The shocking incident of rape and murder of a veterinary doctor in Hyderabad speaks volumes of the lack of stringent laws dealing with sexual assault. Discuss the measures to combat violence against women. 

Published: December 3, 2019

The depraved acts of sexual violence against women in our country show no signs of ceasing. There is an urgent need for stricter laws, a time-frame and the strictest punishment to be meted out to rapists and murderers. It is high time for patriarchal perceptions to undergo a change for the betterment of women in our country. 

Issues facing women – 

  • Health Issue: Violence in any form not only affects a woman physically but also adversely affects their self esteem and ability to work. 
  • Economic cost : It can have a serious impact on the economy as a part of the workforce is unable to work efficiently. 
  • Indirect impact : Impact on female and child mortality & well being, resulting in intergenerational psychological cost 
  • Women’s participation : It obstructs participation of women in development and planning programs. 
  • Equality : Violence prevents women from accessing the benefits of development by restricting their movement to act freely.
  • Fundamental Rights : Violence against women prevents them from realisation of fundamental rights provided under the Indian constitution.

Measures to combat violence :

  • Enforcement of legislation : It is important to enforce the legislation that promote gender equality and aims to end discrimination against women in marriage, divorce and custody laws and inheritance laws.
  • Financial Independence: There is a need to improve women’s access to paid employment and fair remuneration, equivalent to their male counterpart. 
  • Plans & policies : Development and implementation of plans and policies to address violence of any kind against women.
  • Surveillance : Improve the system of collection of crime surveillance data on violence against women and bringing in effective mechanism to deal with the same. 
  • Capacity building : Provide training to law enforcement officers to handle cases of violence against women.
  • Male involvement : There is a need to ensure male involvement in devising programs to deal with abusers. 
  • Prevent recurrence : Identification of repeat offenders is required and support needs to be provided to women and children who are experiencing violence. 
  • Promotion of equality : Comprehensive sexual education needs to be included as a part of the curriculum taught to students and young people. 

Women need to be respected as individuals with the inalienable right to dignity and they are free to be at any place and at any time alone without the fear of being harmed.

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