Structural violence: obstacles contravening the human rights of poor women

María Asunción Martínez Román


In the 21st century, being a woman still entails a serious risk of suffering discrimination and a lack of equal opportunities; this situation is the legacy of the violence that has been wielded for centuries by culture on the one hand, and social, economic and political structures on the other. Structural violence, which is less visible than direct violence, infringes women’s human rights, and constitutes a flagrant example of social injustice, surviving as it does due to a lack of political will which allows women to remain in social roles in which they cannot take control of their own lives. After recognizing both visible and non-visible violence, we need to ask why both kinds of violence occur, in order to take appropriate action vis-à-vis the structural and cultural causes, bearing in mind that gender discrimination begins during childhood and continues throughout a woman’s life cycle: child-woman, teenage-woman, adult-woman, older-woman, elderly-woman.


Structural violence; Indirect violence; Poor women; Gender discrimination; Life cycle; Human rights


Copyright (c) 2005 María Asunción Martínez Román

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