TODAY -

India: International Women's Day requires regrouping to claim lost ground

Avinash Pandey *



In functioning democracies based on rule of law, International Women’s Day would be a solemn occasion to mark victories for valiant struggles for the rights of women, to commemorate them, to celebrate them and to reaffirm our faith in continuing the struggle, until ‘women own half the earth and half the sky’.

In functioning democracies, every new International Women’s Day provides an occasion to take stock of how far ahead the country has come regarding women’s rights from where it was last year. Unfortunately, International Women’s Day in India marks the ground lost, and hard won victories being erased by regressive forces.

Despite all its claims of being the world’s most ancient civilisation, with the worship of female goddesses, India has one of the worst track records in women’s rights, from infant mortality, to education, to violence against women. To put this in perspective, the World Economic Forum ranked India at an abysmally low 108th in its Gender Gap Index out of 149 countries.

This ranking would have been lower, with India ranking 147th in women’s health and survival. However, its improvements in wage equality for similar work, as well as managing to fully close the tertiary education gender gap, saved India somewhat. It must also be mentioned that India is included in the list of least improvement in the health and survival category for an entire decade.

Women in India also suffer from rape, dowry killings, honor killings for daring to marry outside one’s caste/gotra/community, forced marriages, and denial of the right to work. India’s sex ratio further underlines the lack of gender justice in the country.

One of the worst in the world, India’s sex ratio at birth fell from 908 in 2012, to 877 in 2016, hinting at a sharp increase in female feticide, despite all the claims to the contrary by authorities.

The government’s own National Economic Survey notes the enormity of the problem- India has over 63 million women missing from across its population, while another two million vanish from it every year across all age groups; most of them are victims of either female feticide or infanticide.

The last few years in India have seen only newer, sadder problems adding to the already unacceptable list of crimes committed against women. One of the most prominent is the strengthening of revivalist groups trying to control all aspects of women’s lives- what they eat, what they wear, whom they love, whom they marry- in accordance with their notions of “how women should behave”.

Instead of tackling these forces trampling women’s rights under their boots, sticks and scarves- mostly saffron, but also of all other hues- the government of India seems to have been backing them tacitly. Take for instance, the creation of a “Romeo Brigade”, a specialised police unit launched by the right wing Bhartiya Janata Party government as soon as it came to power in Uttar Pradesh in March 2017.

Ostensibly formed to stop “eve teasing”, a euphemism for sexual violence committed in public places, the Brigade soon turned to moral policing, harassing couples with even extortion and blackmail.

Similarly, right wing fanatic groups started cracking down on interreligious love, especially if the boy was from the minorities, often with full state support, especially in the BJP ruled states. There are cases that even reached the Supreme Court of India, despite the adult woman asserting that she married of her own free will.

The attacks have put women only at more risk, while denting the strong base the Indian women’s movement had built over decades of struggle. This is the time for them, and the whole human rights community and civil society, to pause, and act decisively to reclaim their lost victories and seek newer ones.


