Violence against Women

Facts:

  • The SC ordered deletion of the words “adult male” before the word ‘person’ in Section 2(q) of the Domestic Violence Act making it gender-neutral. The remaining part of the legislation would remain operative and was kept untouched. Now girls, women or minors can also be prosecuted if they are accused of violence against a married woman.
    • According to the court, these words violated right to equality under the Constitution and are discriminatory. Also, the court observed that the microscopic difference between male and female, adult and non-adult, regard being had to the object sought to be achieved by the 2005 Act, is neither real or substantial, nor does it have any rational relation to the object of the legislation
 
In your opinion, which factors are responsible for violence against women? As a common man, how will you address this issue. (200 Words)
 
Major reasons for this disturbing trend are:
  1. Patriarchal values still have high regard in our society
  2. Cowardliness and self-interested nature of public.
  3. Less-effective state laws. For example accepting marital rape as personal affairs
  4. Delayed prosecution and conviction.
  5. Discouraging of filing of Complaints of Women Violence by Society itself
 
As a person, I will do the following thing:
  1. Ensuring that values of Gender equality are followed in letter and spirit in my personal space – Home, Close friends, relatives etc.
  2. Initiating discussions on issue of Women violence whenever presented with an opportunity to do so.
  3. Ensuring that in case I happen to witness instance of Women violence, I extend every possible help to ensure justice for victim. If someone is being beaten up on the streets, then I would start calling nearby people and try to stop it. Then, help the victim get to the nearby police station and/or hospital.
  4. Support and spread the government policies of anti-dowry, girls child education, domestic violence, female infanticide etc. I’ll take the help of social media platforms as well.
Thus, I’ll try to follow what Tagore often quoted – “Change needs to begin with one”.
 
 
UN report on sexual violence in conflict documents horrendous crimes against women like those happening in conflicts around the world. Give a critical account of such recent crimes and role of women’s organizations in addressing such crimes. Also examine what needs to be done at global level to stop such crimes. (200 Words)
 
Women have been one of the most marginal groups who have continued to suffer in spite of human progress. Their situation is further marginalised during the course of war and conflict. The horrific sexual crimes committed during Bosnian war and Rwandan genocide is a living testimony to this fact.
 
Crimes against women during conflicts has continued unchecked which has been documented by this year’s UN report on sexual violence in conflict.
 
Recent crimes against crime include the abducting of 276 schoolgirls in Nigeria by the extremist Boko Haram group. Further, in August 2014, the ISIS began targeting Yazidi women in northern Iraq, capturing them and forcing them into sexual slavery.
 
Violent extremist groups have been exploiting women and giving them as prizes to reward fighters. These crimes are then being publicised on social media to attract new recruits. Also, adolescent girls are being kidnapped and sold to fighters of extremist groups as a sex slave.
 
Women’s organisations can and have played a major role in addressing such crimes. Some of these have resulted in the organisation of “Global Summit to End Sexual Violence” in Conflict in London which brought together thousands of policy-makers, researchers, civil society actors and survivors who made renewed commitments to eradicate this human rights violation.
 
Further, Countries like Democratic Republic of Congo and Columbia have taken steps to appoint representative sexual violence in conflict and given survivors of sexual violence a prominent place at the table respectively, another major success has been the passage of UN resolutions numbered 1820 and 1325 on violence against women in conflict areas.
 
However, these steps have been mostly symbolic and without any substantial impact. Violence against women has continued. One of the most conspicuous failures has been complete absence of any conviction in of state authorities despite having sufficient credible evidence.
 
