We are often evoked in our day-to-day lives with a thick and multifaceted array of images that line with respect. This emphasis of respect to one another developed shortly after the Second World War (1935-45) given mistreatments that arose on some minority groups. A wave of people demanding respect arose since time immemorial sweeping across all continents of the world. These minority groups came to be termed as vulnerable and susceptible. Vulnerable in a sense that is too likely of being unusually and severely affected by what happens in the community or society. Some of these groups came to be categorized by Ethicists Beauchamp and Childress in the late 1970s as prisoners, women, pregnant mothers, infants, street children and geriatrics (elderly). Their level of being vulnerable is weighed by their susceptibility in that they experience a larger-than-average response to a specified exposure of harm or risk.
Respect according to research done by the United Nations Organizations would have meaning for each letter. First letter meaning relationship and women skills developed. Second letter referring to the empowering of women and thirdly participation in different service provisions just like men. Fourthly letter calls for efforts to reduce poverty and fifthly ensures that the environment they live in is safe from assaults. Second last letter advocating for the prevention of child and adolescents’ abuse and lastly have a transformed attitude, beliefs and norms that do not violate them but respect them. This will help to deal away with 38%-50% murders according to global records done by women partners The majority (55-95%) of women survivors of violence do not disclose or seek any type of services.
In a bid to protect these vulnerable populations ethicists developed formulas to address the issue at hand. Ethicists referred to above justified the need to develop a principle of respect for persons. This principle was later on adopted by UNESCO and transformed into respect for autonomy. Autonomy originates from Greek ‘autos’=self and ‘nomos’=law. This translated as every human being despite their gender and physicality has self-law or rule in that can determine his or her life. This debate of ethicists went on further to show that in classification to respect the vulnerable population’s autonomy entails four aspects. The four aspects I intend to develop in the next paragraph of my essay are self-determination, informed consent, decision making capability and voluntariness/willingness to either communicate a decision or not. These specifications can lead to happy women.
The vulnerable especially women and pregnant mothers
as an area of interest for this essay need to have self-determination. Given the fact that vulnerable they are and by their nature, God-given weaker sex does not mean that cannot determine their ideas. Any woman to be accorded respect would mean providing the freedom to her to determine her life, basic needs, preferences and emotions. In households, determination of roles to be played by different individuals in a house would mean that she can also determine and even to the best level.
Informed consent is a very big issue that needs to be understood by women because to me it is the source of their point of departure to push for respect. Informed consent alone means a woman should be in a position to give her consent or point of view either in signing or verbally about any interrogation. In the Belmont report of 1979 informed consent under respect for persons calls for disclosure of information, understanding, voluntariness in communicating decisions and alternatives. We have to perceive it that decision making contributes 90% average in daily activities. We make these decisions most times verbally and less written. Informed consent has to be understood as a process because we cannot impact what society wants on women. This impact has to be after clear information about the topic is provided, understood, voluntarily not accepted but also rejected without coercion/force and communicated later on. When this process is attained then respect for women would be talked of. In the same sense, we would have accorded full and equal rights to women like men as Article 32(1) of the Constitution of Uganda 1995 demands.
Respect for women could only be attained when these elements that rotate around it are given utmost considerations. These considerations to me would call you a woman to inculcate or make part and parcel these specifications of respecting your autonomy and informed consent to champion respect together with activists.
It will be ideal if men all emulate this example of ‘I DO RESPECT WOMEN’