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  1. 1. Walk to Equality – the Empowerment of Women College Name: St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai Group Members: 1. Nikita Tilwani (Group Co-ordinator) 2. Pratiksha Tripathi 3. Priyanka Barve 4. Saanaee Naik 5. Rajeshree Nikam
  2. 2. • The figures alongside are very telling about the scenario of women empowerment and their walk towards equality. • To combat this issue, our presentation highlights lacunae in the legal framework for crimes against women, female foeticide and prostitution. • An important solution for women’s empowerment is self-defence training and we herein provide a programme for making this provision effective, efficient and acceptable in the rural and urban setups alike. • The issue of dowry is attempted to be dealt with through state-sponsored marriages; which can also be used as an incentive for the self-defense training programmes. WALK TO EQUALITY – EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN
  3. 3. REFORMS IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM- IN VIEW OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN • Following the spine-chilling and horrific rapes in our country we look forward to how the rapes could be stopped, there is only one refrain: change in attitude towards women; the legal process of dealing with the crime must speed up; and men must be sensitized towards women’s issues. • It is unfortunate that police reforms have been waiting to be implemented since 1980s and that the formation of a strong Anti-Rape Bill (by the JS Verma commission) came only after a spine chilling horrific gangrape in New Delhi. • What does the World Population Report have to say about Rapes In India? It says that a rape is committed every 54 minutes, molestation every 26 minutes, kidnapping or abduction every 43 minutes, eve-teasing every 51 minutes, dowry death every 1 hour 42 minutes, criminal offense against women every 7 minutes. • Solutions- • Strong and effective implementation of The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013. • Reform criminal justice system: The low conviction rate for rape-only 27 percent convictions — is why rapists are not that scared and victims reluctant to go to court. Police need better investigation methods, find the right culprit, ways to preserve evidence also witness protections programmes. Some of the important changes — like quicker trials enabled by more judges and courtrooms are reforms the whole criminal justice system needs.
  4. 4. SOLUTION: 4 steps to ensure an effective criminal justice system - •Prevention: The community and the Police need to work together during this stage. This involves security at vulnerable places and at critical hours and voluntary citizen services. •Investigation: This is primarily the responsibility of the police but involves the community in the role of witnesses. Measures such as installing CCTV cameras in buses and state-run public transport should be taken. Installation of CCTV cameras should be mandatory in buses. There are schemes where corporate houses have been asked to take up areas and work on keeping them clean and green. On similar lines they can be asked to install CCTV cameras. •Prosecution: If someone comes out on bail, it should be conditional. They should have to report to the police station at least once a week about good behavior. •Punishment: This falls in the ambit of law. •Solutions within the ambit of law- Setting Fast Track courts on priority basis to deal with issues of Women. This shall include Sexual Crimes, Rapes, Marital rapes, Molestation, Dowry Cases, Dowry deaths, exploitation in any form, acid attacks, also Stalking and Voyeurism etc. The punishment in such cases shall be minimum 7 years and maximum Life terms and Death Penalty for serious crimes as prescribed in the Anti Rape bill 2013. Sale of acids should be regularized and be given only to licensed holders. There should be a time cap for the disposal of such cases, for eg. Maximum of 6 months, or 1 year depending on the nature of cases.
  5. 5. FEMALE FOETICIDE – THE CURRENT SCENARIO • The PCPNDT Act, 1994 identifies the problem of female foeticide and explicitly prohibits it. • But the problem still persists and is only getting worse not just in rural but also in the so-called elite and educated parts of urban India. • The consequences of sex-selective abortions are long-term and grave – marriage squeeze against men, increase in crime and violence against women (which is already rising in terms of number and seriousness), effect on marriage payments and economic behaviour, effect on men’s sexual behaviour and health, effect on women’s status and gender equity process.
  6. 6. HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PROPOSED SOLUTION • Establishment of a special raid division in the jurisdiction of every police station in the country, with special attention to states having a sex ratio of less than 950 females per every 1000 males. • Conducting surprise, uninformed raids once every 6 months but at unspecified time of the year in each institution permitted to acquire the pre-natal diagnostic equipment under the PCPNDT Act. • The special raid division will have access to the said equipment, the records of the institution, the right to seize the equipment if found to be illegally acquired or if the equipment is not of the standard specified under the Act, the right to immediately suspend licences of the institutions showing a shady record and warrants to arrest the erring doctors and their aides. • Special monitoring devices to be installed on the equipment which would record the sonographies carried out. A deadline to be intimated to all institutions carrying out the processes to have the devices installed on their equipment. New machines being sold to necessarily have a certification of meeting the standards specified in the PCPNDT Act. The said solutions are over and above the effective implementation of the PCPNDT Act to treat the problem of female foeticide.
