Women activists woo support for draft Bill

Women activists woo support for draft Bill

Hailing the approval of the Draft Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2013 by the Union Cabinet, women activists on Saturday called upon the political parties which profess to stand up for their rights.

Representatives of women and human rights groups and lawyers from across the country said the Bill will protect the entire society from the scourge of sexual violence. “This Bill is not against men but against criminals. And all citizens stand to gain peace of mind against the mindless violence that stalks us,” said Kavita Krishnan, secretary, All India Progressive Women’s Association.

She added that women’s groups are happy with the age of consensual sexual activity, which has been retained at 16 years under the Indian Penal Code.  “This is not a moral endorsement of teenage sexual activity but merely an acknowledgement that Indian society does not wish to treat our young men and women as criminals and rapists who might engage in consensual sexual acts,” she said.

“We must understand that criminalising the consensual acts of young adults as rape will make our young men most vulnerable, particularly those from marginalised communities,” she added.

Lawyer Vrinda Grover said, “We urge all members of Parliament to uphold the spirit of the Justice Verma Committee and pass the Bill in this session.”