BY JENNY LIDDLE
International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25 November) is observed by the United Nations to take a stand against violence directed towards women and girls all around the world.
Despite the progress of feminist movements over the last century, the question remains, why do we still need to mark this day and, why is gender-based violence still a prevalent problem around the world? According to the U.N., one in three women and girls experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, and in most cases, the perpetrator is someone the victim knows.
The U.N. highlights how a shadow pandemic is emerging before our eyes. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, reports show that violence against women and girls, particularly domestic violence, has increased considerably. Over the last year alone, 243 million women and girls were abused by an intimate partner.
At Dialect, we want to speak out about this shadow pandemic, and address the challenges that women still face, in all spheres of life including domestic, social, professional and digital spaces.
In our latest video podcast, Louise Blain, games and technology journalist and presenter talks to Lucy Allen, from the Leadership team for charity Stand Against Violence, who are on a mission to prevent violence by working with local communities across the UK through raising awareness and education.
Together, Louise and Lucy discuss how violence has many forms including intimate partner violence, sexual harassment, human trafficking, FGM, emotional, financial and psychological abuse too, as well as the societal effects of male toxicity and entitlement which are prevalent in internet pornography, gaming and the media we consume.
Women still face challenges in professional spaces, particularly in traditionally male-dominated areas like the gaming industry. No doubt women have made progress: 24% of game developers are women, and video games are increasingly depicting more strong female characters. But more can still be done in the gaming industry to create a more inclusive space and eliminate the depiction of gender-based violence.
To overcome the struggles that women still encounter, what can we do as a society to change attitudes towards women and to bring a stop to the cycle of violent abuse? The first steps begin through having a conversation and spreading awareness, education, and speaking out collectively to make waves in the discourse. We still have a way to go.