Rise in Violence Against Women
- 04 Apr 2020
- 4 min read
Why in News
The National Commission for Women (NCW) has recorded a more than twofold rise in gender-based violence.
- It has been argued that the national lockdown has left many people jobless, uncertain over salaries, in forced isolation and in stressed households which have resulted in a steep rise in violence against women.
- Data Analysis:
- Total complaints- Rose from 116 in the first week of March to 257 in the final week of March.
- Rape or attempt to rape- Rose sharply from 2 to 13.
- Domestic violence- Increased from 30 to 69 over the same comparative period.
- Police apathy towards women- Almost threefold increase as the police are busy enforcing the lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19.
- Right to live with dignity (Article 21)- Rose to 77 from 35. Such cases could pertain to discrimination on the basis of gender, class or caste or all three of them combined.
- These cases might be a fragment of the actual number as many women will not be able to reach out due to various reasons.
- Possible Reasons:
- Privacy: Women are not be able to reach out because of restrictions on movement as well as a lack of privacy within homes. Women need privacy and certainty that they will not be discovered by their family but that becomes impossible in the presence of the entire house.
- Frustration among Males: There is a lot of anxiety in people’s minds about their jobs, salaries and livelihood. Women become easy targets for men for venting out their anger in patriarchal societies.
- Lockdown: It has restricted the movement and closed women’s avenues to escape violence such as by relocating to their natal homes or contacting the local police.
- There is evidence that in situations of crisis or calamity there is an increase in violence against women.
- The police do not seem the first port of call for victims of domestic violence and, therefore, alternative arrangements should be put in place.
- The government should ensure resources to help women in distress, and put health services to women and abortion in the list of essential services.
- Inspiration can be taken from France which announced that it would pay for 20,000 hotel bookings and contribute €1 million to organisations that fight domestic abuse as well as set up assistance points at supermarkets and pharmacies.
National Commission for Women
- It was set up as a statutory body in January 1992 under the National Commission for Women Act, 1990.
- Its mission is to strive towards enabling women to achieve equality and equal participation in all spheres of life by securing her due rights and entitlements through suitable policy formulation, legislative measures, etc.
- Its functions are to:
- Review the constitutional and legal safeguards for women.
- Recommend remedial legislative measures.
- Facilitate redressal of grievances.
- Advise the Government on all policy matters affecting women.