Halting Increasing Oppression & Exploitation of Women: Women’s Rights and Strategies to Protect Women

  • Post category:Gender

The Workshop on Halting Increasing Oppression and Exploitation of Women in TamilNadu: Women’s Rights and Strategies to Protect Women concluded on 20th September 2014. This Meeting organized by Human Rights Advocacy and Research Foundation, SNEHA, Law Trust and Centre for Workers Management concluded with the following strategies and action plan.

  • In order to resist and expose patriarchy it is important to create wide spread sensitization of laws protecting women and social and cultural awareness about the roots of male domination not only for women but also for men. Committees to resist and expose Patriarchy violence and exploitation of women should be formed at least at the district levels and coordinated as a state level movement.
  • In order to promote Gender sensitization among the media workshops on above mentioned themes should be held for media representatives, judiciary, professionals, senior officers of the police and administration, public prosecutors and members of statutory human rights commissions. Including the State and District Legal Services Authorities and staff.
  • The Judiciary, the Police, statutory commissions, human rights commissions, public prosecutor’s and other institutions connected with criminal justice system should immediately be trained in the new laws governing women, especially violence and sexual abuse and specifically the Criminal law amendment Act 2013, The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012 and The Sexual Harassment and Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013
  • Sexual assault involving penetration must have a punishment of life imprisonment and not merely a maximum punishment of 7 years.
  • Amendments to Criminal Law, IPC, and Evidence Act should be widely published in popular form and disseminated similar to this different organization.
  • Women workers especially unorganized sector Workers should be paid equal wages as men. Minimum wages notified at today’s consumer prices is very inadequate and is marginally above the poverty line. Yet minimum wages should be notified for all sectors and should be the duty of the government and not the principle owner or contractor to decide or enforce these wages. The delegates at the meeting called for the payment of living wages which will guarantee not only some basic food items for minimum calorie consumption but ensure the all-round  development of the family including the right to education, health care, housing, adequate food, clothing, transport, essential commodities, savings etc.,
  • All forms of violence and torture including illegal detention, disappearances, murders and extra Judicial killings should be stopped in all custodial institutions.

Vital documents such as FIR, Post mortem report, Photographs and video coverage including hospital records especially with regard to sexual abuse and rape should be available for victims and activists. Most important custody memo should be served on the person arrested one copy to the friends and relatives without fail.

  • All women should be title holders of housing and minimum agricultural land and such tittles should guarantee not only possession but full ownership in the women’s name. Conditional Patta’s which permits the state to acquire such land or housing space should be repealed.
  • The Women inheritance of property act should be strictly enforced and such property should not become part of the joint family system. The giving and taking of dowry should be strictly monitored and penalties enforced.
  • Women should be involved in mapping, identifying, management and access of common resources in Panchayats and municipalities such as land, water bodies, real estate, conservation of agricultural land, polluting companies, sand mining etc., Women would jointly work as Grama sabha /ward members to get Panchayats committees / ward committees to approve such mapping and identification and ensure the first use of such resources for women especially Dalit women.
  • All marriages should be registered. The Practice of triple Talak as a Fatwah for divorcing of Muslim Women should be abanded and not recognized in law or by the Muslim clerics.
  • The Meeting also decided to work more effectively for the unity of women’s organisations and constant sensitizing of women. The delegates agreed that they should be working in a stronger manner with the brutalized and exploited women and support them in accessing the Criminal Justice system and Right to Information Public Authorities.

58 delegates from several organisations in various districts participated. Delegates included Sudha Ramalingam, Advocate, V.Suresh, National President, PUCL, B.Ajeetha, advocate, P.Selvi, advocate, Mr.K.Krishnan-Director, NASC, Jesurethinam, Convenor, Coastal Action Network, Gandhimathi, Researcher and core committee member, CASSA.