuming that we won’t ever be victimized. The reality is that, no matter how cautious we might be, it’s possible for any of us to fall prey to a mugger or rapist. That doesn’t mean that we owe them a moral debt for their actions, but it does mean that we need to rebalance the scales and stop treating people like they are their own worst enemy.

The Challenges Women Face

A woman’s body is organized around two related functions: the production, storage and delivery of her eggs, and the gestation of a child. Until recently, that definition of “woman” was fairly uncontroversial. Then came the era of feminism and social-change activism. Now, it’s a lot more complicated.

Some of the issues women face are related to sex, and others are more general and complex. For example, women tend to be more likely than men to suffer from anxiety and depression, and the effects of these conditions can be exacerbated by factors like cultural and media standards of beauty and expectations for career success. Women are also more likely to be victims of sexual trauma and intimate partner violence, and the impacts of these experiences are far-reaching.

The fact is that, even though there are more women in leadership positions than ever before, there’s a long way to go before gender equality actually reaches a point where the gap is negligible. Women still feel that their bosses, colleagues and peers are biased against them based on their gender. For example, women are less likely to report that their manager supports them in their career progression than men do.

This bias can be due to a number of reasons, such as the perception that women are naturally inferior to men or that women’s work is somehow not “real” or valuable. But it can also be a result of specific factors, such as the fact that many women are more focused on meeting high performance standards and may set their expectations for themselves too highly. This can lead to burnout.

Other common issues are linked to societal expectations and family life. For example, the fact that women are expected to be caring mothers and wives can add a great deal of stress to their lives. Women are also more likely than men to struggle with feelings of dissatisfaction and depression, and the effects of these conditions are exacerbated by factors such as social pressure to be perfect, and the prevalence of unrealistic cultural and media standards for appearance.

But despite all of these challenges, there are plenty of advantages to being a woman. They live longer than men, and get to wear sequins more often. They are better communicators, and they are more likely to remember where they put their car keys. Plus, Nancy Drew totally beat the Hardy Boys. And did we mention that they are more likely to have a gorgeous tan? So, if you’re a woman (or if you know a girl who is), don’t let anyone tell you that you are not living your best life.

Women’s Rights – What Matters Most to Women in a Democracy?

women rights

The rights of women are not just a matter of fairness – they are also essential to a healthy society. Advancing gender equality is critical to all areas of a country’s life, from reducing poverty to promoting education, health, protection and economic opportunities for women and girls.

The women’s movement has been a remarkable force for change. It has brought about dramatic social and legal changes that many who have lived through them take for granted.

Many of the ideas and issues at the heart of the women’s rights movement were initially outlandish. Allowing women to go to college? That would shrink their reproductive organs! Employing women outside the home? That would break up families! Having them cast votes in national elections? That would destroy morals! These and other issues were once controversial and taboo. But today, most of these women’s rights are almost universally accepted and embraced by the public.

But despite these significant advancements, most Americans believe that more work needs to be done when it comes to giving women equal rights with men. More than half (57%) of adults say the country has not gone far enough in giving women equal rights with men, compared to 32% who think it has come about right and 10% who say that the country has gone too far in this regard. This view is held by Democrats and Democratic leaners, as well as Republicans and Republican leaners, but is less pronounced among those with no party affiliation.

In addition, when asked to name the most important milestone in giving women equal rights with men, a higher share of Democratic than Republican respondents point to the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) (72% vs. 57%) as the most significant accomplishment. Other milestones that have been cited by both Democratic and Republican leaners include the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (59% vs. 47%), the eradication of coverture (the practice of husbands requiring women to marry before they can receive financial support or property), and the introduction of no-fault divorce (49% vs. 51%).

More broadly, when asked what matters most to them in a democracy, American women cite good quality healthcare for themselves and their children as the top priority (26%), followed by good schools (12%). When it comes to gender equality, the vast majority of Americans across demographic and partisan groups believe that it is very important to have equal rights for women. But it remains to be seen whether political leaders can translate these lofty ideals into action. The next few years will be critical. We encourage readers to contact their elected officials and ask them to prioritize the advancement of women’s rights. This is an area where everyone can make a difference. If we all do our part, we can ensure that a more just and peaceful world is within reach. —Sarah Hogg, Research Director, Pew Research Center. Follow Sarah on Twitter.

How to Close the Gender Inequality Gap

Across the globe, gender inequality is holding back billions of people. Gender equality must be a key focus of policy agendas and budgets – but this takes political leadership, investment and comprehensive policy reforms to dismantle the barriers that prevent us from achieving it.

The first step is understanding that gender equality is more than just a matter of fair pay – it’s about creating an environment where women and men can live their lives to the fullest, free from discrimination and oppression. We can achieve this by supporting policies that foster workplace environments where employees feel safe to express their true selves, are treated fairly and with respect, and have access to opportunities for growth and advancement. Leaders can make this happen by adopting a clear, action-oriented gender equality strategy that includes transparent salary practices, flexible work options, training opportunities for employees, and a focus on well-being and mental health. Employees can support gender equality in their workplace by becoming allies, calling out discriminatory language or behavior, and giving honest feedback to leaders on what’s working and what isn’t.

Globally, women are still disproportionately affected by economic inequalities based on their gender. They earn less money than men, are more likely to be in lower-paying jobs, and are more frequently employed in industries that have lower productivity rates. In addition, in many countries women are disproportionately affected by poverty and lack of opportunity to participate in the labour market.

Women and girls are also at higher risk of unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, malnutrition and harmful practices such as female genital mutilation, child marriage and domestic violence. These factors have a direct impact on their quality of life, and can negatively impact their physical and emotional well-being.

While the global gender gap continues to widen, there are some encouraging signs, such as an increasing number of girls accessing education and entrepreneurship. In the future, these trends must continue so that girls can overcome the limiting beliefs and prejudices that hold them back, and become powerful change-makers in their communities and across the world.

The global economy would see a $7 trillion boost if the gender gap were closed, according to Moody’s Analytics. This is why we must keep fighting to make sure that gender equality is a priority in all aspects of life, everywhere.

This visualization shows a breakdown of countries by how far they are from closing the gender gap. The color of each country represents the country’s ranking on the Global Gender Inequality Index (GII), a new composite indicator that measures inequalities in three dimensions: economic status (based on average income per capita); reproductive freedom and empowerment (measured by maternal mortality ratio and adolescent birth rates); and economic participation and attainment (measured by labor force participation rate, share of women in parliamentary seats, and proportion of women in upper-level professional occupations). Click to zoom.

How to Prevent Sexual Violence

sexual violence

Sexual violence is any unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature that makes someone feel uncomfortable, upset or scared. It could be anything from a person’s body being touched without their consent to them being sent messages with sexual content. It can happen to people of all ages, backgrounds, cultures, sexualities and faiths.

Sexual assault and rape are very serious crimes, and the effects of these events can have a long term impact on survivors. They can lead to a variety of emotional, psychological, social and physical problems. Survivors can also find it difficult to trust others and may remove themselves from their community or family after an act of sexual violence. They may develop health problems including soreness in their genital area and sexually transmitted infections. Survivors can also have trouble sleeping and experience nightmares.

In many cases, survivors of sexual assault or rape do not tell anyone because they don’t believe their story, feel they deserve the abuse or think it’s their fault. This can have a huge impact on the victim’s life and can lead to further physical and emotional abuse or neglect. In addition, the abuser can often continue the abusive relationship by intimidating or manipulating the survivor.

Research shows that there are various risk factors for sexual violence. These can be at a personal level, such as alcohol and drug misuse, poor mental health and uncontrollable anger. They can be at a community or group level, such as social environments, which have the potential to promote or deter violence, such as schools, churches and neighbourhoods. They can be at a societal level, such as a culture of victim-blaming and gender inequality.

There is also a link between sexual violence and the way in which individuals are raised, which can influence the type of person they become and their beliefs about gender. For example, men who grow up in patriarchal cultures that give high value to’manhood’ are more likely to perpetrate sexual violence than those who grow up in egalitarian societies. In patriarchal cultures, women who resist sexual violence can be perceived as an insult to the man’s “manhood” and this may lead to a escalation of the abuse.

There are things you can do to help prevent sexual violence from happening. For instance, if you go out to a party with friends, it is best to stay together and avoid being alone or leaving with people you don’t know very well. If you have been sexually assaulted or raped, try to be assertive and say “No”. If possible, shout or use passive resistance (pretending to faint/vomit/urinate). If this is not feasible, then run away as quickly as you can. If you are concerned about a friend or family member, let them know that they are not responsible for what happened to them and that you are there for them. You can also offer to accompany them to healthcare appointments or support them in taking action by speaking out.

Why Do People Blame Victims?

victim blaming

When someone shares that they’ve been victimized, what you say can either bolster their sense of resiliency or compound their feelings of shame. The way you respond to a survivor of violence, sexual assault or any other type of mistreatment can help determine whether they continue seeking justice, support and treatment.

One of the most common reasons people blame victims is because they believe that a victim should have been able to prevent or predict what happened. This is a type of hindsight bias called the fundamental attribution error. It’s important to understand that bad things can happen to anyone, and it’s not the victim’s fault.

Other reasons people may blame the victim include:

They want to be right: It’s a basic human desire to be right, especially when it comes to how you perceive yourself and others. This can lead to a form of victim-blaming known as the just-world phenomenon. It’s based on the idea that you should get what you deserve, and that good people don’t suffer tragedy.

