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Social Justice

Safety of Women During Lockdown

  • 09 Apr 2020
  • 5 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Union Minister of Women and Child Development had a video-conference with personnel associated with the Ministry. The purpose was to consider measures to protect women in distress during the lockdown.

  • Nearly 1,000 people joined the video conference live, including the staff members of
    • One Stop Centres.
    • Shelter homes for women in distress ( such as Swadhar Greh, Ujajwala homes).
    • Working Women Hostels.

Key Points

  • Reasons Behind Holding the Conference
    • Rise in Crimes Against Women: The National Commission of Women has recorded
      • A more than two-fold rise in domestic violence and sexual assaults and
      • A three-fold increase in cases of police apathy in the first week of lockdown since March 24, 2020.
    • Call Taken by Various Organisations: The gender rights activists and the United Nations (UN) have called for the need to boost helplines, psycho-social support and online counselling to support women in distress.
  • Instructions by the Ministry: Officials of the ministry were asked to ensure that One Stop Centre are linked with local medical teams, police, NIMHANS, National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) to ensure that their services are not impacted due to restrictions on movement.
    • NIMHANS (National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences), Bangalore is a multidisciplinary institute for patient care and academic pursuit in the field of mental health and neurosciences.
  • Suggestions
    • To equip counsellors across the country to deal with the unique problems faced by women.
    • Use of digital governance to ensure safety of women which must be replicated at the State-level and with Non-Government Organisation (NGOs) so that there is no deficit of either information or help.
    • Urged NGOs to try to ensure that every individual calls at least 10 women every day so that “women know that they are not alone”

One Stop Centre

  • One stop centre is a centrally sponsored scheme of the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD). It is a subscheme of the National Mission for Empowerment of Women.
  • One Stop Centres have been established across the country to provide integrated support and assistance under one roof to women affected by violence, both in private and public spaces.
  • Funding: The scheme is funded through Nirbhaya Fund and the central government provides 100% financial assistance to the state governments /Union Territories administrations.
  • Auditing: Audit is done as per Comptroller & Auditor General of India norms and social audit is also undertaken by civil society groups.
  • Services Provided by the One Stop Centres
    • Emergency response and rescue services.
    • Medical assistance.
    • Assistance to women in lodging the FIR.
    • Psycho- social support and counselling.
    • Legal aid and counselling.
    • Shelter
    • Video conferencing facility.

Working Women Hostels scheme

  • The Working Women Hostels scheme is implemented by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  • It aims to ensure safe accommodation for women working away from their place of residence.
  • Provisions :
    • To provide safety for working women, a provision has been made to keep security guards and to install CCTV Cameras in Working Women Hostels.
    • To provide quality of stay for working women, provision has been made to provide safe and affordable accommodation with clean and well-ventilated day care centres for the children of inmates, medical first-aid and providing washing machines and geysers/solar water heating systems.

Swadhar

  • A Scheme for Women in Difficult Circumstances was launched by the Department of Women and Child Development in 2001-02. The scheme through the provisions of shelter, food, clothing, counseling, training, clinical and legal aid aims to rehabilitate women in difficult circumstances.

Ujjawala Home

  • A comprehensive scheme for prevention of trafficking and rescue, rehabilitation and re-integration of victims of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.

Source: TH

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