* Avinash Pandey wrote this article for Asian Human Rights Commission
The writer can be contacted at avinash(DOT)pandey(AT)ahrc(DOT)asia
This article was webcasted on March 09, 2019.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Renu Takhel: UN Human Rights, Geneva
  • Hunting in the Himalayas :: Book Review
  • Justification: against Meeteis ST demand
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Executive Committee 2019 of BMSA
  • Google Workshop on Journalism
  • High level of air pollution
  • Way to go as but hopes stir
  • CCpur Dance @Keibul Lamjao : Gallery
  • The East Wind from Yunnan
  • Journey into Nature of Human Culture #1
  • Yaoshang Thabal :: Poem
  • North East NSS Festival begins
  • Talking... ending social media introversion
  • Opposing stand on ST demand
  • Kounu Lairembi Haraoba #1 : Gallery
  • Nipalsuba Mapok : Shumang Leela
  • Women's Bill : A passage to nowhere?
  • Challenges in elderly for medical tests
  • All's fair in love in war: Nitza :: Review
  • Why I write ?
  • Looking back to 2012, 2014 elections
  • Mukna Kangjei #2 : Gallery
  • Mova Cave of Hungpung in Ukhrul
  • Catapults, Molotov Cocktails & Music!
  • Appeal for Meitei's demand for ST
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Google News Training for Journalists
  • Of Crimes Against Humanity :: Poem
  • Bedtime beauty hacks to look young
  • Mary Kom to skip Asian championship
  • Thabal chongbagi SenKhaiba : Gallery
  • Zeliangrong women: Role in society #2
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Cry of a Dying River - 69 :: Poem
  • Nationality & Gorkha statehood movement
  • Free Children Heart Surgery Camp
  • Workshop on Python Programing at MU
  • Lining up for BJP, Cong
  • Indian Politics after Pulwama Terror Attack
  • Sory Wahengbam : eRang Actress Profile
  • International River Day @ Nungbrung Village
  • Nongthombam Biren: People's CM
  • Can Jamir Do A Lazarus ?
  • Dr. Shantibala's The Sacred Witch :: Review
  • Rural development process
  • Eyeing 22 out of 25 in North East
  • Interfering the media
  • Myanmar army cracks down on NSCN (K)
  • Phayeng Koubru Haraoba #2: Gallery
  • Chirangchaibi, Abenao :: eMing
  • Komorebi - The Longing :: Poem
  • Little love in twilight of life
  • Election code of conduct anytime
  • Surveying India's unemployment numbers
  • DAMMS' statement on Meitei ST Demand
  • Choosing the right candidate
  • Demand for ILP :: Articles/Photos...
  • The Innampei festival of Chothe #2
  • CC Meet: SU vs NACO : Gallery
  • AEbu tuMduna lEKi gad_ra :: Seireng
  • That Hurts :: Poem
  • Workshop on Statistical Data at MU
  • The International Women's Day
  • Politics : A way of life !
  • Celebrate festival of democracy responsibly
  • The truth unfolded
  • Nipalsuba Mapok #1 : Gallery
  • Maisnam Renuka's Painting : Gallery
  • Parental Alienation: Poem 2 : Poem
  • The cost of a vote
  • Motivation & rewards for development
  • Career options in Commerce stream #2
  • Forest rights more than nine-tenths
  • Setting back final deal by 60 days
  • Traffic woes
  • slams Nagaland CM's statement on ILP
  • Symbolism in the Tribal Art #4
  • Laiphrakpam Ashok Kumar: Akademi Award
  • ST Demand Rally [Mar 3] #2: Gallery
  • Mee Manukhang will not be televised
  • Govt should grant prosecution sanction
  • Zeliangrong women: Role in society #1
  • General Strike mapung fana chathari
  • Rolling out Lok Sabha schedule
  • Saroi Khangba @Imphal : Gallery
  • 'Women Health' Workshop : Gallery
  • Manipuri Muslims Conference : Report
  • Meetei ST demand bu lanna uhanbiganu
  • Caveman & Children of (19)70s : Poem
  • Workshop on "Women Health" at Pune
  • Natural facial at home for glowing skin
  • Inauguration of NSS Camp at ADBU
  • Changing Manipur - which direction ?
  • Nongkhrang Ehanba @Lilong #2 : Gallery
  • Cessation of hostilities to POW
