The study based on interviews with 55 women parliamentarians from 39 countries reveals that women parliamentarians have been subjected to psychological and physical violence.
NGO Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) carried out a study based on
interviews with 55 women parliamentarians from 39 countries,
revealing that women parliamentarians have been subjected to
psychological and physical violence.
According to the interviews made with 55 parliamentarians from Africa, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Americas and Arab World, “44.4 per cent of those surveyed said they had received threats of death, rape, beatings or abduction during their parliamentary term.” There are also threats to kidnap or kill the children of women parliamentarians.
While 5% of those surveyed stated that they had been slapped or pushed at least for once, 12% stated that they had been threatened with various weapons.
According to a report published in Guardian, 20% of the surveyed women parliamentarians stated that they had been subjected to sexual harassment and one third of the women said that they had witnessed an attack against a female colleague in the parliament.
80% of women parliamentarians had been subjected to psychological violence at least for once. 65% are usually subjected to “sexist insults or remarks”. Such discriminatory discourse is not only used by the male partisans of opposing parties, but also by the members of their own party. Some of the surveyed women reported “requests from men for sexual favors in exchange for material and/or political advantages”.
Attacks in social media
Almost half of the surveyed women parliamentarians stated that they have also been abused through social media.
Here is the account of a parliamentarians from Africa: “A female colleague in parliament confided to me that the Speaker of Parliament had requested sexual relations. Since she had refused he had never again given her the floor in parliament.”
A women parliamentarian from Europe said: “If a woman speaks loudly in parliament she is ‘shushed’ with a finger to the lips, as one does with children. That never happens when a man speaks loudly.”
Martin Chungong, Secretary General of IPU, spoke about the study and stated that this study reveals the importance of the problem and the incidents are not reported in most of the cases.