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August 8, 2014

Lok Sabha: Ratna De Nag speaks about the rising number of crimes against women

Lok Sabha: Ratna De Nag speaks about the rising number of crimes against women

Trinamool MP Ratna De Nag today urged the society to change its attitude towards women and come forward to protect the rights of women and children in India. She highlighted the gory statistics of sexual violence against women and also mentioned the ways West Bengal is tackling this issue.

Transcript of her speech:

Gender based violence not only violates human rights butalso restricts economic growth and undermines development. It can only beeliminated by addressing discrimination and promoting women's equalities andempowerment. Here I would like to mention something about my state. West BengalChief Minister Mamata Banerjee is trying to empower women with limitedresources. For example she had introduced the Kanyashree Scheme to help girl children to study, she established womenpolice stations in different districts, made hostels for girls, and executed 30%reservation of women in Lok sabha.

The possible gender equalities of women rights are enshrinedin our Constitution. The Constitution grants equality to women. Womenconstitute nearly half of the country's total population as per the 2011census. Delhi's gang rape on 16th December, 2012 outraged thenations. What irks me the most is that the people behind this in a crime areyet to get punishment. Justice delayed is justice denied.

We had to see the fast-track courts are really fastt indispensing justice. There is a need to plug all the loopholes so that we canpunish the culprit as early as possible. Since then unfortunately more and moreatrocities against women are reported from the different parts of the country,recent being Meerut gang rape. What is stopping the Central Government fromsetting up more special courts or fast-track court to try the cases ofatrocities against the women? It is interesting to know that fast-track courtswere first thought of by the 11th Finance Commission 2000-2005 as an ad-hocinstitution to address the urgent problem of backlog.

There is an urgent need to address the problems being facedby the women and girls who are subject to physical and sexual abuse,psychological and economic abuse and all sorts of assault. Also widespreadharmful additional practices including early and forced marriages within thecommunity should be stopped. I say so because these developments in their life atsuch an early stage would leave an endurable impact as the growth and attitudetoward their life itself changes.

It is disturbing for any right thinking person to know thatin India every 26 minutes a woman is molested, every 30 minutes a rape takesplace, every 42 minutes a sexual incident occurs, every 43 minutes a woman iskidnapped, every 93 minutes a woman is burned to death over dowry. But last butnot the least, one quartet of reported rape cases involve girls under the ageof sixteen.

India has the largest young population; 42% are below 18years of age. Of late, sexual harassment of school children has come as a greatshock. The incident of sexual harassment at a Bangalore school was a greatshock but this is not an isolated incident. We often come across theexploitation of children in juvenile homes and orphanages. These orphanages andjuvenile homes should be monitored with the intention of ensuring safety andsecurity of children. The homes should not become a den of sexual harassment ofchildren. There is no dearth of laws, Acts, procedures, rules and regulationsbut the problem is about the implementation. Proper measure should be put inplace to see that all the laws and Acts related to women and children should beimplemented in letter and spirit and justice is delivered to them in time.

We have 62 women MPs in the 16th Lok Sabha. According to the73rd and 74th Amendments to the Constitution of Indiawomen have reservations in the local bodies in panchayat and municipalities.And we are demanding 30% reservation for women in Parliament. India is surgingahead in every sphere yet we come across the incidents of atrocities againstwomen. This is really a tragedy of the worst kind.

Violence against women is comprehensive and involves allstake holders. Men have a role specially in preventing the violence and therole needs to be further explored and strengthened. Work to end violenceagainst women requires not only a clear demonstration of political commitment,but also systemic and sustained action backed by dedicated and permanentinstitution of mechanism. Government should take responsibility for thesystemic collection and publication of data supporting NGOs, academics andothers. Only legislation of laws and agencies cannot prevent the incidents ofviolence against women. There is an urgent need for social awareness andchanging attitude of this society to give due respect and equal status towomen.

In this regard all stake holders should come forward to defendthe right of women and children. And at last I live in hope of seeing that awoman is living in dignity and honour in this great country without facing anytype of atrocities whatsoever, and very child enjoy their life to the fullestby playing, learning, living with all love and affections showered on them. Itwill become a reality provided we all stride together, everyone out there inthe society contribute to this cherished goal towards our women and children.