The Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Shri Kiren Rijiju has said that the society must change its mindset towards improving Women’s Safety. Addressing representatives from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, the Philippines and Myanmar at the South Asian Women’s Peace & Security Conference here today, Shri Kiren Rijiju the efforts of the Government, Judiciary and the Police alone will not be sufficient to curb the menace. Gender bias and inequality are very grave in the country. I cannot imagine such atrocities still happening to women in the 21st century, he added.
Pointing out that the registration of Crimes against Women have reported an alarming rise in the recent years, Shri Kiren Rijiju said that claiming that this spurt is due to the tightening of the legal provisions and the mandatory registration of such crimes alone will not help. Shri Rijiju said, the fact is that such incidents are happening and there is no change in situation on the ground. Observing that crimes against women is a result of a deep rooted social problem, the Minister said that a country cannot claim to progress where women are not safe in the society. It is not a question of man or woman, it is a matter of humanity! The community, family members must be sensitized, the cause and the solution to this issue is also within each of us, he added.
Mentioning that India is a signatory to various regional and global conventions on Women’s Equality, Shri Rijiju said no country has such elaborate legal provisions as we have on the issue of Women’s Safety and Equality. India has a number of legal provisions for the protection of women, but the problem still lies in the mindset of society. We need to come together and collectively resolve this issue, he said.
The Minister received from the organizers of the conference, Control Arms Foundation of India (CAFI), a draft memorandum on the issue of women and security in India and urging for a National Action Plan. Assuring that the Government will seriously consider the recommendations made by the Conference to enhance Women’s Safety, Shri Rijiju remarked that the women are the first and worst sufferers in conflict zones worldwide and in the Disturbed Areas whether in the North-East or J&K. In contemporary conflicts, as much as 90 percent of casualties are among civilians, most of whom are women and children, he added. The Minister also cautioned against the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), saying that unimaginable stories of atrocities against women and their sufferings are emerging from the areas under their influence.
“I am here to show solidarity on these issues. Consider me part of your movement: let’s work together to ensure peace and security for women in these countries”, said Shri Rijiju in his concluding remarks.