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International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

  • 26 Nov 2019
  • 4 min read

Why in News

United Nations observes 25th November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women every year.

  • The official theme for 2019 is “Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands Against Rape“.
  • The day is observed to honour the Mirabal sisters, three political activists from the Dominican Republic who were brutally murdered in 1960 by order of the country’s ruler, Rafael Trujillo (1930-1961).
  • International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women,2019 will mark the launch of 16 days of activism that will conclude on 10 December 2019 (International Human Rights Day).
  • For 2020-2022, the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE (to End Violence against Women campaign) will specifically focus on the issue of rapes committed against women in times of peace or war.

Key Points

  • Global Scenario:
    • Every third of all women and girls experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime.
    • 1 in 2 women killed worldwide were killed by their partners or family in 2017; while only 1 out of 20 men were killed under similar circumstances.
    • Only 52% of married women freely make their own decisions about sexual relations, contraceptive use, and healthcare.
    • 71% of all human trafficking victims worldwide are women and girls in which 3 out 4 women are sexually exploited.
  • National Scenario:
    • According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report, 3.59 lakh cases of crime against women were reported in the country in 2017.
    • Uttar Pradesh reported the highest number of crimes against women whereas Madhya Pradesh registered the highest number of rape cases in the country.
    • Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura - registered the lowest figures of crimes against women.

Global Conventions

  • The Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), 1979 was adopted by the UN General Assembly to prevent violence against women and girls worldwide.
  • The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women was issued by the UN General Assembly in 1993.
    • It defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in physical, sexual or psychological harm including threats of such acts, deprivation of liberty, etc. occurring in public or in private life.”
  • SDG-5 targets for gender equality in the world by 2030.

Steps Taken by the Indian Government

  • Constitutional Safeguards:
    • Fundamental Rights: It guarantees all Indian women equality (Article 14), no discrimination by the State on the basis of gender (Article 15(1)) and special provisions to be made by the State in favour of women (Article 15(3)).
    • Directive Principles of State Policies (DPSP): It ensures equal pay for equal work (Article 39 (d)).
    • Fundamental Duties: It ensures that practices derogatory to the dignity of women are prohibited under Article 51 (A).
  • Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005:
    • It provides victims of domestic violence with a means for practical remedy through prosecution.
  • The Dowry Prohibition Act 1961:
    • It prohibits the request, payment or acceptance of a dowry.
  • The sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and redressal) Act, 2013:
    • This legislative act seeks to protect women from sexual harassment at their place of work.

Source: TOI, UN

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