The inter-parliamentary Union – the organization that coordinates the activities of parliaments around the world – published a report, from which it follows that the sex discrimination, harassment and violence against women parliamentarians are global problems that “undermine the foundations of democracy”.
The study was based on detailed interviews with 55 women members from 39 countries, spanning five regions of the world. The answers of the respondents indicate an alarming level of psychological, sexual and physical violence.
“In the survey were involved in a small percentage of women deputies, but nevertheless it is clear that the problem is more widespread and hushed up than we imagine. The parliamentary community should speak out against sexism and harassment and make it clear that these phenomena cannot be perceived as retribution for the women for participation in political life,” says the Secretary-General of the inter-Parliamentary Union, Martin Chungong.
In the published report found that 81.8 per cent of survey participants had experienced some form of psychological violence. About 44% of women members said that they threatened to kill, to rape, to kidnap, to kidnap or kill their children. “I once four days has received more than 500 threats of rape on Twitter”, – says one of the respondents. Another reported that her detractors knew how old her son is, what school and class he takes, when he threatened to kidnap him.
With sexist and offensive behavior had to face 65.5% of women parliamentarians. It was demeaning comments and harassment, in some cases, the people’s chosen attempted to force into sexual relations.
The level applicable to women in the parliaments of physical violence were also unacceptably high – 20% of the study participants reported that they were beaten, pushed, or tried somehow to injure, 12.7% of cases against women have used firearms or knives.
As it turned out, the women deputies face every day with a condescending attitude and sexism, which can be expressed with gestures, inappropriate comments or sounds.
The leadership of the inter-Parliamentary Union called upon parliaments of all countries to identify and put in place robust mechanisms to prevent such behavior. “Parliaments need to clean up, if they want to serve as an example to combat discrimination and violence against women in all spheres of life. The effectiveness of parliaments, of progress in achieving equality between men and women and the viability of democracy depends on this,” says Martin Chungong.
The organization noted that negative phenomena have a global scope and prevent women freely and conscientiously carry out their work. The results of the study clearly show 80% of deputatok, victims of violence, did not refuse the Deputy mandate, however, are hesitant to run for another term. As noted by the BBC Russian service, in fact it turned out that even women who are the elite of their countries, were unprotected from sexual violence.
Inter-Parliamentary Union, said that the first step to overcoming this situation is the recognition of the existence of the problem, and urged parliamentarians, both women and men to condemn such behaviour and to renounce gender-based discrimination wherever it occurs.