Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Giriraj Singh today said that any violence against women should not be seen through the prism of religion and it should be condemned outrightly by all without any prejudices.
Quoting figures from the National Crime Records Bureau's (NCRB) 'Crime in India 2021' report. Shri Singh expressed serious concern that India registered 31,677 cases of rape in 2021 - an average 86 daily - while nearly 49 cases of crime against women were lodged every single hour.
The number of rape cases in 2020 was 28,046, while it was 32,033 in 2019.Shri Singh was speaking after the Launch of “A Community-led National Campaign Against Gender-Based Discrimination” of Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission in New Delhi.
The month-long campaign titled, “Nai Chetna-Pahal Badlav Ki” with the theme of ‘Elimination of Gender-Based Violence’ will be conducted as a 'Jan Andolan' (people's movement) in all the States/UTs of the country from 25th November to 23rd of December, 2022.
This will be an annual campaign focussing on specific gender issues each year. The focus area of the campaign this year is Gender Based Violence. This campaign will be implemented by all states in collaboration with CSO partners, and actively executed by all levels including the State, District, Block engaging the Community Institutions along with the extended community.
The Campaign will also bring together all line departments and stakeholders to create a concerted effort in acknowledging, identifying and addressing issues of violence. Over the years this campaign will incorporate an intersectional approach deepening the understanding of gender and generating relevance and ownership in all departments and verticals with a multisectoral approach.
As part of the campaign, there will be knowledge workshops, leadership training, seminars on sexual violence and redressal mechanisms.Shri Singh said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this year’s Independence Day speech spoke about gender equality and the importance of honouring women in day-to-day lives.
Shri Modi said, “A distortion has crept in our conduct and we at times insult women. It's important to get rid of every speech and conduct that lowers the dignity of women”.Shri Singh said, Prime Minister is taking all steps for empowerment of women and said only Atmanirbhar Women will help in making an Atmanirbhar Bharat.
Lauding the progress of the DAY-NRLM Mission, Shri Singh said, in 2014, there were 2.35 Crore SHG members, but after Modi’s active support in the last 8 years, the number of SHG members has now swelled to about 9 Crore. He said, the target is to achieve 10 crore members by 2024.
The Minister also informed that the cumulative loan to SHGs was about Rs 80.000 crore before 2014 and now the bank linkage has crossed over 5.7 lakh crore in the last 8 years, with an NPA of just 2.1%.Shri Giriraj Singh said, each women beneficiary must save at least one lakh rupees per annum through sale of local products.
He said, day is not far away when some of the lakhpati Didis will earn Rs 10 lakhs per annum.Shri Singh also inaugurated 160 Gender Resource Centres in 13 states, which he described as “Naari Chetna Kendras”. It will work with One Stop Centres (OSCs) of WCD Ministry intended to support women affected by violence, in private and public spaces, within the family, community and at the workplace.
There are 1,251 gender resource centres set up across the country from where women facing gender violence can seek help.Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Union Minister of State for Rural Development, in her address said, there was no concept of gender discrimination during the Upanishad era and said that fiercely independent philosophers like Gargi and Maitreya were examples of the women power of India.
She said, the “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” campaign of PM Modi has resulted in increased awareness and sensitization of the masses regarding prevalence of gender bias and role of community in eradicating it. During the last 8 years the Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) has improved in many states including Haryana.
Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti said, for India to maintain its position as a global growth leader, more concerted efforts at local, State and National levels, taking a whole-of-government-whole-of-society approach, is needed to bring women on par with men.
She said, while increasing representation of women in the public spheres is important and can potentially be attained through affirmative actions, an attitudinal shift is essential for women to be considered as equal within their homes and in the broader society. This campaign is an attempt to bring such an attitudinal shift in the minds of all concerned, she added.
Union Minister of State for Rural Development and Steel, Shri Faggan Singh Kulaste said in an address via video conferencing that it is a sad scenario in the country that a large number of men and women still consider gender-based violence normal and this perspective must be changed.
He said, women should come forward and speak up against any kind of discrimination and there are enough legal remedies to address the same. The Minister said, the campaign is targeting the rural women and will be undertaken through the Self-Help Groups registered with the government.
Nagendra Nath Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development said that it is totally unacceptable that 30 percent of all married women between 15 to 49 years of age face some kind of violence and 45 percent people see this as normal. Quoting the NFHS-5 data, Shri Sinha said, as many as 77% women never sought any help from anyone about the violence inflicted on them and this trend has to be fought vigorously.
Shri Sinha said, Nai Chetna is a people's campaign, triggered and mobilised by the Central government and will be joined by 30 State Missions. He said, the idea is to bring the issue of gender-based violence in focus and make women aware of their rights and mechanism available to help redress their grievances.
Shri Charanjeet Singh, Additional Secretary said, this campaign is being launched on the same day as the UN General Assembly has designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. He said, this campaign will be longer than any international campaign.
OSD in the Ministry of Rural Development Shri Shailesh Kumar Singh, Smt Nita Kejrewal, Joint Secretary and other senior officials of the Ministry joined today’s programme.It may be recalled that Gender-based violence (GBV) is a global pandemic that affects 1 in 3 women in their lifetime.
DAY-NRLM recognizes this social evil as a major hindrance towards achieving individual and social development and hence aims to take necessary actions for eliminating Gender Based Violence. As part of its ongoing effort of mobilizing and addressing issues of marginalized communities and women DAY-NRLM emphasises on the need for creating institutional mechanisms for responding to issues related to gender, along with integration of gender in all vertical for larger perspective shift.
DAY-NRLM has identified Gender Based Violence as the inaugural theme for its NAYI CHETNA campaign and as is embarking on a month-long intensive drive from 25th November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
The drive will aim at building capacities of women and the marginalized to identify and acknowledge the different forms of violence that they experience, as well as, respond to it by speaking up, sharing with others, and seeking support for acting on the injustice inflicted.
As part of its institutional strengthening efforts DAY-NRLM has been establishing Gender Resource Centres (GRC) at block level to provide a community managed platform from where the inequalities and discrimination on the basis of gender could be protested, and where victims or aggrieved persons could seek redressal through the support of other departments and agencies working on those issues.