By Phyllis Zagano at the National Catholic Register

zaganoPlease answer in 750 words or fewer: What is the deal with men’s violence against women?

I do not get it. Do you? It seems there is an epidemic of horrendous acts against women around the world.

This past fall in Pakistan, a man shot 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai in the head. She had blogged for the BBC about life under the Taliban. The world’s media eye monitored her medical treatment in England. She’s won awards. They’re naming a girls’ school after her. She is still recovering.

That was bad. This is worse. In India in mid-December, six men raped and sodomized a 23-year-old female physiotherapy student. On a bus. With a metal rod.

They flew her to Singapore and kept her alive for two weeks until she died.

In Pakistan and elsewhere, the cry is “we are all Malala,” and most of India seems to be protesting the student’s death. There is little evidence the protests will change anything at all. Can they?

The New York Times reports a third of New Delhi’s female population was sexually harassed in the year prior to a recent survey. One percent complained to the police. Why? Ask any woman. There is danger in reporting trouble. Just last week, two men raped an 18-year-old woman in India’s Punjab State. She complained. Then policemen humiliated her, making her describe the attack over and over and over again. She committed suicide.

We can blame violent video games and movies. We can blame poverty and boredom. In some countries, the problem seems to be too many men and not enough women. In India, where girls are often aborted (or, some say, killed at birth), there are 15 million unattached males between the ages of 15 and 35. That number may double by 2020. What will the future bring?

Read the rest of Zagano’s piece at the National Catholic Register, where she ponders how Christianity might be the antidote to violence against women — but the voice of Christianity is blocked because “more than half the world’s Christians are in a church that does not appear to treat women as equals.”


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