The etymology of the word terrorism comes from the Latin terror, meaning, “fright, fear, terror,” and from terrēre, “to frighten, terrify.”
According to the Global Terrorism Database (GTD), 171 people died from terrorist attacks in 2015. By comparison, in just 20 European countries mapped by Eurostat in 2015, 1014 females died from femicide — almost six times as many.
No matter where in the world we live, women are afraid of men — whether those men are strangers on the street or on public transit, fathers or husbands, or other authority figures who use their power to exploit. As long as men’s violence is institutionalized, normalized, and internalized, women will not be able to escape it or hold men accountable. This pandemic violation of human rights is not just violence against women and girls, but terrorism against women and girls. Perhaps if we started referring to it as such, worldwide governments will finally understand this as a serious threat and take action.
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