Wednesday, 6 February 2013
VADODARA: Going by a recent survey conducted by nine students of M S University (MSU)'s faculty of law, it seems sexual harassment and gender sensitization is issues which the varsity would have to address sooner than later.
The survey conducted on 966 students (766 females and 200 males) is an eye-opener, according to Sahiyar, a women's NGO, which has shot off a letter to the VC, forwarding some of the survey findings wherein 63% girls and 69% boys had a perception that girls were "not secure on the campus". Worse, 24% girls and 19% boys "witnessed" sexual harassment within the campus, but none complained about it to any of the authorities.
Further, only 8% girls and barely 5% boys were aware of the existence of 'women grievance redressal and counseling cell' within MSU, but none of them was aware of its location.
The survey also recorded that 95% of girls and 92% boys felt that women needed some space or avenue where women's grievances could be addressed.
"It is unfortunate that instead of taking positive steps to make the university free from sexual harassment and implement the judgment by the Supreme Court of India (Vishaka committee guidelines)...the authorities have taken regressive steps to put further restrictions on girl students by reducing the time for hostel girls," the NGO wrote to the MSU VC, while seeking appointment to discuss the survey findings.
The complete survey report would be released after discussions with MSU authorities, they said.
When contacted, MSU registrar, Amit Dholakia said, he would not say much on the findings of the survey since he was yet to see the report.
"I am not saying the findings are baseless or incorrect, but surveys have their limitations or different methodologies. Also, I am not denying any reservations about perception of safety on the campus."
He, however, admitted that the grievance cell had to be replaced by a committee to address complaints of sexual harassment. "We realize that a tighter mechanism for addressing women grievances is required, and that the counseling cell's role is different from the committee which needs to be set up," the registrar said, adding they would be setting up a committee "this week" to create a mechanism for setting up the committee, at both the varsity and at faculties' level.
Source: The Times of
India, 29 January 2013
Posted by CWDS LIBRARY BLOG at 12:36
Tuesday, 5 February 2013
Apologies for cross posting.
Sharing CREA's views on the recent gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old girl in
violence; and the responses to it on the blog of Reproductive Health Matters
(RHM). , Delhi India
A guest blog from Pooja Badarinath, CREA
The recent brutal gang-rape of a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus in
, resulted in
expressions of outrage and anger everywhere in the country. The weeks after the
rape saw an unprecedented focus on sexual assault—in formal and informal
conversations, protests, television debates, drawing rooms, social media, and
official statements. These protests were unique because they brought everyone
to the streets. It is heart warming that many of the conversations spurred by
this response are affirmative—they discuss women’s right to wear what they
want, to walk the streets after dark, and other such issues. And, they take on
political and spiritual leaders who blame women for rape in direct and indirect
ways. , Delhi India
The feminist movement has been struggling to change the rhetoric from “protection” to “freedom” for a long time. This time, many of these feminist demands, ideas, and positions are of people/groups that do not identify as ‘feminists’. However, there are some demands that are extremely problematic. For instance, the demands for enhanced punishment, death penalty, and chemical castration—fuelled by the media—are decidedly unfeminist. Thus, we need to extend the conversations beyond these ‘populist demands’ and broaden the popular middle-class understanding of gender-based violence and its consequences for all—Dalit women, women from religious minorities, sex-working women, mentally and physically disabled women, women in police custody, women living in ‘disturbed’ areas and conflict zones, women who are sexually abused within the home, lesbian women, transpersons, and gender non-conforming people.
However, the current legal framework for rape is fraught with patriarchal baggage—only when a man has “sexual intercourse” with a woman, without her consent, is it considered as rape (this does not hold within marriage of course, because the wife is seen as the ‘property’ of her husband) . The importance is given to “intercourse” and, hence, there is no acknowledgment of the violence of invasion that always accompanies any case of sexual assault, whether or not it is accompanied by bruises and broken bones. Due to this emphasis on “intercourse”, rape is considered most severe when a “woman loses her chastity/virtue”. The most common perspective is that for a woman, being raped is a “fate worse than death”. This notion has been the most difficult to change over the years, not just in popular culture but also in the judiciary and other institutions. As long as sex is seen as the vehicle to the most ultimate form of purity or pollution, this perspective will not change.
