New Delhi, Dec 28 (IBNS) Union Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath held consultations with civil society organizations, women's activists, legal experts, jurists, representatives from National Commission for Women (NCW), National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), Planning Commission and government officials here on Friday in order to design strategies to eliminate violence against women.
Outlining the agenda for the consultation, Tirath said that the suggestions may include improving the law and order of the city and various parts of the country, amendments in existing laws, if any, need for new laws, gender senstisation of the youth, enhancing awareness regarding the laws in the society, issues regarding implementation of various schemes and laws, and their effective monitoring, and related issues.
Various suggestions were put forward by the participants.
These included issues such as more effective preventive measures for enhanced safety and security of women, need for a crime protection plan, gender sensitizations through amended curricula which could begin from the early school levels, gender sensitization of the police particularly and those that handle cases of assault and violence against women at various levels including the police, judiciary and health officials, and need to urgently amend laws to remove the lacunae in many laws.
Participants were also of the view that narrow definition of the word 'rape' in some laws needs to be amended, and a more inclusive definition to cover various other types of sexual crimes needs to be incorporated in the laws.
Some participants raised the need for more effective police reforms such that accountability is fixed on the erring officials speedily and to prevent political interference and intervention in cases of violence against women.
A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the police and the concerned officials handling such cases needs to be prepared, some were of the opinion.
Participants also raised the issue of rehabilitation and compensation of victims of assault and violence, including rape.
State support for treatment of acid attack victims needs to be taken up seriously and actively by the government, many suggested.
The violation of women's rights in conflict zones and violence by armed forces and State paramilitary and non-State armed forces was also discussed.
The increased number of cases of violence against women in rescue homes was alarming, the participants stated.
Strict registration and effective inspection of these therefore need to be ensured, they said.
Participants were also of the view that most public spaces are not designed to be women friendly. Street lighting in many cities of India was extremely poor, they said.
Also, the absence of women's toilets was a cause of serious concern to women's safety, some stated. The difficulties were exaggerated in case of disabled women, it was noted.
Participants urged political parties to not give membership and tickets to persons with criminal records. There were also suggestions for gender-sensitivity training of public representatives.