(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
July 05, 2012
Stop This Tide of Violence against Women
A meeting of women’s organisations -- Guild for Service, AIDWA, AIWC, CWDS, Joint Women Programme, NFIW, YWCA, War Widows Association, WIPSA, ICPRD, Jagori, Hunger Project, WPW, CFAR, Action India, Mahila Dakshita Samiti, Federation for Muslim Women, Delhi Mahila Kalyan Samiti and Center for Social Research held in Delhi on July 26, 2012, resolved to demand action from the government on the vital issue of escalation in violence against women in the recent period. The following is the statement issued by them on July 30.
THE National Women’s Organisations and activists representing a large section of women in this country are deeply dismayed by the increasing, heinous crimes being perpetrated against women, and demand that the government should take urgent action to stem this trend. Legal, political, and social institutions must intervene and play a pro-active role. Institutions like the NCW that have been set up to safeguard women’s interests must be strengthened and enabled to carry out its mandate. It is disturbing that in recent incidents like the Guwahati episode of public stripping and molestation of a young girl by a mob, the intervention by these institutions has been unsatisfactory. The reasons must be examined, and urgently remedied.
The organisations would like to point out that the constitutional rights of young girls are being repeatedly violated, and crimes are being justified by some self styled gate keepers of morality in the name of upholding "culture and tradition". To blame the victim of a crime instead of the criminal diverts attention from the culprit, and attempts to create sanction for the violence. This injustice being perpetrated against young girls has to be effectively countered by all those committed to a democratic, egalitarian society.
We stress the need for a gender specific legislation to address sexual assault, and an effective legislation to address crimes being committed in the name of upholding “honour”. A transparent, non-partisan and unbiased selection procedure for appointing the NCW chairperson and its members must be introduced by parliament immediately. A campaign will be undertaken by the women’s movement to achieve these demands.