- Violence against women in India
- Efforts done by government
- Key Facts
[RSTV The Big Picture] Violence Against Women
For IASToppers Video Summary Archive, Click Here
Every year, 25th November is observed as International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The theme of this day in 2019 is Generation Equality Stands Against Rape.
According to a WHO report, one in every three women and girls experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime most frequently by an intimate partner. As per the NCRB data in India, cruelty by husband or his relatives accounted for the highest number of cases recorded in the crime against women category in 2017.
Violence against women in India
- Apart from physical/sexual violence, women also suffer from emotional/mental violence, especially by their husbands.
- One of the section that faced violence, which is frequently being unnoticed, is the violence done by family members or close relative of a women. This is ignored due to the fact that; it is hard for women to stand against their close family members. Even today, over 90% of rape are from close family members. Similarly, it is often the closest of colleagues in office who was found to harassing women in one way or another.
- Despite the fact that women have been educated and Indian Prime minster talking about women emancipation, women continued to be unequal sex in Indian society. Also, it is a sad reality that while Article 14 talks about equality, Article 15(3) talks about positive discrimination of women and children.
- The discrimination towards a girl began even before she is born (abortion). After she is born, she is not fed with nutritional food. More than 80% boys go to school than girl child.
- Justice system often fails women. when a girl is raped, the first question is asked to that girl is: what clothes did you wore, with whom were you before the crime etc. No one asks a question of the man who is committed that rape.
- In Nirbhaya case, the parents of the victim are still waiting for justice. Due to lethargy in justice system, women gave up her effort to fight against abuse done on her. However, the counter argument to delayed in the delivery of justice to a woman is that it Indian judicial system is based on a fact that no innocent should be punished. Faster delivery of judgment should not render unjust to a man. Moreover, India has robust justice system including fast track courts and has special laws such as Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, POCSO act etc.
- One can see more and more young educated girls who do not want to get married early. There’s pressure on them to have a child immediately. If they don’t have a child, they are being abused. People even don’t talk about social violence on women or they hide it by saying, ‘It(violence) does not happen in our home’.
- People are not filing FIR as they are afraid of society (i.e., What will people think if they know about our family situation): Nobody wants to let out the dirty secrets of a family.
- It is not only that female foeticide happened only in rural or backwards areas of India. As per AIIMS study between 1996 and 2012, highest rate of female feticide was in South Delhi, which is amongst the richest communities in India.
- Some people believe that if women are empowered, families will break.
Efforts done by government
- One of the most successful campaigns of Indian Prime Minister has been the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao.
- The statics has shown that even in Hariyana, the male to female ratio between young girls and boys has gone up substantially over the last six seven years.
- Nowadays, the intergenerational effect that violence against women has on families is becoming very clear.
- As per The Criminal Law Amendment Act (2013), more popularly called the Anti-Rape Bill, No police officer can refuse to register an FIR, if the offence being reported occurred outside their police station’s jurisdiction. Police is bound to register the FIR (this is called a zero FIR) and forward it to the concerned police station. This will make it easier for rape victims to report their cases.
- Nirbhaya Centres, as a tribute to the victim of 2012 Delhi gang-rape case, are being established by the government across India to act as ‘One stop center’ for women victims and provide them assistance and temporary shelter.
Initiatives by National Commission of Women (NCW)
- Gender sensitization of police
- Capacity-building programs for police officers, in collaboration with Bureau of police research and development, to augment the techniques that are used specially in sexual assault cases so that the evidence is recorded properly
- Gender sensitization and legal awareness of school students of eleventh and twelfth standard.
- Legal awareness program with stakeholders where all ages of boys and girls are taught about the legal rights of the women.
- There should equity and respect for women.
- Gender sensitization in school children as well as to police is the need of the hour. Students need to be taught about zero FIR.
- In eradication of polio in India, there was active participation of all, from private-sector to civil service organizations to people themselves. Such type of movement is needed to curb violence against women.
- Girls need to be taught about good touch and bad touch from a very young age. Along with this, young boys need to be trained on respecting women.
- Police need to be sensitized on the gravity of the situation of harassed women. They should be sensitized on what type of questions needs to asked to a women victim.
- Government needs to see the urgency of the situation, as the rape cases have been increased after the Nirbhaya (2012) case in India.
- Even sitting judges need to be sensitized.
- There should be separate councilors in police station who talks to victims that have been harassed. Delhi Police has such Crime Against Women Cells (CAW Cells).
- The Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), 1979 was adopted by the UN General Assembly to prevent violence against women and girls worldwide.
- Worldwide, 30% (1 in 3) of all women who have been in a relationship have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner.
- Only 52% of women married or in a union freely make their own decisions about sexual relations.
- 1 in 2 women killed worldwide were killed by their partners or family in 2017; while only 1 out of 20 men were killed under similar circumstances.
- 71% of all human trafficking victims worldwide are women and girls.
- The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recognize the importance of addressing violence against women to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women (SDG5).
Violence against women continues to be an obstacle to achieving equality, development, peace and fulfillment of women and girls’ human rights.
Everybody, from the government to public masses, have to accept the reality of the violence against women. And then take responsibility to curb such violence.
There is need to take a deeper look and ensure that we do our best as a society and as individuals to take holistic approach to try and find not only short term solutions but long term as well.
There are stringent laws in India on violence against women. However, some more steps such as gender sensitization of law enforcement agencies and general awareness of the people towards laws as well as how to behave with each other might be the solution.
As the Gandhiji said, ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world’.