Aspects of Gender Inequality in Romania. a Study on Sexual Violence

By Mihaiu, Simona Ionela | Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice, July 1, 2013 | Go to article overview

Aspects of Gender Inequality in Romania. a Study on Sexual Violence


Mihaiu, Simona Ionela, Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice


ABSTRACT.

The purpose of this paper is to indicate the relationship of interdependence between gender inequalities in Romania and sexual violence against female persons. Using the methodological framework of document analysis, we conducted a statistical study of data on some forms of sexual violence against female but also male persons. The statistic is based on data from the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police, having as analysis unit the years 2005-2009. The most important results regarding our hypotheses consist of revealing causal relationships between gender inequalities in Romania and sexual violence against female persons. Both in theory and practice we find that currently that gender inequalities in Romanian society sensibly influence the manifestation of this form of violence. Our conclusion is that sexual violence against female persons is determined by the existence of some factors that occur at individual and social, family, political and legal level. Gender inequalities in Romania represent in this context a framework encompassing a range of micro and macro-social factors that allow the perpetuation of such violent behavior. We propose the implementation of information and awareness strategies of female persons on the rights and freedoms that they have as Romanian and European citizens. Reducing gender inequalities can cause a significant drop in sexual violence against women in our country. This requires the adoption of gender policies that encourage free speech and economic support of persons addressing complaints or findings of the manifestation of violence in all its forms to responsible bodies.

Keywords: gender inequality, sexual violence, victimization of woman, gender policy

Introduction

Only who fights to conquer freedom and life every day deserves them. You are never a slave except when you consider yourself free to be one. Goethe (1749-1832)

Human existence is closely interrelated with forms of social organization in every aspect, whether we refer to functional aspects, or moral values. This interdependence is found both in traditional societies and in modem societies being based on natural tendencies to structure social life according to age, sex, occupational status or role. But beyond the natural tendencies that social organization follows, political, legal and cultural interventions can noticeably change the quality of life of individuals.

In this context we propose below a brief overview of the situation of women in Romania during the transition. Traditional Romanian society has promoted and encouraged in general gender differences, the role between men and women, reality reflected in family life, women's access to education, politics and freedom of expression. Although enacted from the beginning of the transition period, gender equality in our country is far from being respected in all aspects of public and private life and, social reality points to the existence of major differences between elaborating legal mies and their application.

Being concerned in this context of violence against women we mention the fact that we are dealing with a subject that received little interest both during the communist regime and in the early years of transition undergone by the Romanian society. As mentioned previously, the problems around the idea of gender equality have prevented the development of a communitarian and legal framework enabling women freedom of speech on violence. In recent years, due to the increasing data and investigation on the etiology of crime against women but also as a result of the efforts of nongovernmental organizations, foundations of genre or of state institutions, the approach of the victim woman changed. Behaviors that have been ignored in the past are now taken into account by the police and courts and victimization of women is more strongly reported. Even so, due to feelings of fear and self-stigma, women in Romania tolerated and still tolerate violent behavior displayed against them by spouses, by parents, brothers, or co workers. …

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