  7. 7. PROSTITUTION IN INDIA • Prostitution is rampant in India from ancient times. Prostitution itself (exchanging sex for money) is not illegal, but the surrounding activities (operating brothels, pimpimg, soliciting sex etc.) are illegal. • At least 100 million people are involved in human trafficking in India and 90% of human trafficking is intra-country. • 90% of the prostitutes are in the 15-35 age group and their average work life spans 15 years. • There are about 3 million prostitutes in India of which 40% are children. So, the child prostitute population is close to 1.2 million. • Prostitutes operating on the street and brothels earn between 2,000 to 24,000 rupees ($43-522) per month, whereas call girls make 40,000- 800,000 rupees ($870-17,300)
  8. 8. 2. REHABILITATION: Rehabilitation centers to be set up in all the metropolitan cities, wherein, employment should be guaranteed to every rescued prostitute. Employment will be guaranteed in the new governmental projects, where, they will be firstly trained and made fit for the post and then appointed in self defense education programs. Juvenile rehabilitation centers to be set up for child prostitutes. They would be provided education under the right to education act and brought in the mainstream The government and police can take help of multiple NGOs working in the same area. 3. AWARENESS GENERATION in women about their rights and anti traficking laws through popular media and advertisements. PROPOSED SOLUTIONS: Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girl Act -1956 , Prevention of Immoral Traffic Act-1956 And Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act-1956 which punishes owners of brothels and the middle men involved in trafficking women The punishment to be increased to a minimum of 7 years for having violated any clause in the acts. Clients to be arrested and punished upto atleast 7 years. minimum The fine to be increased to a of Rs. 20,000 Amendement act of 2013, section 370criminalising anyone who recruits, transports, harbors, transfers or receives a person for the purposes of exploitation. Exploitation to be not only mentioned but also defined to include sexual or physical exploitation. 1. LAWS AND ACTS
  9. 9. • Martial arts or karate is mastering an art in itself. People always consider martial arts as the best solution for women’s self defense. But can it actually help? • A handicapped or old woman or a child cannot get much help through martial arts. When a gang of 3 or more men are against one woman, martial arts as a self defense can be very difficult a solution • Martial arts or any sport is usually discouraged because of the girl’s virginity being in danger. Also, the mentality that girls have to wear short clothes comes in the way of girls playing sports or even being interested in it. METHODS OF WOMEN EMPOWERMENT • Masses, paticularly rural, find it hard to trust many government schemes and thus, refrain from participation. Moreover, women are the worse bargainers and have hardly access to facilities that are provided by the government for their empowerment. • The populace is involved in those schemes that provide them monetary incentives, direct employment or any other such material benefit that would assist them in meeting their daily requirements. We propose the following solutions for the further empowerment of women in both rural and urban society. 1. Self-Defense Training
  10. 10. • The solution is extensive self defense training. This would include training in running, jumping long fences, driving, cycling, knowledge of important helpline numbers. Another effective solution would be screaming training, where women are put in tough situations and are taught to scream for help. • For the rural and urban educational institutioins, this self defense training can be made compulsory in schools and colleges which will have a record of marks and attendance. • In order to encourage this training in rural areas, free camps would fit the bill. Along with this, the incentive of water supply could be provided to the women who participate in these camps. • Water is an important resource and since women have to go a long distance in search for water, if we provide the village with one tanker(10,000 litres) each household could get 5 liters depending on the members, it would encourage women to engage in these camps and bless 2,000 households with water. This would solve the problem of water supply and encourage a lot of women to participate • Also, if the house has a lot of members then the amount of water provided could increase depending on the number of women in the self defense training. This will automatically ensure more members in the training camps.
  11. 11. 2. STATE SPONSORED MARRIAGES • Dowry stands to be one major problem for the rural families till date. It is a custom among most households, small or big and this has led to worse situations like that of dowry death and suicide by the parents because they cannot afford their girl’s marriages. The program of state sponsored marriages aims at reducing this setback in society. • With state intervention in the matters of marriage, the responsibility or moreover, the burden of marriage shifts from the household to the state. This provision reduces greatly the problem of dowry. Since the state is a part of it, there are lesser demands and lesser scope for exploitation from the grooms family. • State sponsored marriages will promote the participation of the women in the schemes of the government, especially those households who have girls. It will provide a great incentive for the women because the liability of the girls falls the highest on the mother and it will promote a sense of independence in them. • With the participation of the women, it sets the trend for the household and then for the community to be a part of this scheme and thus, liberates an entire generation, as it spreads awareness among the women for the need of defense and security and thus, this awareness is passed on to the new generations.
  12. 12. REFERENCES • Economic and Political Weekly (vol XLVIIL, no. 35) • The Sexual Offences (Special Courts) Bill, 2010 • The world population report – UNFPA - United Nations Population Fund • J. S. Verma committee report - Various Sources • The Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex-selection) Act, 1994. • – Statistics on Prostitution in India.