Women’s Day Celebration Is Not Just Wishing, Women Safety A Bigger Concern

by Shatakshi Gupta

Today all of us are celebrating International Women’s Day, but we must take a break and think that is it only a day that we need to celebrate! Does it limits itself to just wishing all those women around us? How can we just ignore that if today we are celebrating women, then at the same time it is our responsibility of protecting them, giving them a safe environment to move around.

Do you know, NCRB data reveals that the rate of crime against women had increased by 7.3 percent from year 2018 to 2019. Why is this really happening, did we ever gave thought to it. Every woman, no matter it being a sister, mother, wife, young small girls, no one is safe these days. The same data also shows that India reports 87 rape cases each day. Also we must keep in mind that these are ones which are reported and recorded, but still there are ample numbers of cases which don’t even come in light amid societal pressure.

Here, we must also cerebrate that are the reported cases receiving timely justice, because justice delayed is justice denied. We must note that, by the end of the year 2018, around 1,38,642 rape cases were pending, as per the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) data.

Though the entire country celebrated that day which wrote justice to Nirbhaya, but are we really concern or thoughtful about so many other victims and so many other cases, still awaiting their turn. Do we really give a thought to the fact that it took seven long years for Nirbhaya’s case. So many stringent steps have been taken in this direction but their proper implementation is still to be made. Delhi reported rise of 353% in terms of pendency of rape case trials in the year 2018, which was highest in the country.

Despite, setting up the targets of establishing 1,023 Fast Track Special Courts by the central government, still too much has not been achieved from it. There are certain laws on rape as well as POCSO Act, for special and fast track disposal of such reported cases, but we need to better ok this aspect too.

When we talk about the crime against women, how can we set aside domestic violence? According to the NCRB 2019 report, it also stated that the majority (30.9%) of the total 4.05 lakh cases under violence against women were registered under the Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code. Adding to this, lockdown era further showed a rise in the cases of domestic violence, as more number of cases of were reported across the country specifically during the coronavirus lockdown.

Source: ANI News

To make it more clear, Section 498A of the IPC is a criminal law that is meant for protecting the married women from their spouses and the relatives of the spouse from inflicting cruelty on women.

According to the ANI News, during the coronavirus lockdown as many as 1309 cases of domestic violence were reported in the state of Uttarakhand.

Although, we hold the largest share of crimes against women, but still domestic violence is considered to be an under-reported crime. As per the Wire, the reasons for it range from ‘embarrassment, financial dependency, fear of retaliation, victim-blaming to following a convoluted bureaucratic procedure. Determining the extent of this underreporting is useful to understand the true state of the prevalence of domestic violence in India.’

Also read: Nirbhaya case: An anatomy after 7 years

Recently, a report which was released by the Oxfam also revealed that, the Nirbhaya Fund lies largely unused or underutilized. Rather these funds which were actually set up for enhancing women’s safety are being used for buildings roads and railways, for improving lighting on roads and railway stations. Making it clear that Nirbhaya Fund was set up by the UPA-2 government aftermath Delhi’s heinous crime which shook the complete nation.

In a country like India, where women is worshiped as Goddess Durga, is recording highest number of cases where women are victims. Do we really respect women?

When we speak of women empowerment, at the same time we must also raise our voice for those women who are now victims. It is not all that has to be done only by our government, but we too have power in our hands, and this can be achieved by educating and creating awareness. Because, gender-based violence has to be curtailed if women have to be empowered.