Misogyny around the world: attacks women face, day by day

Horrific as they are, the recent stoning to death of a Pakistani wife and rape and murder of two teenage girls in northern India are just the most extreme examples of violence against women. Listed here are other examples, not just of physical abuse, but also attitudes that show the world still often regards women as second-class citizens and raises the question: how closely are they connected? Anna Zacharias and James Langton report

Malaysia, May 20

A girl, 15, was reportedly raped for hours by up to 38 men in the northern state of Kelantan. Reuters reported the girl had met a friend and was lured to a hut used by drug users. Malaysian police have detained at least 13 people, including a father and two sons, and are looking for other suspects. Nearly 3,000 rapes were reported to police in 2012, police statistics show. More than half of them involved girls under 17.

Spain, May 21

Miguel Arias Canete, a candidate for Spain’s Popular Party in the European Union elections, is forced to apologise after claiming he had held back in a debate with a rival female candidate because he did not want “to show intellectual superiority”, and had not wanted to appear as “a chauvinist” for “cornering a defensive women”.

UK, May 21

Critics called rising young Irish opera singer Tara Erraught “a chubby bundle of puppy fat” after her most recent appearance. Erraught, 27, was called unsuitable for the role of Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier because of her appearance. The singer, who has completed two world tours, was also described as “dumpy in stature”.

California, May 22

A woman abducted from her home at the age of 15 is found alive after 10 years of physical and sexual abuse. The woman, 25, contacted police after she reached her sister through Facebook. She said she had been sexually abused by a man while he lived in her family’s home in June 2004, two months before her abduction. She was forced to marry him in 2007 and had a child in 2012, police said.

Syria, May 22

A Facebook page advertising “Syrian refugees for marriage” receives more than 18,000 followers within a week of its creation on May 16, Arabic news outlets report. It was later removed.

California, May 23

Student Elliot Rodger, 22, murders six people and kills himself after posting a YouTube video the night before and emailing a 137-page document detailing his frustration at being rejected by women and his plans for revenge murder. He stabbed two roommates and a friend to death, then shot three women on the street, killing two. He killed another victim at a delicatessen and injured others. He then killed himself.

New Hampshire, May 24

A departing superior court judge will still be honoured by his local bar association despite remarks a year earlier that “the legal profession risks losing the respect of our society because so many women are becoming lawyers”. Judge John Lewis, 67, also said: “More women lawyers hurts education because fewer women are becoming teachers.” He later claimed his remarks had been misunderstood.

Lahore, Pakistan, May 27

A pregnant woman is beaten to death by about 20 men in daylight outside one of Pakistan’s top courts in Lahore in an “honour killing” for marrying the man of her choice. Attackers, including her father, two brothers, hit her with bricks. Farzana Iqbal, 25, was three months pregnant. Her husband, Mohammed Iqbal, 45, later told AFP that he had strangled his first wife.

North Dakota, May 28

Annette Bosworth, a Republican candidate for the US Senate, held a press conference in a room on which the walls were covered in obscenities she had been called on the internet. Ms Bosworth called the meeting an exercise in “the state of political discourse in 2014”, adding: “I would like you to try to find a word that correlates to that in a man with the same connotation and the same disrespect.”

Uttar Pradesh, India, May 29

Two girls are gang raped, strangled and hung from a tree in northern India. The girls, aged 12 and 14, had gone to the fields to relieve themselves when they were abducted by four men. Villagers said the girls’ father had gone to police after the girls went missing. Hundreds of people from Katra village protested against police inaction after the girls were found hanging from a mango tree the following morning.

Netherlands, May 29

Dutch beer brewer Heineken is forced to pull its new World Cup TV advertisements that encouraged women to go shopping for shoes so their husbands could watch football. The advert lists several types of shoe on sale, saying the prices were “everything to make her think only about shoes, and especially not about where you are”.

UK, May 30

Professional footballer Joey Barton described Britain’s main political parties as “four really ugly girls” when asked for whom he would vote. Barton, who plays for Queens Park Rangers, newly promoted to the English Premier League, said of the anti-immigration UK Independence party: “If I’m somewhere and there was four really ugly girls, I’m thinking she’s not the worst – that’s all Ukip are.”

France, May 30

Latvian tennis player Ernest Gulbis said he hoped his younger sisters would not follow in his footsteps because “women need to think about kids”. After winning his third-round match in the French Open, Gulbis, 25, said: “A woman needs to enjoy life a little bit more, needs to think about family, needs to think about kids. What kids can you think about until the age of 27 if you’re playing professional tennis?”

Dubai, June 1

A financial analyst, 40, who molested a colleague while she prepared tea in the kitchen, is sentenced to three months in jail. “My boss said they would issue him with a warning but they didn’t do it,” said the woman, who is 27. “So, I decided after two weeks of waiting, to go to police.”

South Korea, June 2

Seoul has unveiled women-only parking spaces that are longer and wider than normal and painted pink. The spaces, also identified by the silhouette of a woman in a skirt, are part of a campaign that city says will make it “more female friendly”. Other changes are pavements resurfaced in a spongier material that will make it easier to walk in high heels.

Uttar Pradesh, June 2

Police try to identify a woman who was strangled. Her face was disfigured with acid, apparently to hide her identity. Her body was found in a field at Aithpura village, about 100 kilometres from the village where the two girls were gang raped and lynched. She is believed to be about 22 years old.

* Photos by The National, AFP Photo, AP Photo, Reuters, Getty Images and EPA

Published: June 4, 2014 04:00 AM


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