The Impact of Guns on Women's Lives

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There are estimated to be nearly 650 million small arms in the world today. Nearly 60 per cent of them are in the hands of private individuals - most of them men. And the vast majority of those who make, sell, buy, own, use or misuse small arms are men. What does this mean for the world's women and girls? This report looks at the impact on women of guns in the home, in communities and during and after conflict. In each of these contexts, it looks at violence committed with guns against women, the role women play in gun use, and the campaigns women are spearheading against gun violence.
  ’    Theimpact of guns on women’slives  b   Violence against women Article 1 of the UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Womenstates that:“The term ‘violence against women’ means any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrarydeprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.” 1 Gender-based violence According to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination againstWomen, gender-based violence against women is violence “directed against a woman because she is a woman or that affects women disproportionately.” 2 Suchviolence takes many forms, among them murder; stabbing; beating; rape; torture;sexual abuse; sexual harassment; threats and humiliation; forced prostitution and trafficking. Violence may be physical, psychological, and sexual. It may bemanifested through deprivation or neglect as well as through overt use of force or harassment. Perpetrators include, but are not limited to: ! Intimate partners and other members of the family; ! Employers (including of domestic workers), superiors and colleagues at work; ! State officials, such as police, prison guards, soldiers, border guards, andimmigration officials; ! Members of criminal gangs; ! Members of armed groups. Small arms Small arms are conventional weapons designed for personal use and includerevolvers and self-loading pistols; rifles and carbines; sub-machine guns; assault rifles; and light machine-guns. Front cover  : A young Brazilian womancarries a white rose during an anti-weapons march in Rio de Janiero,September 2003 © REUTERS/Sergio Moraes  i The impact of gunson women’s lives Amnesty International (AI) is an independent worldwide movement ofpeople whocampaign for internationally recognized human rights to be respected and protected. It hasmore than 1.8 million members and supporters in over 150 countries and territories. The International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) is the global movement againstgun violence – a network ofmore than 500 civil society organizations active in 100countries. Members work to reduce the availability and misuse ofsmall arms and lightweapons through advocacy and campaigning, research, information, awareness raisingand victim support. Email:, www.iansa.orgOxfam International is a rights-based confederation ofaffiliated organizations working inmore than 100 countries to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice. Oxfam affiliatesare working together with others to build a global movement ofcitizens campaigning for economic and social rights. Oxfam International believes that economic growth must bebalanced with social equity to achieve a just and sustainable world: Oxfam America,Oxfam-in-Belgium, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam Community Aid Abroad (Australia), OxfamGermany, Oxfam Great Britain, Oxfam Hong Kong, Intermón Oxfam (Spain), Oxfam Ireland,Novib Oxfam Netherlands, Oxfam New Zealand, and Oxfam Québec.  ii First published by Amnesty International, the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA)and Oxfam International in 2005.© Amnesty International, the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) and Oxfam International, 2005. All rights reserved. This publication is copyright, but may be reproduced by any method without feefor advocacy, campaigning and teaching purposes, but not for resale. The copyright holders requestthat all such use be registered with them for impact assessment purposes. For copying in any other circumstances, or for re-use in other publications, or for translation or adaptation, prior writtenpermission must be obtained from the publishers, and a fee may be payable.Copies ofthis report are available to download at ISBN 0-86210-368-1AI Index: ACT 30/001/2005Original language: EnglishPrinted by:The Alden PressOsney Mead, OxfordUnited Kingdom The impact of guns on women’s lives is published by:Amnesty InternationalInternational SecretariatPeter Benenson House1 Easton StreetLondon WC1X 0DWUnited Kingdom International Action Network on Small Arms(IANSA)56-64 Leonard StreetLondon EC2A 4JXUnited Kingdom Oxfam InternationalOxfam International SecretariatSuite 20, 266 Banbury RoadOxford OX2 7DLUnited Kingdom
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