Gender-based violence is a manifestation of patriarchal power structures and inherent inequality in society. It is not about, as some sections of the Indian media are reporting, “illiterate” young men who migrate to big cities and “cannot handle educated young women asserting themselves”. Such privileging of violence and ‘victimhood’ is a result of patriarchal and unequal power structures. Even the reportage in the media abroad has not been without its own bias . Many articles published in prominent dailies in countries such as the
and US portray rape as a problem that happens only in
countries such as UK , implying that the
so-called North has overcome this completely. The stereotyping of “Indian
culture” and of “Indian men” as having “…murderous, hyena-like male contempt”
towards women is even more troublesome. The question has been turned into a
clash of “cultures”. Such reporting and attitude towards Southern cultures yet
again touch upon the North-South divide and the northern gaze, where issues
like patriarchy and gender inequality seem to be a problem of only the South.
We need to realise that the issues of gender justice is not cultural
phenomenon. We must remember that no matter where they live, women and men hold
different identities and positions of privilege and powerlessness. India
Women’s groups in
have always tried to bring this perspective to
the work on violence against women through their advocacy, trainings,
publications, messages, campaigns, research, protests, discussions, and events.
CREA, for instance, works to address the issue of violence against all women
through its work, such as through its Institutes on sexuality, gender, and
rights; trainings aimed at creating an understanding of bodily autonomy,
choice, and freedom to enable women and girls to be more aware and in control
of their bodies and lives; grassroots-level feminist leadership building
programmes; and publications on various issues related to violence against
women. Violence is also discussed by documenting cases of violence on marginalised
women who fall through the cracks in the mainstream, homogenous, violence
against women rhetoric (for instance, lesbian, sex–working, and disabled
women). We work directly with adolescent and young girls using the medium of
sports. Sport, which has traditionally always been associated with boys and
men, also challenges stereotypes around gender, and allows the girls to come
out of their homes and exert more control over their lives. We also sent
recommendations, collectively with other activists and groups as part of the
Citizens’ Collective Against Sexual Assault, to one of the committees formed by
the Indian government to inform law reform on sexual assault. The submissions
were those that we have been making for a while now; we made them again because
this time, the authorities were listening. India
It is inevitable that this case will fade from public memory, if not now then later. While we hope that the mobilisation around this case will change rape laws for the better, we are aware that a legal response alone is deeply inadequate in tackling what is a systemic devaluation of women. Women’s groups, along with seizing the opportunities that this moment brings, will continue to confront violence against women, like they always have. In addition, we need to revisit our strategies, and perhaps consolidate some, and rethink others. We need to continue the conversations around women’s freedom and build a culture where a woman has autonomy over her body and sexuality.
 Rape in the Indian Penal Code has been defined under section 375 and 376 and we have concentrated on a specific aspect of the same. The law also describes what can be called aggravated cases of rape, such as custodial rape, rape on a pregnant woman and gang rape.
 An example of the same can be understood through the experience of Sohalia Abdulali
 An example of this is this piece by Liz Jones in the Daily Mail,
 Opinion piece by Libby Purves in the Times,
; Indian women need a cultural
earthquake, London 31st
CREA is a feminist human rights organisation based in
. CREA works to
advance the rights of women and girls, and the sexual and reproductive freedoms
of all people. , New Delhi India
CREA works in partnership with RHM journal to publish the Hindi language edition of Reproductive Health Matters
Posted by CWDS LIBRARY BLOG at 12:23
Thursday, 17 January 2013
WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION INDIA
NO. 2253- E , SHADI KHAMPUR, NEW RANJIT NAGAR,
PH: 011-25700476, 25709565
Date: 15th Jan.2013
The Union Minister for Home Affairs,
Dear Shri Shinde ji,
Thank you for meeting our delegation on the issues concerning the rape victims from Haryana. We brought to your notice 11 specific cases with the details given in the memorandum submitted by the Akhil Bharatiya Janwadi Mahila Samily (AIDWA) who have been following the cases. Among the 11 cases, two cases are of children aged between four and six, one is a disabled girl who is blind and can neither hear nor speak, aged around 13, two are adolescents aged 15 and 16. Of them seven belong to the scheduled caste community. All of them without exception are from poor families many of whom eke out a living as daily workers. You saw for yourself their terrible situation.
