Adila Mohit – Mauritius

Adila Mohit – Mauritius

Date: June 30, 2015
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My name is Adila Mohit, 24 years old. I worked for over four years at one fo the largest media houses in Mauritius. Working in this organization has been a dream for me so far; it has allowed me to get out in the field, and learn so much about humanity. Life is not easy, especially for mauritian women. Poverty, violence, crime, corruption…..In most cases, it is the women who suffer, and there are so few people who are trying to understand, or lend a hand.

Although there is a legal arsenal for the welfare and protection of women, there are still so many people in distress. As a journalist, I try and raise public awareness about the conditions of women. Once, I had the perception that women did not hesitate to assert their rights, and I would be disappointed. So often, I could see that women were ‘victims’. Since the beginning of the year, six women have been killed at the hands of their partners. International Women’s Day took place under a dark cloud. This has led me to stop and think. There is a much larger problem of patriarchy in our society.

Before, I had a more clinical approach to cases of violence against women. However, today I take a different approach. This is due to a training with Gender Links two years ago. I attended a workshop, and learned so much about Gender Based Violence. I learned that women who are victims of violence are often presented in the media as the culprit. It is now my job to try and get people to think more critically about gender, and how women are depicted in the media, and viewed by society.

Now, whenever I have the opportunity to write about gender inequality, I do not hesitate. Through my pen, I try not only to raise awareness about the terrible condition of victims. The pen has power. I later had the change to follow another Gender Links training, on the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development. This once again changed my perspective and analysis on gender issues, and violence against women.

This year, I have really tried to raise the alarm on domestic violence. One women who dies from the blows of her husband is one too many. It is high time that we set the record straight, and start working to identify what is wrong with a society that calls itself modern, but can still treat women so barbarically.

Despite the Protection from Domestic Violence Act, which has been amended three times to try and intensify its scope, gender based violence persists. We as a society need a change in mentality. This patriarchy can’t continue! For that, we need to begin at school, and teach children that women deserve respect. As a journalist, taking into account what I have learned from Gender Links, and especially Loga Virahsawmy, I will continue to speak out until women get treated with the dignity we deserve!

Domestic violence is considered private in nature, but the more I learned, the more I have come to see it as a social problem. Given the extent of the problem, it has become global. The World Health Organisation even calls it an “epidemic”. A recent WHO study claims that 35% of women around the world are affected by this scourge. The WHO emphasizes that violence against women spare son country, no continent and is so recurrent that it can be elevated to a global pandemic.

I firmly believe that home is a nerve center of society. But when violence is felt in the private sphere, especially between spouses, it reveals often paradoxical issues. How can there be bloodshed in a union of love? There are so many crossroads of hatred, helplessness and power, mixed with intimacy, affection, and love. In trying to untangle the situation, children are often forgotten victims of domestic violence.

I think we should sensitize civil society to be more concerned about GBV. Often, women victims of violence are masked. This makes it so hard to address the issue. Poverty can be a trigger of violence, but it is an evil that can be found everywhere. No groups of people can be stigmatized, though some people are more vulnerable than others.

From January to September 2013, 1,376 cases of domestic violence were recorded. According to the Gender Links study War @ Home, one in four women is a victim of domestic violence. As the concept of gender equality has spread, women are much more independent. Evolving in the professional sphere, women now have the opportunity to meet other people. Violence can be a backdrop to jealousy and insecurity. I understand that the pride of men could be injured. But I am convinced that this is not a solution, and that communication must always be an ally. I believe we must all work together to great change, and end GBV in our communities.


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