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State PCS

Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. In what ways can India address issues of gender-based violence and promote the safety and security of women? (150 words)

    14 Mar, 2023 GS Paper 2 Social Justice


    • Start your answer by briefly introducing gender-based violence in India.
    • Discuss various challenges and measures to address gender-based violence.
    • Conclude accordingly.


    • Gender-Based Violence in India:
      • Gender-based violence (GBV) is a pervasive and serious issue in India, with women and girls facing various forms of violence, harassment, and discrimination in both private and public spheres. Despite various laws and policies in place, the country still grapples with high rates of gender-based violence.
        • India has one of the highest rates of violence against women in the world. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCEB), in 2021, a total of 4,05,861 cases of crimes against women were reported in India, of which 32,033 cases were of rape.
        • However, experts suggest that these numbers only represent a fraction of the actual cases, as many cases of gender-based violence go unreported due to societal stigma, fear, and lack of trust in the legal system.


    • Challenges in Addressing Gender-Based Violence:
      • The challenges in addressing gender-based violence in India are multi-faceted.
        • Patriarchal Attitude: One of the significant challenges is the deep-rooted patriarchal attitudes and gender stereotypes that perpetuate violence against women.
          • Women are often seen as inferior and subordinate to men, leading to discriminatory practices such as female infanticide, dowry deaths, and honor killings.
        • Lack of Awareness: There is a lack of awareness and understanding of gender-based violence among the general public and law enforcement agencies.
          • The police and judiciary have been criticized for their insensitive handling of cases of gender-based violence, leading to a lack of trust among victims.
    • Addressing Gender-Based Violence:
      • There are various ways in which India can address gender-based violence and promote the safety and security of women. Some of these are:
        • Increasing Awareness and Education: Education and awareness campaigns should be conducted to sensitize the public about the issue of gender-based violence.
          • This can include school-based education programs, community-level campaigns, and public awareness through various media platforms.
        • Strengthening Legal Framework: The legal framework for gender-based violence needs to be strengthened, including strict implementation of existing laws and policies.
          • There is also a need to expand the definition of gender-based violence to include various forms of violence against women, such as sexual harassment, stalking, and domestic violence.
        • Improving Access to Justice: The judiciary system should be made more accessible and friendly towards women.
          • This can include setting up fast-track courts, increasing the number of female judges and lawyers, and providing free legal aid to women who cannot afford it.
        • Empowering Women: Empowering women through education, economic opportunities, and political participation can help in reducing the incidence of gender-based violence.
          • Women should be encouraged to report cases of violence and participate in decision-making processes at all levels.
    • Examples of Successful Interventions:
      • There are some successful interventions that have been implemented in India to address gender-based violence. Some of these are:
        • One-Stop Centers (OSC): The OSC is a facility that provides various services to women who are survivors of gender-based violence, including medical, legal, and counseling services.
          • These centers have been established across the country, and their success has been demonstrated through increased reporting of cases and improved access to justice for women.
        • Nirbhaya Fund: The Nirbhaya Fund was established in 2013 to support initiatives aimed at enhancing the safety and security of women.
          • The fund has supported various projects, including setting up of women helplines, GPS-enabled panic buttons in public transport, and safe city initiatives.


    • Gender-based violence is a significant challenge that India faces today. India needs to prioritize the issue of gender-based violence and work towards creating a safe and secure environment for women.
      • It is only through collective action and sustained efforts that India can effectively address the issue of gender-based violence and ensure the rights and dignity of women.

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