No denying the fact that the crime rate against women is increasing rapidly. Crimes such as rape, domestic violence, and sexual assault are seen commonly nowadays. The patriarchal system proves disadvantageous for a woman. She is given a lower status and seen as a liability. Further woman faces several atrocities in her married life such as torture by in-laws, dowry demands, marital rape, etc. Marital rape is still not considered a crime in India. Marriage is itself considered as the implicit consent of a woman. Some of the rape cases even have been in international coverage. Honor killing is too seen in rural areas. Witchcraft related murder is also seen in remote areas.
Women are not only considered as inferior in India but also in major nations of the world. According to Manu, a woman is never self-dependant in her whole life. During childhood she is dependent on her father, then after marriage on her husband. In old age, she is dependent on her son. In Hindu, methodology the son is considered superior to daughter since he can relieve their ancestors from suffering.
Women are breaking set norms and entering the workforce. Earlier, a woman who comes home late is seen as a woman associated with bad work or prostitute. Identity crises have been arising. Women are breaking set images by doing a job. Social structure is changing. It is exposing them to more risk and changing their image.
Politicians and influencers sometimes make such a statement that incites violence against women. For political propaganda, a woman is used as a tool. Once I came across the statement of a politician who was justifying the rape accuser by saying that they were boys only, and asked for forgiveness. Such a statement is detrimental to a woman’s image and sees them as a mere object of satisfaction.
Low economy or bad growth also increases the crime rate. In bad economic or poor condition the happiness index of a citizen is very low. Low happiness index somewhere allows them to incline towards the inhumane side. In such cases, the crime rate against women increases rapidly.
For a woman residing in India and citizen, freedom doesn’t mean only those which are guaranteed under the Indian Constitution. It also means more opportunities, jobs and increased safety, and protection of women. For ensuring that women are empowered the government needs to play a vital role to enable women’s welfare in various sectors. Some of the measures taken by the government to prevent crimes again women include the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013. This Act came in force for effective deterrence against sexual crimes against women. Further, a new Act i.e., The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018, came in force and prescribed even harsher and stringent penal provisions which involve the death penalty for raping a girl under 12 years of age. It also makes it mandatory for the completion of trials and investigation within 2 months each. The Emergency Response support system (ERSS), provides a single, pan India, an internationally recognized number that is 112 based system for emergencies, with the computer-aided release of field resource to the location of distress. The Ministry of Home Affairs launched a cybercrime portal back in 2018 for people to report the obscene content. The MHA has also launched the “National Database on Sexual Offenders” for facilitating the investigation and for keeping track of sexual offenders across the country by the law enforcement agencies. Another scheme termed as One Stop Centre Scheme (OSC) Scheme is in force since the year 2015, which is designed exclusively for providing integrated services such as police assistance, medical aid, court case management/legal counseling and temporary shelter for the women affected by violence under one roof. According to available information, 782 OSCs have been approved by the government, 595 are operational. Apart from these, many welfare schemes like Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Mahila-E-Haat, Mahila Shakti Kendras, Working Women Hostels, Support to training and employment Programme for women (STEP) and Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana.
Edited by Ojaswi Gupta
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje