Hoping for a society without violence

Agents of change: (L-R) Sudeshna of Ashodaya Samithi, K S Vimala of Janavadi Mahila Sanghatane, Dr Dharanidevi Malagatti, DySP, Mysore, Bhagyalakshmi of Ashodaya Samithi and Prof Yashodhara K of University of Mysore.. DH Photo

Though the invite said it is a seminar, it seemed like a rather realistic expectation, set by different stakeholders, hoping for a society that does not inflict violence on women. It was an occasion to commemorate a day of ‘violence against women’, with mitigating measures taken by the society to ensure justice.

The event was organised by members of Ashodaya Samithi, in coordination with University of Manitoba, and various departments under University of Mysore such as Department of Social Work, Department of Women’s studies, Department of Sociology and Center for Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, here on Thursday.

Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Dharanidevi Malagatti said exploitation and violence happen to be the offshoots of a situation where ‘power’ plays a major role.

“When there is unequal distribution of power, a shift in the interpretation of human values and principles, violence creeps in. This happens with humans since we live in a societal setup,” she said.

Referring to those who have been crying hoarse over Domestic Violence Bill and Dowry Act, which according to some, have been misused to a large extent, Malagatti said these legal provisions have not reached the actual beneficiaries yet.

 “We cannot deny the fact that some men have been falsely implicated at times, with some women misusing this. However, that cannot be a reason to completely reject those legal Acts,” she observed.

In an attempt to create a just society, we should stop glorifying the term ‘sex workers’ without actually bringing home the actual meaning. “There are countries where sex workers have equal rights. But, we are very far from that point,” she said.

K S Vimala of Janavadi Mahila Sanghatane said male dominated values allowed perpetration of violence against women.

“The same society which preached chastity and modesty to women, also nurtured prostitution. Those who are pointing out that legal provisions that were conceived to protect women are being misused, should also raise their voice against Khap Panchayats which are ordering parents to take their kids’ lives over love affairs; also about prominent people interpreting law as per their convinience to commit irregularities and even cover them up,” she quipped.

 Prof Ramesh, Director - Center for Social Exclusion and Inclusion Social Policy, Dr Gururaj B, Department of Sociology, Prof Yashodhara K, Chairperson of Womens’ Grievance Cell, Dr S M Mangala Devi of Center for Womens’ Studies and others were present on the occasion.   

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