Violence against women in India
AWARE wrote an Open Letter to the Prime Minister of India on violence against women in India, calling for the State to take immediate action against widespread gender violence in the nation.
2 January 2013
The Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) of Singapore is horrified by the brutal gang rape of the young Indian woman who died in Singapore on 29 December 2012. We add our voice to the many calling for urgent and decisive action by your Government to tackle the enormous problem of violence against women in India.
The statistics are shocking: in 2011 almost 90 per cent of violent crimes in India were committed against women, or 228,650 out of the 256,329 cases logged by the police. No one knows how many more went unreported.
Violence against women is a global problem. AWARE has, in Singapore, been addressing this problem for almost 30 years. We know that for any country it is a complex issue that needs to be tackled at many levels, and that for India it is an even more complicated matter. But a start must be made, and the time is now.
India ratified the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) 20 years ago, in 1993. India’s report to CEDAW in 2007 states: “the Government acknowledges that the ever increasing violence against women is yet another manifestation of low and unequal status of women”. Steps taken to address this are clearly inadequate since violence against women continues to be perpetrated with impunity.
We urge you to heed UN Women’s call to your Government “to take up radical reforms, ensure justice and reach out with robust public services to make women’s lives more safe and secure.” We also support the public statement “Condemn sexual violence, oppose death penalty” made by at least 649 women’s and progressive groups and individuals in India. We hope that implementation of the actions recommended in this statement would significantly reduce violence against women in India.
India is the world’s largest democracy and one of the world’s largest economies. Its female citizens – half the population – should not be living in constant fear.
Winifred Loh, President
on behalf of the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE)