Mahatma Gandhi Community Forum

Violence aganist women meaning, concept, types and its effects by Prof. Vibhuti Patel

Subject:Adult Education Paper: Women Studies
Women's rights movement in India gained a national character with an anti-rape movement in 1980. Its genesis lay in the excesses committed by the state repressive machinery during the Emergency Rule in India from 1975 to 1977. For many middle class women it came as a major shock. In the post emergency period, civil liberties organisations also highlighted rape of women in the police custody, mass rape of poor, untouchable and Muslim women during caste and communal riots and sexual molestation of tribal women by Central Reserve Police (CRP), State Reserve Police (SRP) and other para-military forces. The print media gave an enormous coverage to the testimonies of women victims of sexual violence. Many began to question the powers given to the police and State authorities in the control of people's lives. In 1980, when the Supreme Court of India gave its verdict on the Mathura Rape Case, there was a national outcry.

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Comment by Prof. Vibhuti Patel on May 21, 2018 at 20:01

Social Paradim

Women's status in the family is determined by PANCHMAHABHOOTA (five omnipresent factors) of Patriarchy (PP), namely the caste/ kinship network, religion, economic status, media and the state. PP draws their strength from male dominance and female subordination. Lifecycle of a woman is governed by value system, which promotes preferential treatment for men and neglect of women. Ante natal sex-determination tests, female infanticide, neglect of daughter in terms of food, health care and educational facilities and personality development result into stunted growth of women. Nearly 40 % of marriages in South Asia are child marriages. Teenage pregnancy takes place both within marriage and among unmarried girls due to rape, seduction, incest, child prostitution (Roy, 2003). Discrimination and violence faced by women, from womb to tomb make women suffer from the sense of low self- esteem and psychological dependence.

Female Infanticide & Female Foeticide in India Create Adverse Juvenile Sex Ratio:
Historical legacy of strong son-preference and neglect of daughters has taken a dangerous turn where scientific technologies for sex-determination such as amniocentesis, chorion-villi-biopsy, foetoscopy, sonography are abused for selective abortion of female fetuses by money-minded medical professionals (Patel, 2002, 03, 04). Sex-selective abortion of female foetuses accounted for 17.6 % of 1492 induced abortions in a sample survey in India (Ganatara, Hirve and Rao, 2001). New reproductive technologies of pre-selection of unborn babies prevent birth of girl child. Several Asian countries have declining sex-ratio i.e. number of women as compared to 1000 men is less than 1000. Noble laureate, Prof. Amartya Kumar Sen calls this phenomenon “missing Women” (Sen, 1992). This is a manifestation of discrimination and stigmatization of women delivering daughters. “Sex selection in society occurs in the context of entrenched values, interests and cultural beliefs and practices. Their eradication requires investment in long-term strategies and economic and social development and educational and cultural empowerment” (Chee, 2002). It is a matter of deep regret that even the states in Asia perceive this phenomenon as an indicator of population stabilization, logic being less number of women means less reproduction. The women’s movement has emphasized that
“Eliminate Inequality, not Women”, “Destroy Dowry, not Daughters”,
Say “No” to Sex-determination, Say “Yes” to Empowerment of Women,
Say “No” to Sex Discrimination, Say “Yes” to Gender Justice.
“Daughters are not for slaughter”.

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