Police's insensitivity adds to women's woes

Police's insensitivity adds to women's woes

Twenty-five per cent women complainants are reportedly harassed by police in rape cases, said chairperson of the National Commission for Women Mamta Sharma on Friday.

“The behaviour of law enforcement agencies towards women victims is not good,” she said. She called for changing the public’s mindset in favour of women’s education in certain communities, including Dalits and Muslims.

She said the commission will work closely with “women rights defenders” in their battle against violence and discrimination. The commission will also launch a study at the national level to start a mechanism for protection of women against threats, intimidation and implication in false cases, she said.

She was addressing a mutli-state consultation on women’s  issues, organised by Shivi Development Society and Indraprastha Public Affairs Centre (IPAC) at the Institute of Development Studies in Jaipur.

Rajasthan State Women’s Commission chairperson Laad Kumari Jain said there are three kinds of violence against women in the state — gender-based discrimination, domestic violence and pre-birth violence in the form of female foeticide. 

“It is most unfortunate that even the right to be born is being snatched from girls,” she said.

The consultation was held to consolidate views and ideas from women rights activists from different regions of Rajasthan, and to develop a state-level policy for their protection.

Delegates from Rajasthan, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh attended the day-long event.

Sharma said women rights activists play a crucial role in eradicating gender discrimination, which will ensure extension of benefits of all government schemes to women. 

She called upon NGOs working for women to help them in being economically independent.She also criticised the practice of female foeticide. “At least two crore boys in the country will not be able to find brides in the next 15 years due to the dwindling number of girls,” she said.

She advocated the need for proper compensation and rehabilitation of rape victims and underlined the need for sensitivity in dealing with sex crimes.

The event was held after the UN special rapporteur on human rights defenders recently said that activists are at risk from violence, including prosecution. The event comprised a series of regional meetings held in Bikaner, Jodhpur, Kota and Udaipur.