UN Secretary-General,Ban Ki-Moon
8 March 2007
• “Violence against women and girls
continues unabated in every continent,
country and culture. It takes a
devastating toll on women’s lives, on
their families, and on society as a
whole. Most societies prohibit such
violence — yet the reality is that too
often, it is covered up or tacitly
“Any act of gender-based violence that
results in or is likely to result in
physical, sexual, or psychological harm
or suffering to women, including
threats of such acts, coercion or
arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether
occurring in public or private life."
The reality and definition of violence
India is home of unspeakable crimes against women
Situation of violence against women in India
Gender discrimination, including physical, sexual, emotional and economic
violence, son preference, unequal resource distribution and unequal decision-
making power (in both private and public spaces)
Caste discrimination, especially (but not restricted to) women from specific
Communal violence against women
Neo-economic policies impacting women’s lives in diverse ways (specific
kinds of jobs for women, market impacting men leading to increasing
violence against women)
Census of India 2011: sex ratio of 940:1000
Child sex ratio (0-6 years) – from 945: 1000 in 2001 to 914:1000 in 2011
National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3) of India (2006) child sex ratio (0-6
years) same for urban areas as Census data, but 921:1000 (versus 934:1000 in
2011) for rural areas
NFHS 3: 1 in 5 women (20%) face domestic violence from their husbands (global
statistics between 20-50%)
The National Crimes Record Bureau (2007): total crime against women has
increased by 12.5% from 2006
From 2006-2007, there was a 6.2% increase in rates of cases filed under dowry
“deaths” (NCRB 2007)
Create a national database of those who are
convicted of sexual offence.
Their names, photographs, addresses,
crimes and the court's perception of risk
levels have to be registered.
More importantly, the public should be able
to access the registry.
The next time you hear somebody make a
sexist joke, frown.
Frown hard at the person who says it and
his friends who are laughing with him.
Frown when somebody uses a cuss word that
begins with "mother" or "sister".
Frown when somebody refers to women
disparagingly in public or private.
Download that app
Women traffic cops
1. Find yourself in a dangerous situation or being stalked
down a dark alley? At the tap of a button on your
smartphone, you can alert a chosen list of friends and
relatives about your predicament.
2. Apps like Circleof6 and On Watch send an SMS SOS
and relay your location to kith and kin.
3. Students can be encouraged to create such apps as their
projects, an app that sends an alert to the local police
1. All states should have a women-only traffic police
2. The men from this department should be transferred to
handle regular law and order responsibilities.
3. With women cops on the roads, men will eventually
come to terms with female authority and women should
1. In India, rape has been defined so narrowly that it
excludes forced oral sex, or sodomy, or penetration by
2. The government will have to include such crimes under
the definition of rape. And there should be harsher
punishment for rapists.
1. For a working woman, the daily commute to office
should be a routine affair, not an adventure.
2. A government plan to make photo IDs of bus and auto
rickshaw drivers displayed prominently in the vehicle is
a good first step towards making her feel safe.
3. What would really go a long way is creating more
public transportation operated by women i.e women
drivers and auxiliary bus staff.
1. It is a familiar sight outside "wine" shops which serve
hard liquor across India.
2. Men consume cheap and industrial-strength alcohol and
then start harassing women passing by.
3. Arrest or fine those who consume liquor in public
places such as parks.
1. In Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar, lack of toilets in
homes exposes women to humiliation and sexual
2. Public sanitation and government support for building
toilets would go a long way in addressing this problem.
1. Imagine what would happen if shopping malls, cinema
halls and restaurants stayed open through the night instead
of shuttering down by midnight.
2. The streets would be lit and alive all night and would truly
never be empty. Safer streets, right?
1. Hire more cops. Hire more women in the police force.
Also, ensure they are ever vigilant, that they are tech-
equipped to communicate better with each other even
about a hint of lawlessness as well as to track and capture
What Men Should
Let's admit it: most Indian men, are sexists. And
rape, or any sexual assault, is a symptom of this
malaise. This attitude has to be purged. And re-
learning has to start individually. Change the
patriarchal mindset. Start doing what you
disparage as "womanly" chores. Small steps, but
Gender sensitivity should be a part of school
curriculum. Children should be taught to question
gender stereotyping wherever they find it, whether
in families or in the advertising and marketing of
My 10 Steps Formula to Ensure Women Safety and
Empowerment in India
Create Women Empowerment Centers in Every
Invite Local Women to Join WEC as Volunteer,
Offer Self Defense & Quick Reaction
Techniques & Psychological Consultation to
All WEC in a Locality Must be Linked to Local
Police Station & a Lady Police Inspector in
Charge to Deal with Complains.
There Must be an Emergency Ward in Every
Sadar/Taluka/Dist Hospitals for Rape & Sexual
Assault Victims. Treatment Must be Free of
All WEC Should be Well Equipped & Trained to
Communicate with Local Police Station &
Administration During Emergencies.
Fast Track Courts for Rape Related Cases. Lady
Judges Should Preside Over Such Cases & Govt.
Must Bear All Expenses from Victims' End.
Thorough Rehabilitation of Rape Victims Including
Financial & Social Should Policy Driven &
Media Regulation is Must & They Must Not Reveal
a Single Detail About Victims: Hospital & Medical
Reports, Interviews Must be Banned.
Prevention of Rape Act with Harsh & Objective
Punishment Should be Drafted & Passed by Both
Houses As Soon As Possible
Community Participation, Roadside Plays, Nukkads,
Awareness Programmes to Abolish Social Taboo &
Prejudice Related to Rape Victims
Some steps towards empowerment of women
• Women reservation bill in parliament (pending)
1. Reservation of 33% at each level of legislative starting with the Lok sabha down to state and local
2. If the bill is passed one third of the total seats will be reserved for women in national, state and local
3. In continuation of the existing provisions already mandating reservations for scheduled caste and scheduled
tribes, one third of such SC and ST candidates should be women.
4. Women farmer reservation bill tabled by M.S Swaminathan as a private member bill in Rajya Sabha in 2011
Some recommendations submitted by Justice J.S Verma committee
(on 23rd January 2013)
1. Trafficking- 7 to 10 years for trafficking a person, at least 10 years for more than one
person, 10 years to life imprisonment for trafficking a minor.
2. Acid Attack: 10 years to life imprisonment, pay compensation to the victim for at least
3. No death penalty for crime against women.
4. Juvenile age: till 18 years.
5. Rape- 10 years to life imprisonment.
6. Gang rape- 20 years to life imprisonment
7. Rape and murder- 20 years to life imprisonment.
8. Rape of a minor- minimum 10 years to life imprisonment.
Cultural mindset about women
“Superiority” of men versus “inferiority” of women (both within private spaces like the family,
and public spaces like the workplace)
“Public” domestic violence (“honor” killings, community courts)
Myth of male marginalization used to support withdrawal of progressive legislation (like
Increase in women’s participation at all levels: social, economic and political
Awareness of women’s rights – by the State, civil society organizations, as well as the public at
Gender budgeting and gender mainstreaming within State agencies and civil society
• Yes we can trace the roots of crime against women in socio-politico-economic
structures in Indian society
• If we want to change the society we have to strike the roots
• Android market
• Google images
• The economist
• Newspapers- The Times Of India, Pune Mirror, The Economic Times