Gender based violence is any emotional, physical, sexual or economic harm inflicted onto a person because of his or her sex. There are two factors that form the main basis on which gender based violence thrives namely. Sex which is a person’s genetic identity, it could be male or female and gender which is the roles or conduct expected of a person by society because of their sex. Gender based violence is global problem that has affected and is still distressing many people regardless of their race, nationality or religious denomination.
Right from childhood a power imbalance is revealed to a child. While growing up, parents may never be keen on what behavioral patterns they portray in the presence of their children. A father may express himself as a protective, dominant and emotionally controlled while a mother may be the warm, caring and emotionally dependent person. These actions, attitudes and norms are innocently picked up by the children and are wholesomely taken into their fragile minds regardless of their demeaning nature to a particular sex. These behaviors already depict men as superior to women and yet help the children know what behaviors are socially acceptable for their sex.
Culture plays a big part in influencing gender roles. It emphasizes the necessity for adequate parental supervision for the girl-child because she is considered to be more in need of guidance and protection by both society and the parents. She is raised to be more compassionate, understanding and submissive in preparation for marriage and will be in charge of the cooking and home maintenance at home. Unfortunately the boy-child is often given little or no supervision, leaving him to stumble through life on his own without a proper figure to guide him. He will emulate his father and in most cases a father who does not have respect for women as equals.
Fate frequently pulls this ill-trained boy and the well groomed girl in love and finally into a marriage. This marriage is bound to face many challenges because of the significant differences between the couple. When distressed one partner may presumably find amicable means of pleasing the other partner to avoid escalating a conflict while the other partner may resort to shouting or hitting in order to exercise control. This kick starts an enduring pattern of physical abuse from the dominant partner. The situation is intensified if one partner has no job and they depend on the financially stable partner for survival.
Gender based violence can be eluded if cultural norms that portray men as superior to women are gradually adjusted to create a power balance between men and women, such that both parties can view each other as equal but different. Parents too have an equally great part to play in eradicating gender based violence because they provide the models through which their children understand their respective gender roles. A father has to treat his wife with utmost respect if he ever wants a respectful husband out of his son and a mother has to empower her daughter if she wishes to see an independent woman or wife.