A subset of people may derive pleasure from others’ suffering: In an experimental study, researchers found that a certain group of participants who scored high on a scale of “everyday sadism” were not only more likely to engage in victim-blaming, but also seemed to derive enjoyment from it. This may be a way to cope with their own suffering, but it’s not productive for victims or those around them.

It’s a normal human reaction to fear: When something terrible happens, it’s only natural to want to protect ourselves and our loved ones from similar harm. However, victim blaming can contribute to this reaction by causing us to disengage from empathy with others.

For example, if a friend of yours is in a dangerous relationship, you might ask them what they could have done differently to avoid the abuse. This is a classic form of victim blaming and it can make the victim feel like you don’t think they’re worthy of having trusting relationships.

Victim-blaming is not only harmful to the survivor, but it’s also harmful to society. It discourages survivors from reporting crimes and keeps people from getting the help they need. It can also cause a person to internalize the message that they are to blame for what has happened to them, which is detrimental to their mental health. This can lead to post-traumatic stress, depression and health issues. Taking steps to reduce victim-blaming, such as adjusting our mindsets or challenging the victim blaming of others, is essential for building a culture that supports all people and respects their rights. The most important thing is to remember that when someone chooses to share a personal story of trauma, they’re doing so in trust and should be believed. Treating their words with compassion and believing them is vital to their healing journey. You can also take action by being a supportive community member and encouraging survivors to seek out support and justice.

How to Define a Woman


If you’re raising girls or boys, you have a tremendous opportunity to empower them. How you interact with them, your values, and your beliefs will help shape their character as adults. This is especially true for women, who often face more gender discrimination than men do. As parents, it’s vital to think about how you can influence your children so they can become leaders in the world and not oppressors of other people.

In a new documentary, cultural commentator Matt Walsh attempts to find out how to define a woman. He asks a variety of people, from transgender advocates to average men and women. Walsh’s interviewees have a hard time answering his question. Some of them even resort to circular definitions. Circular definitions are mistakes that reduce the meaning of a word to its literal sense. For example, if you try to define “nuclear power” by saying it is energy derived from nuclear sources, that’s a circular definition because the words you’re trying to explain (“nuclear”) are in the same phrase (“power”).

The problem with defining women in terms of what they look like is that a woman can be anyone who has a genital organ. The biological female body is organized around the production, storage, and delivery of eggs and the gestation of another human being. For some women, this isn’t enough, but that doesn’t make them any less a woman than those with a gynecological reproductive system.

It’s also important to note that gender is a social construct and is defined by individual experiences, expectations, cultures, feelings, and self-identity. For some, “being a woman” involves traditional femininity, while for others, it might involve challenging gender stereotypes or loving other women. It’s a complex issue that doesn’t have a simple answer, but Walsh doesn’t seem to realize that.

In his documentary, Walsh interviews a number of women who are upset that the media has a tendency to focus on negative stories about women. He’s right that this is a problem, but the solution isn’t to simply stop reporting on women. It’s far more important to teach children to be respectful of everyone, regardless of their gender or race.

One of the best ways to show your kids respect for all humans is by treating other people with the same level of dignity that you would treat a child. This includes saying “please” and “thank you” to grocery clerks, waiters, and other members of the public.

Throughout history, most religious societies considered women to be property. They were treated with consideration ranging from that accorded to an ox to that given to a treasured grand piano. However, despite the many obstacles, women are making significant progress in many areas of society. Currently, 21.9 percent of parliamentarians worldwide are women and 39 lower houses of Congress have at least 30 percent female representation. Additionally, ten women are heads of state and 15 are presidents of countries. That’s a huge step forward from the days when women were considered a plague to be eliminated.

Women’s Rights and Equality – Why More Needs to Be Done

women rights

Women make up half the world’s population, so gender equality directly benefits women and girls, but it’s also good for everyone. Studies have shown that advancing the status of women improves health, education, income, and even peace. The first step is to recognize that gender rights are human rights, and that women deserve equal opportunities as men do.

Then, it’s important to take action. The United Nations has made a commitment to do just that by adopting the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, which includes a sweeping agenda for national action aimed at empowering women. This treaty, which was adopted in 1979, is often referred to as an international bill of rights for women.

As a result of this movement, there are now more women than ever before in government and business, and more women are serving as judges and police officers. However, there is still much work to be done. Globally, over 2.7 billion women don’t have the same economic rights as men. This includes the right to work, decent wages and pay, adequate social security, access to credit and savings, and to inherit property. In addition, women spend twice as long on unpaid care and household work.