1. Following Supreme Court orders for State Governments to institute measures for rehabilitation of victims of sexual assault, the Haryana Government issued a notification dated
December 11, 2011 for rehabilitation
and support services for rape victims. However no action has been taken to
implement the notification. In the above mentioned eleven cases no
rehabilitation measures have been taken. Even in the case of a child, where the
family has had to spend over one lakh rupees to get the required reconstructive
surgeries done since the child had been violently violated, no help has been
given. This you will agree is a most terrible situation. We therefore urge you
to ensure that the notification is implemented. In the specific eleven cases we
request you to intervene so that the victims can be rehabilitated. Without
support, it is difficult for the families to survive.
2. In five of the eleven cases, the police officials are directly culpable for further victimisation of the victims. These include the case of the four year old in Jind, where the police refused to file a case under Sec. 376 in spite of the medical report. In the list given to you, the police in Karnal, Jind, Rohtak,Gurgaon,Panipat (details in the case papers) are responsible for violating the law. However, no action has been taken in a single case. We request you to intervene so that a strong message can be send to the police that such criminal callousness and non-implementation of the law will be severely punished. In some of the cases the main culprits have not been arrested and the families are under tremendous pressure to withdraw the cases. Unless strict action is taken the processes of justice will be even further subverted.
3. In the matter of court cases, no fast track courts have been set up. In five of the cases which are in court, there is negligible legal support from the State and the families simply cannot afford to hire lawyers. It is essential to ensure legal help and fast track the cases.
We have come to you because the Haryana Government has not taken any action in spite of our earlier requests. We hope that with your intervention, the Government of Haryana will be persuaded to take the required action and the rape victims and their families can rebuild their lives in a secure environment. Further, we request you to take whatever action for rehabilitation for the victims, from the Home Ministry which you consider appropriate.
Brinda Karat Jagmati Sangwan
(Ex. Rajya Sabha (MP) (National Vice-President AIDWA)
Posted by CWDS LIBRARY BLOG at 11:11
WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION INDIA
NO. 2253- E , SHADI KHAMPUR, NEW RANJIT NAGAR,
PH: 011-25700476, 25709565
One month after the horrific
gangrape, the Central and State Governments are yet to learn any lessons. This
is shown by the refusal to pinpoint accountability and responsibility for those
responsible. Top police officials including the Police Commissioner and those
heading the Transport Ministry in Delhi
should have been acted against. Why has the Central Government and the Sheila
Dikshit Government not acted?
While expressing its solidarity with the family and the friend of the young woman who was also a victim, the AIDWA reiterates its demand for action against the Police Commissioner and those responsible for the Transport department in
demands that the Government provide assistance and support for the family now
and in the future and for the friend. The case must be completed speedily and
the criminals brought to justice
Yesterday a delegation of the AIDWA with Brinda Karat and Jagmati Sangwan met the Home Minister Shri Shinde to press for action from the Central Government on issues concerning sexual assault. However in spite of all the high sounding statements from the Central Government the attitude of the Home Minister did not inspire any confidence of a change in attitude to understand the urgency of issues involved. The delegation gave a memorandum (copy enclosed) on rape cases in neighbouring Haryana which cited 11 cases to illustrate Government attitude. The State Government has utterly failed to take action against police officials who violated the law, for rehabilitation of the rape survivors and for fast track courts. Many of the victims themselves were present.
The Home Minister had no answer as to why there was no monitoring of the Centre’s rehabilitation proposals to the States or why there was no funding for such schemes. It is shocking that there is still no urgency on the part of the Central Government to ensure action to make
safe for women and children which was exemplified by the attitude of the Home
The AIDWA demands that the Central Government ensure standard operating procedures in cases of sexual assault which must be followed throughout the country. This must include inquiry and action against police officials on basis of complaints of victims that they were further victimized by the police; rehabilitation for survivors; speedy justice procedures.
Sudha Sundar raman Jagmati Sangwan(General Secretary) (Vice President)
Posted by CWDS LIBRARY BLOG at 10:55
Wednesday, 9 January 2013
Seminar on " Exclusions from the Archive: histories of daughters devaluation and female infanticide in colonial India" 10th January 2013 at 3.00 PM
Jawaharlal Nehru University, Women's Studies Programme SSS-II, organised a Seminar on Exclusions from the archive: histories of daughters devaluation and female infanticide in colonial India" 10th January 2013 at 3.00 PM by Rashmi Bhatnagar(Pittsburg University; currently visiting Scholar, Delhi University)
Venue: Room No. 002, SSS-II, Jawaharlal Nehru University At 3.00 PM
Posted by CWDS LIBRARY BLOG at 16:00