Women Safety

Women Safety
Why is the safety of women relevant? The question of the safety and security of women has always been a concerning issue in almost all countries of the world. The inlaid system of patriarchy in all human institutions perpetuates sexism, misogyny, casteism, and racism, and women face the worst of these abuses. Violence against women is a worldwide phenomenon. According to World Health Organization (WHO), there are five stages of violence against women in the life cycle-- (i) Pre-birth, (ii) Infancy, (iii) Girlhood, (iv) Adolescence and adulthood and (v) Elderly. The incidence of gendered violence is not just a legal crime but also a violation of human rights directed against the female population. This violence gets compounded in areas where exposure and literacy rates among women are low, due to which they can not become financially independent to break out of the system that perpetuates perpetrates on them. What are the means of inflicting violence on women? 1 in 3 women around the world experience physical or sexual violence. This makes it the most widespread, but among the least reported human rights abuses. Women’s bodies are used as battlefields by religious and ideological fanatics where oppression is used to make them subservient. According to WHO, the following crimes against women are among the most common across the world: •Rape, including marital rape •Molestation •Verbal and domestic abuse •Sexual abuse •Honor killings •Female infanticide •Dowry deaths •Kidnapping •Discrimination in the workplace •Child marriages •Human trafficking In addition to these, in most nations, there is very little access to justice in case of violations of human rights. Women's safety in India In 2018, the Thomas Reuters Foundation released a study that ranked India as the most dangerous place for women due to its high incidences of sexual violence, lack of access to justice in rape cases, child marriage, female feticide, and human trafficking. India outranked Syria and Afghanistan, which have traditionally been considered to be unsafe places for women. India has a sad and vivid history of violence against women. Sex crimes often go unreported as the victims are poor and lack access to justice. Jammu and Kashmir has seen the largest number of institutionalized violence against women, reflected in the mass rapes of 1991 which were allegedly committed by Indian armed forces as well as terror groups and which have been called false by the government but not by international organizations. This has been the case since 1947. Women in Kashmir are threatened with violent reprisals in case of reporting the crimes, hence most of the numbers are not known. Human rights groups allege that the Indian armed forces under the protection of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 have carried out a large number of rapes in the North East Region. These have also been committed by rebel groups and criminal gangs. Violence against Dalit women and other backward classes have been seen in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Gujarat, and other states. Some of the most infamous and shameful cases of violence against women include the Nirbhaya Rape Case of 2012, Shakti Mills Rape Case in 2013, rape of a 71-year old nun in West Bengal in 2015 and the brutal rape and murder of Asifa- an eight-year-old girl in 2018. The sad reality in India is that such cases are more well-known than the legislative measures taken for the protection of women. What are the measures taken to protect women? The National Commission for Women has passed many laws with regard to the issue of protecting women in India against al forms of violence. Some of these include: •The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 •The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 (Amended in 1986) •The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986 •The Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987 •Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 •The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (PREVENTION, PROHIBITION, and REDRESSAL) Act, 2013. •The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013. •The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 However, the government has been criticized by activists and opposition parties for not formulating more women-specific laws. These legislations also take a shocking amount of time to be passed by the Parliament, which leads to a delay in justice. The police force has been condemned for its laxity in conducting efficient operations and putting criminals behind bars. A shocking number of rapists are roaming free in the country, due to money, muscle or political power. Most of them are repeat offenders and the law has not been fair with their victims. Marital rape is still not considered to be a crime in India. In many parts of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, rape culture is normalized. How does violence affect women? Violence against women has many faces. It can have severe long-term effects on victims. Most victims of sexual assault suffer from mental illnesses such as depression and PTSD, they have problems with their sexual life, they can get affected by sexually transmitted diseases and fall prey to unwanted pregnancies, to name a few. The deep psychological scar and social alienation and victim-shaming can force them to isolation and suicide.
Source: https://www.yovizag.com/women-safety-today/

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