‘Mahila adalat’ a good move


Women from eight states congregated in here today at Jantar Mantar to register their complaints with the UPA Government. Their issues ranged from anti-women policies in special economic zones to crime against women in Jammu and Kashmir. The protest was organised by the All India Progressive Women Association (AIPWA) in the form of a Mahila Adalat. “Even after 60 years of independence, the situation of Dalits, especially women, is still the same as it was before independence. There is an urgent need for a change,” said Srilata Swaminathan, President, AIPWA. Talking about the effect of communal violence on the lives of Dalit and Muslim women, Tahira Hasan, convener, Tahreek a Niswan, the Muslim wing of AIPWA, said: “UP has a bad history of communal violence and the effect of this violence on women has always been devastating.”
Pratima Imhipi from Karbi Amlong district in Assam has travelled across the country to force the Government to address the issue of crime against women in India’s far flung states. She said violence against women has increased after the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) came into force. She added that the security forces were misusing the Act against women. Issues related to violence against women, increasing unemployment among women due to various Government anti-poor and anti-women policies were also discussed. “The UPA Government is responsible for the dismal condition of women across the country,” said Kumudni Pati, General Secretary of the AIPWA. “The horrendous incidents of Khairlanji, Nithari, Shravasti or Mau belie that we are a modern and progressive nation. The way of functioning of the police force reveals that our Government has no intention of helping women in getting justice,” said Brinda Grover, a Supreme Court lawyer. “Dalit and Muslim women are not safe even in Uttar Pradesh, which has a Dalit Chief Minister,” said Sarwat Khan, a lecturer in Udaipur.

The adverse effect of special economic zones on the employment of women and violence against women in Singur and Nandigram were also brought up by activists from West Bengal. Issues related to the denial of jobs and minimum wages to women under National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and exploitation of women in industries like coal sector were also discussed.

Source:Indian Express

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