Globalization and attendant interconnectedness have created numerous opportunities for people from diverse social, economic, and cultural backgrounds to meet, interact, and conduct their affairs together. This is because of the effects of technology in countering the significance of traditional barriers against communications, transportation, and general interactions of people and societies across national boundaries, huge physical distances, and cultural differences. In the last few decades, sustained globalization has significantly challenged public health policy, even as the health sector has witnessed a dramatic increase in financing. Global market integration increases the flow of information, pathogens, trade and finance, ideas, and people. Importantly, people move from one place to another in search of opportunities for economic and social progress, effectively interacting with various cultures. Among the many sectors and industries that globalization has affected is healthcare/human wellbeing. One of the most significant areas of health and wellbeing in which globalization has played a major role is that of domestic violence. Globalization has encouraged domestic violence because it has created circumstances in which the perpetrators of The Impact of Globalization on Health take advantage to achieve their objectives.
Globalization leads to economic realignments that create inequalities between individuals, spouses, families, communities, and countries. These inequalities represent a significant basis of differences and social identities among individuals and communities, especially because social status is highly dependent on the levels of wealth of individuals and communities. Differences in wealth expose people with low levels of wealth to dependence on others, particularly on spouses and other family members. Such dependence undermines the safety and security of these individuals because of the potential for abuse and exploitation by those in positions of power over them. Many countries around the world recognize violence against an intimate partner as a criminal act and recommend various punitive measures to address the vice (Stoever, 2014). Despite the criminalization of domestic violence, the problem persists in nearly all parts of the world. It typically exists in a culture of patriarchy, in which males view themselves as superior relative to women. Domestic violence affects women disproportionately and calls for a critical examination of the role of women in an increasingly globalized world. According to Fulu and Miedema (2015), women who lack financial independence are the most vulnerable to violence in their homes. Inequalities in wealth creation and foster perceptions of imbalance in social power and control in relationships between individuals, such that abuse, exploitation, and maltreatment are common products. In essence, the inequalities that emerge because of globalization predispose individuals to domestic violence, more so if one partner is financially stable while the other is not.
Globalization involves the movement of people from one country or region to another to settle in new communities with radically different cultures and perceptions of relations between various genders. Research indicates that women who marry into communities with entirely different cultures from theirs find it hard to adjust and regularly experience violence in the home, often occasioned by skewed power relations that favor men (McLaughlin, Uggen, & Blackstone, 2012). Most of the world’s cultures treat women as inferior to men, based on their biological and physical qualities and socially constructed gender roles. Failure to observe the local customs and expectations predispose vulnerable women to violence, often without access to social support structures. For example, Bungay and Guta (2018) observe that foreigners who engage in intimate or sexual relations in other countries risk experiencing violence. Domestic violence manifests when cultures clash, and one party to the union takes advantage of the other’s foreign status to abuse or manipulate the individual, knowing well that the abused person lacks access to support structures.
Globalization enables people to move from one country to another in search of economic opportunities, but some of them fall victim to domestic violence when they become romantically involved with individuals in the host countries. Indeed, many migrant workers from the developing world have found employment opportunities in the developed world, where they serve mostly as domestic servants or in processing factories. In some cases, the immigrant workers do not find the opportunities for economic empowerment that compelled them to leave their home countries. Such individuals often seek marriage options as a way of finding economic security. However, their poverty, lack of education, and ignorance about their rights expose them to potential abuse from their partners (Wilson & O’Brien, 2016). Moreover, such women often endure the mentioned hardships because of language barriers, their legal statuses, and the fear of reprisals, which discriminate them in society and reduce the effectiveness of their participation in their societies.
Globalization necessitates the interaction of people from various cultural backgrounds and traditions where people borrow some retrogressive cultural practices that tolerate domestic violence. When people from diverse backgrounds interact, cultural exchanges are inevitable; people tend to compare their practices with other cultures and evaluate points of convergence and divergence. However, some patriarchal communities have regressive cultural practices that tolerate violence against women (Dias, Fraga, & Barros, 2013). When globalization leads women into such cultures, they are bound to face violence within the home because of the pervasive but entrenched cultural practices. Combating retrogressive cultural practices is challenging because they take long to become entrenched but consequently become acceptable (Boyce et al., 2018). Nevertheless, such practices ought to be discouraged if domestic violence that they perpetrate is to be eliminated.
Globalization influences domestic violence in various ways. One of these concerns the significant social and economic changes that interfere with the normal functioning of the family unit. The economic realignments that emerge because of globalization could potentially empower one partner while exposing the other to poverty or dependence, and the shift of power occasioned could create room for violence against the financially unstable partner. Moreover, globalization enables people from different cultural backgrounds to meet and interact with one another, which creates a chance for individuals to pick some of the cultural practices of parts of the world, one of which could be the tolerance for domestic violence. Poor, illegal immigrants who end up getting married in the host countries are also vulnerable to domestic abuse since their partners may take advantage of their status to mistreat them. Even though globalization has positive effects on individuals, multinational organizations, and countries, the conditions under which it occurs potentially influence domestic violence. It is imperative for these avenues that have been occasioned by globalization that promote domestic violence to be investigated and sealed to avert the vice.
This paper has identified domestic violence, particularly against women as an important influence of globalization. This is particularly because of wealth and social inequalities that exist between individuals and communities. Changes in attitudes from backward ones such as those in patriarchal societies are necessary if the society is to eliminate the vice effectively.
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