A Four Week Online Certificate Training Course on “Ending Violence Against Women: Awareness of Laws and Policies in India”, organized by the Gender Impact Studies Center (GISC), at the IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi. The session was on “Ensuring Safety of Women in Homes: Special Remarks” by Prof. Bijayalaxmi Nanda, Principal, and Professor of Political Science, Miranda House, University of Delhi.
Reproductive Rights and Gender biased Sex Selection- Dilemmas of Feminist Politics
Prof. Bijayalaxmi Nanda covered some relevant point surrounding the concerned activism by talking about the experiment an activist of the region said:
Krishna Kumar was involved with the issue with great enthusiasm rarely seen in bureaucrats today, but his methods were very unconventional and sometimes worked against the rights of women. For example, the monitoring of pregnancies of women led to pressures on them and also hampered their privacy. If they wanted to abort for reasons other than sex selection, they found it difficult to do so as they would then have to prove their case then. There was a macabre method that was adopted where a shok sabha was organized for the dead female fetus near areas (houses and nursing homes) where it was believed that sex selective abortion had taken place.
GENDER BIASED SEX-SELECTION
• Gender biased sex-selection is commonly practiced. The availability of the scheme propels a weighing of options (Rs 3500 for Sex determination and Sex-selective abortion v/s Rs,1 lakh of the scheme) leading to an advantage in the case of the 2nd born daughter. This however weakens in the next order of pregnancy.
• The scheme thus scratches the surface without addressing the core issues of gender discrimination here.
• Jean Dreze (2002) questions the wisdom of bribing parents to keep their daughters thereby reinforcing stereotypes that they are liabilities.
THE MARKET, MARRIAGE AND BEAUTY MYTHS
• A consumerist market, and a glossy, glamorized idea of marriage and sexuality of brides has captured the imagination of young minds where being a trendy and beautified bride is a significant marker of status and self-worth.
• Although it was clear that the promise of cash transfers brought about a sense of security and confidence in women and girls, there was little evidence of changes in their decision-making roles or bargaining power and even less evidence of their increased voice within the community.
Concluding Remarks: Ensuring Safety of Women
Prof Vibhuti Patel concluded the session by highlighting the important step towards criminal justice system that needs to be more sensitive and responsive to make legal safeguards effective at ground level that is large scale impactful training full training to ensure robust standard operating procedures for filing First Information Report, judicial and time bounding investigation and meticulous detailing in the charge sheet that has happen.
She talks about police and general system has to be trained continuously and gender sensitization programs needs to be conducted. Need for speedy justice funds and functionaries must be allocated for fast report cases across states and Union Territories. Communication around rural and urban areas for awareness and creation of accountability system needs to be strengthened.
Acknowledgement: Aqsa is a research intern at IMPRI.
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