Violence against women is a phenomenon that is on the rise around the globe.
The United Nations (1993) defines violence against women as, “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life”. The most common forms of violence against women include domestic abuse, financial abuse, street harassment and sexual harassment (UN Women, 2020).
Some of us may be fortunate enough to only experience the phenomenon as a statistic that is read or reported. Yet, for millions of women worldwide, violence, threats, abuse and assaults have become a part of their daily lives. It is estimated that 1 in 3 women have experienced sexual or physical violence by a spouse, partner, or non-partner worldwide (World Health Organization, 2017).
Undoubtably, these facts and figures are difficult to read. At the Zahra Foundation, we are taking the steps to end violence against women. Victims of abuse are usually denied three essential rights – financial support, food and water, as well as education (UN Women, 2020). The Zahra Foundation actively works to eradicate these forms of oppression and ensure women receive these rights through multiple supports. Our supports ensure financial security, food security, and education.
When women are denied their financial rights, it becomes nearly impossible to flee an abusive household. This not only puts women at risk, but their children as well. Furthermore, for widows, financial insecurity can lead to exploitation. Our campaign appeal for orphans, widows and vulnerable children directly works to support women and children, many of whom have experienced domestic or societal abuse. This appeal prioritizes financial aid and tackles the combination of food and financial insecurity. Finances are allocated on the basis of need and are also used to provide women and children with staple foods to ensure physical health needs are met.
The Zahra Foundation also works to support housing for women, children and orphans. In addition to housing supports, our educational systems have been successful in providing women and children with basic literacy and academic education and training. Women and children are empowered when they are provided with the tools to support themselves and ensure their rights are fulfilled.
As the Zahra Foundation’s workers are on the grounds in underprivileged countries, we are able to actively meet the needs and ensure the safety vulnerable women and children are met. Safeguarding vulnerable populations, especially women, orphans, the disabled, and oppressed is not only at the core of our values as an organization, it is also a core tenet of our Islamic duties. Inspired by the actions of The Holy Prophet and his household (SAWA), The Zahra Foundation takes pride in our work that is exemplary of true Islamic values, community and livelihood.
Donate today towards programs for women and vulnerable children by clicking here.
Contributed by: Lauren Iaccino
1. United Nations. Declaration on the elimination of violence against women. New York: UN, 1993.
2. World Health Organization. Violence Against Women. 2017.
3. United Nations, UN Women. Facts and figures: Ending violence against women. 2020