By Nehal Puri
Women. Violence. Synonyms? A battle against society, since ages. No stone has been unturned by influencers, media, protestors and masses to eradicate violence, to sensitize everyone on women rights, human rights but we fail terribly.
As per the NCRB, there were a total of 4,05,861 cases of crime against women which was registered in 2019. The number is a 7.3% increase over last year’s where the number of registered cases were 3,78,236.
30.9% of the crimes against women were labelled under ‘Cruelty by Husbands or his relatives.’ This implies that 30.9% of all the crimes last year against women were perpetrated by people who were close to the victim.
21.8% of these crimes were registered under ‘Assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty.’
Stating the obvious, most of the crimes committed against women are unrecorded because of the shame and stigma associated with it.
Instances of violence need to be thoroughly investigated and ways and means devised to reduce their incidence. There is a need for quick and severe punishment for the accused which would act as a deterrent too. Any society, in which half the population is not assured of safety, needs to reconsider its claim to being civilized.
Five years ago, in 2015, the member states of the United Nations (UN) agreed on 17 global goals to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. Since then, these Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have evolved into a guiding roadmap for finding long term solutions to global challenges. “Leaving No One Behind” has become the key message of this agenda, as the global community emphasized that the SDGs can only be achieved if peace and prosperity holds true for everyone.
Women make up half of the world’s population, but they still struggle to even exercise their fundamental human rights. A staggering one in three women experiences physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. Violence against women and girls is, thus, one of the most pervasive human rights violations and perhaps the most obvious manifestation of the deeply rooted imbalances in power in our societies.
Gender is an important consideration in development. It is a way of looking at how social norms and power structures impact on the lives and opportunities available to different groups of men and women.
How will we ever reach the SDGs if such inequalities still exist? In short, all SDGs depend on the achievement of Goal 5. Gender equality by 2030 requires urgent action to eliminate the many root causes of discrimination that still curtail women’s rights in private and public spheres. For example, discriminatory laws need to change and legislation adopted to proactively advance equality. Eliminating gender based violence is a priority, given that this is one of the most pervasive human rights violations in the world today.
To raise awareness and trigger action to end this global scourge, the UN observes International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November. The date marks the brutal assassination in 1960 of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic.
Every year, 25 November and the ensuing 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence which follow (ending on 10 December, Human Rights Day) are commemorated around the world, providing individuals and groups a chance to mobilize and call attention to the urgent need to end violence against women and girls.
This year’s theme for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!”. So apt….
The color orange symbolizes a brighter future, free of violence. It also serves as a means of demonstrating your solidarity in eliminating all forms of violence and it is therefore used as the color of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Although the list of crimes is very long, we can take measures to ensure women’s safety in our country. Firstly, the government must make stringent laws that ensure the punishment of criminals immediately. Fast track courts must be set so the victim gets justice instantly. This will serve as a great example for other men to not commit crimes against women.
Most importantly, men must be taught to respect women from an early age. They must consider women as equals so they don’t even think of harming them. When you consider someone inferior, you tend to oppress them. If this thinking goes away, half of the crimes will automatically end.
In short, crimes against women are stopping the growth of our country. We must not put the blame on women and ask them to be extra careful. Instead, we must ask the men to change their thinking and work to make the world a safer place for women.
(The author is a 1st year BBA student in SCMS, Noida)