'Enforcement of laws on women hit by lack of funds'

Enforcement of women-friendly laws suffers from lack of funds and training among the implementation agency personnel, activists said here Thursday.

"Even though there are laws to protect women rights, we are not able to effectively implement these due to lack of funds," said Ranjana Kumari, director of the Centre for Social Research.

Only 14 states have made separate budgetary allocations for the implementation of the law against domestic violence, she said.  These issues were highlighted at a national consultation on strategising advocacy for effective implementation of women-friendly laws, organised by the National Commission for Women (NCW) in collaboration with NGO Women Power Connect.

Representatives from various state commissions for women also participated. Laws against domestic violence (Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005), child marriage (Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006), female foeticide (Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994) exist but there is lack of enforcement, said Ranjana Kumari.

NCW chairperson Mamta Sharma said: "Everybody talks of women empowerment but nothing much is being done. The existing law needs to be strengthened so that it acts as a deterrent."

The participants from various state commissions for women stressed the need for more funds to support women shelters, and awareness programmes for stakeholders, including police, judiciary and medical professionals.

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