INDIA: Women, Peace and Security: Strategizing to End Violence Against Women in India

Friday, February 1, 2013
E-Pao News
Southern Asia
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
General Women, Peace and Security
Human Rights
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

1 Billion Rising campaign states, "One in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime". In India, according to National Crime Record Bureau in 2011, 14.7% rape cases are registered in cities while 85% rape cases are registered in rural India; there are more than 1 lakh rape cases pending; a total of 2, 28,650 women faced violence and abuse during 2007-2011 which includes rape, kidnapping, abduction, dowry death, cruelty by husbands and relatives, molestation, sexual harassment, importation of girls, immoral traffic etc. and the National capital Delhi has the highest percentage of crime rates against women which is 31.2%.

In Northeast India, a total of 13,308 incidence of crime against women had been reported according to the National Crime Records Bureau 2011 with 11503 cases in Assam, 269 cases in Meghalaya, 1358 cases in Tripura, 167 cases in Mizoram, 247 cases in Manipur, 38 cases in Nagaland, 171 cases in Arunachal Pradesh and 55 cases reported in Sikkim. Not only in their states, Northeast Indian women are also prone and are vulnerable in metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore etc as violence and crimes happened to them such as rape, molestation, sexual harassment as frequently reported at the National media.

The panel, Justice J S Verma Commission that was set up in response to public outcry over the brutal gang rape and murder of a 23 year old woman on 16 December 2012, of a young woman has delivered its report outlining recommendations on how to tackle gender violence in the largely patriarchal country. The committee suggest key recommendations to tackle increasing violence against women in India that includes key recommendations such as to amend rape laws in India, to make to make gender sensitization through education, electoral reforms, police reforms , to monitor illegal patriarchal village council etc .Taking strong cognizance of sexual offences committed by armed forces personnel in conflict zones, Justice J S Verma committee report has not only recommended amendments to the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) but even questioned its continuance in such areas.

Gender equality is, first and foremost, a human right. Women are entitled to live in dignity and in freedom from want and from fear. Empowering women is also an indispensable tool for advancing development and reducing poverty. In order to find strategies for change at this crucial time, we are hosting a round table discussion meeting on "Women, Peace and Security: Strategizing to End Violence Against Women in India" on Friday, 1 Feb at 2pm to 4 pm at the Conference Room , Control Arms Foundation of India , B 5/146, First Floor, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi 110029.

Eminent panelist of the event will include Mr Arvinn Gadgil, State Secretary from the Norwegian Ministry of Development; Ms Reecha Upadhyay, Independent Gender Consultant; Ms Nandini Rao, Delhi-based activist with the Citizens' Collective Against Sexual Assault Representations from YWCA; Ms Monica Banerjee, Senior Programme Officer, National Foundation for India, Dr Deepa Ahluwalia: Sr. Project Advisor, National Mission for Empowerment of Women and Ms Binalakshmi Nepram Founder, Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network & Secretary General, Control Arms Foundation of India amongst others. The panel will discuss issues and to strategize ways to end violence against women in India.