Many programs and strategies were launched to ensure women safety and provide them equal status in the society. But these moves did not yield fruitful results owing to various obvious reasons.
This very target of ensuring equality and respect for women cannot be achieved only by good education as the society too plays a major role in the development of the nation.
Right from the early days a person learns majorly by observing the surroundings. Education teaches him the basic but respecting women is learnt by observing the happenings around him.
It must be noted that most slum areas are prone to violence against women. And women are mostly subjected to atrocities in the slums.
Furthermore, if a child witnesses domestic violence he learns it by default.
The government cannot be blamed completely for it. Bending the laws and using it to one's interest make matter worse.
There is no dearth of laws in India but regrettably, very few are aware of them.
Act prohibiting the practice of sati (in 1850)
Cast disabilities removal Act, 1850
The Hindu widow remarriage act, 1856
The special marriage Act III of 1872
The married women's property act, 1874
The child marriage Act, 1929
The Hindu gains of earning Act, 1930
The Hindu women's right to property, 1937
The Christian marriage Act, 1872
The Parsee marriage and divorce Act, 1936
The dissolution of the Muslim marriage Act 1939
These acts seem to be very impressive but are only found on paper and are not reflected in the actual society. These acts can be effective only if it comes into action. Most of the people are unaware about these acts and are unable gain anything out of it. Focus should be on making people aware about these laws.
There are two ways to end violence against women
(1) Aiming for institutional and policy change, implementing effective laws and policies.
(2) Aiming for bringing in a change in the individual behavior and social norms and attitudes.
Raising awareness to end violence is about changing people's heart and mind.
Let us get united for the cause and build a better society.
(by Adita Mehta)