There is a need to take the following steps:
  1. Issue of Sexual violence needs to be included in ceasefire and peace negotiations, and for perpetrators to be excluded from amnesty.
  2. Deploying of more women peacekeepers to be deployed to conflict settings and increased participation of women in all peacekeeping and peace-building processes.
  3. Urgent need for increased medical, psychosocial, legal and economic services and support for survivors
  4. Adoption of National and regional early warning systems that sound the alarm against escalating sexual violence
  5. Constitution a credible mechanism for conducting a fair trial of individual or groups accused of such crimes
 
However, the most important is the need for strong political will and sustained action which can turn the tide against sexual violence in conflict
 
 
The union government has decided to set up “One-Stop Centres” that will provide assistance, legal advice and psychological counselling to women who have “faced” violence or abuse. Critically comment on measures such as this one which try to “address” violence against women. (200 Words)
 
Crimes against women are increasing day and day. To tackle the atrocities against women and make women an equal and integral part of the society, government has decided to set up one stop crisis centres for women in distress.
 
These centres will provide assistance, legal advice and psychological counselling to women who faced violence or abuse and will be connected by a universal women’s helpline. 36 such crises centres will be set up, one in each state.
 
To make the system gender sensitive, Women and Child Ministry has also proposed 33% reservation for women in police, appointment of women as Special Police Officers who will provide an interface between the police force and the women affected by violence.
 
Although the measures taken by the government are impressive, but they not worth when not implemented properly.
  1. Delay in implementation: This scheme , One Stop Crisis Centres (OSCCs), was formulated way back in 2013 but the implementation was delayed.
  2. Funds not utilized: The Nirbhaya fund , though allocated , has still not been utilised to the full capacity.
  3. Delayed Justice: The cases related to crime against women like sexual assault, molestation and rape etc. should have speedier trials but only half the fast-track courts set up across the country are still functional. Rest of them have closed down due to lack of funds.
 
A speedier implementation of the measures taken is the need of the hour to improve status of women in India in terms of education, mortality, life expectancy, participation in local government, budget allocations among others.
 
 
“Despite the gains women have made in education, health and even political power in the course of a generation, violence against women and girls worldwide ‘persists at alarmingly high levels’, according to a United Nations analysis.” Critically analyse the magnitude of this problem and suggest what needs to be done at global level to address this issue. (200 Words)
 
According to recent UN report the magnitude of violence against women is still very serious after 20 years of Beijing Declaration on women rights. Under current scenario:
  • Around the world, ~ 35% women have experienced sexual or physical violence from intimate/non intimate partners.
  • One in 10 girls under 18 was forced to have sex.
  • Reportage of cases of violence is miniscule
  • Sex selective abortions in developing countries [India, Armenia etc.] are on rise. Many women have been kept as sex slaves in African and Middle East countries (+ISIS)
  • Cases of domestic violence are on rise and are mostly under reported
 
Last century has seen significant progress in empowerment of women like:
  • Access to primary and higher education
  • Participation in work forces ,driven by globalization
  • Falling pay gap between men and women
  • Falling female mortality rate and Gender Inequality Gap, rising political empowerment
 
Still progress in reducing violence against women have been slow due to :
  • Under the basis of cultural issues many countries have not legislated punitive laws for violence against women [Arab countries] or adjudication process being very slow [India].
  • Domestic violence and marital rape ,which consists of significant chunk, not being criminal offences in many countries [like India, Nigeria]
  • Still gaps of income, literacy, political participation exist
  • Many countries in Middle East, South Asia are facing hostile situations [Communal violence, internal migrations, forced conversions],in which women are soft targets.
 
Under this scenario serious global effort is required to mitigate violence against women
and accelerate the process of empowerment like:
  • Mitigation of violence against women should be made one of targets in a serious note, in Sustainable Development Goals which is to be adopted and shown real progress by member countries in time bound manner
  • Start of campaigns for women empowerment, IEC activities help to women in distress and end to violence against on the model of Polio Elimination/Climate Agreements
  • Make funding commitments from member countries [+World Bank] to support such programs and incentives for countries doing real progress in this direction
  • Make ‘end to violence against women’ as one of primary criteria for international funding
  • Need for speedy adjudication of cases, comprehensive criminal laws covering all sorts of violence against women and international pressure and sanctions against countries who do not recognise equal rights of women under pretexts of their local culture