Context- The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and UN Women has recently released the global research brief on the gender-related killings of women and girls.
- Gender-based killings of women and girls can be defined as intentional acts based on gender-related factors.
- Factors: These may include ideology about the rights and privileges of men over women, social norms about masculinity, and the need to protect male control or power, enforce gender roles, or prevent, discourage or punish what is not considered acceptable female behavior.
- Trends: Nearly 89,000 women and girls were intentionally killed worldwide in 2022, the highest annual number in two decades. Although the total number of murders worldwide began to decrease in 2022, the number of murders of women is not decreasing.
- Family-related murder: In 2022, approximately 48,800 women and girls worldwide will be killed by their intimate partners or other family members. Women make up about 53% of all domestic homicide victims and 66% of all intimate partner homicide victims. In contrast, only 12 percent of male homicide victims were killed by someone they knew.
- Regional estimate: With around 20,000 victims in 2022, Africa has overtaken Asia as the region with the highest number of victims in absolute terms – for the first time since 2013.
- Indian scenario: Gender-based killings have declined in India over the past decade. The killing of women for dowry, the accusation of witchcraft and other gender-related factors still continues.
UN recommendations on measures against femicide
- Promote change in social norms and attitudes harmful to women through early and ongoing educational programs and awareness raising.
- Promote safety audits for women to create a safer urban environment, for example by improving street and passage lighting and more frequent police patrols.
- Promote strategies and actions by relevant authorities and civil society to encourage reporting and early detection of violence that can lead to gender-related killings of women.
- Ensure that women have equal protection under the law and equal opportunities for justice.
- Ensure that victims receive prompt and accurate information about their rights.
- Sufficient personal and financial resources are provided to ensure the rights of victims.
Violence against women in India
- Violence against women in India is a complex and multifaceted problem with deep historical, cultural and socio-economic roots. Some of the key aspects of violence against women in India are:
- Domestic Violence: Domestic violence is prevalent in India across socio-economic backgrounds. This includes physical, mental and financial abuse in the home.
- Sexual Violence: Incidents such as rape, molestation and molestation occur in public places, workplaces and homes.
- Female infanticide and feticide: Female infanticide (killing female infants) and fecicide (abortion of female fetuses) remain problems due to cultural preferences for male children and biased gender relations.
- Dowry System: Despite being an illegal dowry system, it is still prevalent in many parts of India. Dowry violence includes harassment, physical violence and even murder when dowry demands are not met.
- Honor killings: Families may resort to violence, including murder, to protect their honor, especially in inter-caste or inter-religious relationships.
- Cultural Norms and Gender Inequality: Deep-rooted patriarchal norms and gender inequality foster an environment where violence against women, including femicide, is tolerated or ignored.
Indian government measures against femicide
- Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005: This legislation aims to protect women from domestic violence and provide remedies to victims. This includes physical, emotional, verbal, financial and sexual abuse in the home.
- Crimes (Amendment) Act 2013: This amendment broadened the definition of sexual offences, increased penalties for certain offenses and introduced new offences, such as acid attacks. It was implemented in response to the Nirbhaya incident, a brutal gang rape in Delhi in 2012.
- Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao: Launched in 2015, this national campaign focuses on calculating the sex ratio of children, preventing female infanticide, and promoting education and training. . empowering girls.
- Fast track courts: Special fast track courts have been set up to expedite the handling of cases of violence against women, including femicide.
- One Stop Centers (OSC): These centers provide integrated support to survivors such as medical, legal and counseling services.
- Women’s Helpline and Mobile Apps: The Ministry of Women and Child Development operates a national helpline (181) to help women in distress. In addition, mobile apps such as the “Panic Button” have been released to improve women’s safety by allowing them to send emergency alerts.
Source: The Hindu