Violence Against Women has Increased: SWC Chairperson

SRINAGAR: Admitting that graph of violence against women has increased extensively in the Valley, State Women’s Commission (SWC) Chairperson and MLA Habba Kadal Shamima Firdous said that women along with social justice were being denied political justice. She described recent dis-honor killing in Kupwara as very unfortunate and on that shook the public conscience.

She rued the fact that the state cabinet had only one female minister as its member presently. She said that providing reservation to women in the state cabinet and the proposed BDC elections was a need of an hour. “It isn’t only in social life but also in Politics that women are being discriminated on the basis of gender, we’ve only one female Minister in the State and we need to take the collective responsibility for strengthening the status of women”, Shamima Firdous said in an interview.

The SWC Chairperson said that every day hundreds of women from various districts including Kupwara, Baramullah, Pulwama, Poonch, Rajouri visit the Commission’s office with their grievances, adding, “Their stories surprise me and at times I couldn’t hold my tears. Their stories are as such that one has no words to describe their pain in proper words. Nowadays we witness such women rights violations that really shock public conscience”.

“Domestic violence by in laws is the most increasing cases under RPC that are being filed by victims. Demand of dowry is one of the main reasons behind these domestic violence’s by in laws”, she informed.

“Violence against women is increasing day by day in the State. Though, we have protective laws already established in the State for women but the laws are weak and have some loopholes”, SWC Chairperson said. “Dis-honor killing which occurred recently in District Kupwara is very unfortunate but at the same time it should be considered as an indication that offences against women are going from bad to worse”, she added.

Speaking about the violence against women, Shamima Firdous said, “Violence against women – particularly intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women – are major public health problems and violations of women’s human rights. Risk factors for being a victim of intimate partner and sexual violence include low education, witnessing violence between parents, exposure to abuse during childhood and attitudes accepting violence and gender inequality.”

She said that the Commission was working for prevention of crimes against women, however, she admitted that the established laws were not enough and effective for protecting and delivering justice to the women in state. “Currently, there are few interventions whose effectiveness has been proven through well designed studies. More resources are needed to strengthen the prevention of intimate partner and sexual violence, including primary prevention, i.e. stopping it from happening in the first place. The law we have for the protection of women is not effective and Commission will make recommendations to the government for its strength”, said SWC Chairperson. “To achieve lasting change, it is important to enact legislation and develop policies that protect women; address discrimination against women and promote gender equality; and help to move towards more peaceful cultural norms”, she added.

“Let us make collective effort to reduce the graph of Women Rights violations at this stage and then completely to drag it out”, urged Shamima Firdous. (KNS)

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