77 76 Εργασίες Μαθητών Εργασίες Μαθητών ΠΕΡΙΕΧΟΜΕΝΑ In antiquity, the only person involved in making decisions for the public was the man. The destination of the woman was the birth of the children to ensure succession to the paternal sovereignty. Women were responsible for the home, while wealthy women oversaw the slaves. In the Byzan- tine period, the woman is still excluded from public affairs. Devotion to family and religion, charity, vir- ginity, silence, and toler- ance are not just the limit of its action but also the jewel of a worthy woman and a good wife. The privi- lege of rich women was the education they could acquire, only private, and it was the learning of psalms and ecclesiastical rules. Every tendency for her wider quests conflicts with the principles of a virtuous woman. Αt the end of the 18th century, few edu- cated and militant women mobilized for equality issues. This movement eventual- ly grew massively in the 20th century with the general development of all progressive movements. The awareness and promotion of the requirement of substantial equality, individual, family, professional and pub- lic life, the moral and social liberation of women, began only in the last few decades. The woman struggled to acquire specific individual and social rights, starting from the right to education, as education was inaccessible to her. How are women abused nowadays? Woman abuse is any use of psychological, physical or sexual force, actual or threat- ened, in an intimate relationship. Intimate relationships include a current or former spouse, and an intimate, or dating partner. Violence is used to intimidate, humiliate or frighten victims, or to make them feel pow- erless. To state it differently, women now- adays are still abused verbally, physically and sexually, from disrespectful words to rape. Abuse against women occurs in families of all socioeconomic, educational and cultur- al backgrounds and is found in both rural and urban settings. Even women in same sex relationships can be at risk for abuse. Abuse can be a single act, but more often happens in a context where there is a pattern of aggressive be- havior and control. There may be some acts that seem small when viewed individ- ually, but collectively form a pattern that constitutes abuse. Usually, abuse is scaled by frequency and / or severity. Once an abusive user uses physical violence, he is likely to intensify the attacks and in- crease the risk of harm to the woman and serious life-threatening injury. No one form of abuse is worse than the oth- ers. Non-physical forms of abuse are as harmful to women as physical abuse. Tac- tics of control may appear gradually as co- ercive behaviours that are not criminal in nature. This subtle process makes it very WOMEN’S RIGHTS difficult for the woman, as well as friends, family or professionals to recognize it as abuse. Many women identify the emotional and psychological consequenc- es of abuse as more dam- aging than the physical assaults. While emotional abuse can occur in the ab- sence of physical abuse, the two often occur together. Many women are not aware of their rights and even consider abuse normal, es- pecially in undeveloped countries. Each and every woman has the right and the obligation to know and fight for her rights, as well as men. Any violation of human rights is considered a crime and should not be accepted. Statistics show that in In- dia there are 63 million few- er women than those who should live in the country. «The birth of a son leads to celebrations and family pride, while a girl is a mo- ment of hate.» The sadness of the parents concerns the huge debts they will receive as they try to pay for the dowry. Many times, some families sell their girls in order not to have the prob- lem with the dowry. Also, the groom’s families buy girls with the expectation of giving birth to the boys. But poor girls, enticed by a safe marriage, are in a situation where they even lose their basic rights. Weddings with «imported brides» destroy castes, language and cul- ture. Our suggestions This gender distinction must be stopped. Women have proved to be equal to men in many occasions. It is time that humanity understood that women have equal rights with men. It is not fair to constantly violate the rights of wom- en without worrying about whether what they are do- ing deprives the world of the abilities of half the pop- ulation. There are many ways to deal with this problem. First of all, we must begin to in- form those who do not know all the problems created for women without rights. People’s awareness needs to start soon as there are so many women out there who are waiting for justice, waiting to be released from the injustice that chokes them. All this indifference is one of the causes why thousands of women die each day without ever hav- ing felt what free will is. Zoumou Efrosini Tsingi Aggeliki Panteli Athina A3