Focus: GS II: Polity and Governance
Why in News?
The Hon’ble President of India will address the 31st Foundation Day of the National Commission for Women in Delhi.
- The theme of the programme is ‘Sashakt Nari Sashakt Bharat’ aimed at acknowledging and celebrating the stories of women who have excelled and paved their journey to leave a mark.
About the National Commission for Women (NCW)
- The National Commission for Women (NCW) is the statutory body of the Government of India – Established under provisions of the 1990 National Commission for Women Act.
- NCW is generally concerned with advising the government on all policy matters affecting women.
- The objective of the NCW is to represent the rights of women in India and to provide a voice for their issues and concerns.
- The subjects of their campaigns have included dowry, politics, religion, equal representation for women in jobs, and the exploitation of women for labour.
- They have also discussed police abuses against women.
- The commission regularly publishes a monthly newsletter, Rashtra Mahila, in both Hindi and English.
Violence against women in India
- The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) data show that 24% of women faced domestic violence in 2015-16 not seeing any reduction since 2005-06.
- Compared to the survey results, the actual reports of domestic violence to the police are negligible at 58.8/ one lakh women.
- The disparity between the crimes reported in a survey and registered with the police highlights how women are unlikely to seek help.
- The more telling statistic from the NFHS data is perhaps that 52% of the surveyed women and 42% of the surveyed men think there is at least one valid reason for wife-beating.
- This attitude highlights how ingrained and normalised the idea is such that an abused woman should not expect support from others.
- The NFHS data also highlight how the proportion of women reporting violence is increasing among families with lower wealth.
- The lockdown due to the pandemic is leading to a substantial negative income shock for everyone.
- In our interviews with unorganised sector workers, we often heard that women suffered domestic violence coupled with the husband’s alcoholism.
- The NFHS data also show a high correlation between alcohol intake and domestic violence. Keeping in mind that access to alcohol may be limited in these times, frustration could also lead to abuse.
Constitutional Safeguards and Legislations
- Fundamental Rights: It guarantees all Indian women equality (Article 14), no discrimination by the State on the basis of gender (Article 15(1)) and special provisions to be made by the State in favour of women (Article 15(3)).
- Directive Principles of State Policies (DPSP): It ensures equal pay for equal work (Article 39 (d)).
- Fundamental Duties: It ensures that practices derogatory to the dignity of women are prohibited under Article 51 (A).
- Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005: It provides victims of domestic violence with a means for practical remedy through prosecution.
- The Dowry Prohibition Act 1961: It prohibits the request, payment or acceptance of a dowry.
- The sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and redressal) Act, 2013: This legislative act seeks to protect women from sexual harassment at their place of work.