Despite this progress, substantial shares in many countries believe more needs to be done to give women equal rights with men. This is especially true in developing countries, where about three-quarters of people who see more work to be done say this is the case. In these countries, high levels of educational attainment are a strong predictor of whether or not people think that more needs to be done to give women equal chances with men.

These statistics show how widespread the problem of discrimination against women is, and the magnitude of the need to continue to fight for women’s rights and equality. These changes have not just happened, but are the results of seven generations of women working very deliberately to effect change in family life, religion, politics, and culture — through meetings, petition drives, protests, lobbying, public speaking, and nonviolent resistance.

Many Americans, across demographic and partisan lines, feel that more needs to be done to give women the same rights as men. Two-thirds of Democrats and Democratic leaners say this is very or somewhat important, while most Republicans and Republican leaners say it’s not too or not at all important. When asked to name things that are holding back progress, a higher share of Democrats than Republicans point to not enough women in leadership positions (72% vs. 41%), different societal expectations (69% vs. 57%), and sexual harassment (85% vs. 66%) as major obstacles to equality.

What Is Gender Inequality?

gender inequality

Gender inequality is a broad term that covers how men and women are treated and viewed in different aspects of life. This includes how much they are paid, their access to education, their social status, and their rights. Gender inequality can be the result of laws, policies and cultural traditions. It can also be the result of individual discrimination and bias based on age, class, ethnicity, culture, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation.

One of the most well-known aspects of gender inequality is that women tend to earn less than men in the same jobs. This gap is often referred to as the “gender pay gap.” Although there have been reductions in this gap in many countries, substantial gaps remain in most countries. In addition, the gap can vary by occupation and even across countries.

The underlying causes of the pay gap are complex. However, the most significant factors appear to be differences in job-related skills and preferences, workplace discrimination, and unequal career progression trajectories for women and men. In addition, the differences in how wealth is accumulated and owned between men and women can be a factor, as is unequal access to education for both genders that may lead to differences in financial literacy.

Women are more likely than men to live in poverty or to have limited incomes, and they are more impacted by the global economic slowdown and crisis than men are. These factors can make it harder for them to get the education and training they need to work in good jobs, or to have healthy children. In addition, they are more likely to be affected by violence and the impact of climate change on their health and livelihoods.

Gender equality is a human right that all people should be able to enjoy. But the world is still a long way from achieving it. Changing the current situation will require political leadership, investments and comprehensive policy reforms to dismantle the systemic barriers that still exist.

Getting girls into school is one of the most important steps to improving gender equality. It improves women’s future earnings and benefits their communities. In addition, it is crucial to ending extreme poverty. It is also crucial to ending discrimination against LGBTQIA+ people, and combating religious fundamentalism that restricts freedom of belief. All of these issues have a direct impact on the ability to achieve equality by both sexes. But change is happening too slowly, and not fast enough for the women and girls who need it the most. It is time to act.

How Does Sexual Violence Affect You?

Sexual violence takes many forms and can affect anyone of any age, any sex or gender identity, from any background or culture. It can be experienced by a partner, family member, friend, acquaintance or a complete stranger. It can be physical, emotional or psychological. It can lead to a range of long-term consequences including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety as well as risk of a sexually transmitted infection.

Sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence can be hard to identify, particularly for the victim/survivor themselves. It is important that the person seeks immediate safety and medical attention. They may require a range of support services and assistance in order to find the right path forward, whether that be seeking legal action or not. They may need to be provided with safe housing or other accommodation, access to education and/or employment, financial assistance, counselling, etc.

Victims and survivors often experience a wide variety of reactions to their experience of sexual violence, some or all of which can be highly disruptive to daily life. They are likely to have difficulty concentrating and sleeping, and may also feel jumpy or on edge. They may also have very strong or repeated memories of the sexual assault, and nightmares. Some women may not want to talk about their experience of sexual violence at all, while others will be ready to do so in their own time.

The most significant impact of a sexual assault or other form of sexual violence is likely to be the harm caused to the survivor’s physical, mental and emotional health. The trauma they have experienced can lead to a number of long-term effects including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, poor self-esteem and low levels of confidence and social functioning. In addition, the risk of a sexually transmitted disease, such as HIV, can be increased.

Research suggests that a range of individual, relationship and community factors can increase or decrease the risk of sexual violence perpetration. These are known as risk factors and can include:

It is important to recognise that victims/survivors of sexual assault are often abused by someone they know or trust, such as an intimate partner, a family member, a friend or an acquaintance. In fact, according to the National Sexual Assault Helpline (RAINN), an American is sexually assaulted every 68 seconds. This makes it even more important to learn about the warning signs, so that you can be aware of the possibility that a loved one is in danger and take action accordingly. Some of the most common sexual assault warning signs are listed below.