S Sharma | Oct 28, 2020 | 3 min read
Patna, Bihar: Social activists from Bihar allege that women's safety is not a priority for politicians even as crimes against women continue to increase and the matter remains absent from parties' manifestos.
In the past two decades, crimes against women have risen steadily. According to the Bihar Police, the annual number of reported rape cases have risen from 746 in 2001 to 1,450 in 2019.
Dilmani Mishra, Bihar women commission chief, stated that they are active and are trying to resolve as many cases as soon as possible.
Similarly, Women Helpline, a part of the Women Development Corporation, has seen an increase in reported domestic violence cases. It rose from 483 cases in 2015 to 750 till September 2020.
Even though the Women Helpline is working hard in all districts, the crime against women has increased, Project Manager of Patna chapter of Women Helpline Pramila Kumari told 101Reporters.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the number of cases of crimes against women has increased by 9.8% in the 2018-2019 period. The NCRB also ranks Bihar second in the number of dowry deaths, which increased from 1,275 in 2012 to 1,373 in 2014.
Bihar State Women Commission. Credits: S Sharma
Speaking to 101Reporters, Guru Prakash Paswan, National Spokesperson, Bharatiya Janata Party, mentioned that they have worked towards improving the girls' gross enrollment ratio in schools and added that the Bihar Panchayat Amendment Act, 2006, has boosted women to stand as representatives of the people. “Our belief is empowering overall women's development when it comes to women's status through which we target to achieve high women security, which is an important issue when it comes to a place where we can see women are fiercely participating in education and political areas,” he commented.
However, Shilpi Singh, director of Bhoomika Bihar, a non-governmental organisation working for the empowerment of adolescent girls, believes that political parties should reflect on preventive and protection measures on tackling eve-teasing, molestations, or growing rape cases in Bihar.
“It's surprising that politicians frequently talk about women reservation but never include the issue of sexual violence in its core agenda. In Bihar, the issues of women's security are treated in the name of mutual settlement rather than identifying an individual's problems. Perhaps this is why the people of political parties also consider the issue of women's security as a family matter. Women should play an important role both while developing political parties' manifesto and during its implementation,” she commented.
The president of The Plurals Party Pushpam Priya Chaudhary stated that the action on crime against women will be effective only when the gender and development aspect is incorporated.
“We will have to hit the core of the problem, the uneven power relation between men and women. Our manifesto discusses providing quality education and creating economic opportunities for both sexes to make them economically independent,” she told 101Reporters.
She said they would also focus on the law and order aspect and improve CCTV surveillance and create a special policing unit.
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