  • Magical power of music
  • Intl Women's Day requires regrouping
  • General Strike Mapung Fahanbiyu
  • Pravish's Case disposed by CJM
  • NSS Camp at Assam Don Bosco
  • Former Cong leader welcomed at Dimapur
  • Never asked India for land quip
  • Issues of women's rights
  • Barak Fest @ Senapati #2 : Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2019 #1: Gallery
  • Reading Megh-dut in Manipuri #2
  • To be a woman and to be in India
  • Cry of a Dying River - 68 :: Poem
  • Can Meitei/Meetei be a tribe ?
  • Raging debate over ST demand
  • Climate change matters
  • Class X Exam @Johnstone : Gallery
  • ciH Amadi tMgi KeYnaba :: Seireng
  • Yaoshang be observed as 'Sports Week'
  • Hmar Inpui Assembly at Churachandpur
  • Jute bags versus Lenobags
  • ...Work for social justice
  • State of higher education here
  • Creating an education-friendly atmosphere
  • Shopping for Shivaratri #1: Gallery
  • 3rd World Bamboo Workshop #3 : Gallery
  • Reinvigorating the Awl-len festival
  • I am a poet :: Poem
  • Roles of Members of Parliament
  • Don't just age gracefully - Age beautifully
  • SRF/JRF for Mizoram University [Upd]
  • ST status campaign : An overview
  • May be this time it may happen
  • ST Demand Rally [Mar 3] #1: Gallery
  • Sanaroishingee Nunit : Gallery
  • Rejoinder to TNL's Diatribe on the Kukis
  • Schemes of Panchayati Raj #2
  • Career options in Commerce stream
  • 3 Resolutions from ST Demand Rally
  • NPF on Nagaland Budget Session [Feb 25]
  • LS elections :: Key : Choice of candidates
  • Price of development
  • Phayeng Koubru Haraoba #1: Gallery
  • Nagaland Dance @Sangai Fest : Gallery
  • Bad Boy Eats the Yellow Snow
  • Name :: Poem
  • Alcohol prohibition
  • Treading murky waters
  • PM Kisan: Reducing risk..increasing return
  • Rallying around ST demand for Meiteis
  • Myanmar Army takes control of NSCN (K)
  • Henjunaha #3 :: Funga Wari
  • Reading Megh-dut in Manipuri #1
  • Purnima Ngangom's Painting : Gallery
  • Impact of Anglo Manipur War 1891 #2
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Lived across LoC
  • Most Beautiful Woman in World : Poem
  • CAB no more issue
  • Traditional Raas Dance #2: Gallery
  • Cultural @Republic Day #2 : Gallery
  • RS adjourned without CAB: What now? #3
  • Retrospection on Sport person's Day
  • Marriage ceremony : Zeliangrong & Tai #3
  • Thadou Inpi & TSA not under KIM & KSO
  • Bioscope show
  • The haunt continues
  • Positive change in behaviour of cops
  • Maharaj Kumar Priyabarta Singh : Profile
  • March Calendar for Year 2019 :: Tools
  • CV Raman & National Science Day
  • Cry of a Dying River - 67 :: Poem
  • Tour of laboratory by a blood sample
  • MU celebrate National Science Day
  • Science Day at DM Community College
  • Displeasure over attitude of PDA :: NPF
  • The making of a united India
  • Morning air raid at JeM camp
  • Lui-ngai-ni @Senapati #3: Gallery
  • Arunachal PRC Issue: Vis-a-vis Gorkha
  • Literary representation of political violence
  • Understanding distance learning
  • Good governance required in Arunachal
  • Save energy, ecology & humanity
  • Framing of guideline for school transporter
  • Yubi Lakpi #1 : Gallery
  • Holi Pala @Sangai Festival : Gallery
  • Indie films: Loktak Lairembee & Soni #2
  • Workshop on Python Programming at MU
  • They say :: Poem
  • Election manifesto for all & sundry
  • Camellia oil for heavenly beauty
  • Programme on Road Traffic Safety
  • PRC: Appeal to Governor of Arunachal
  • Towards optimistic ideology
  • The task ahead of STDCM
  • The Innampei festival of Chothe #1
  • My encounter with a Japani
  • Korean Seminar of Hangeul Day at MU
  • Total ban on polythene bags need of hour
  • The Masked Painter :: Poem
  • Arunachal Issue : Representation to HM
  • The Consumers' Rights
  • CAB in a new avatar ?
  • Singcha Wuya Won @Kamjong #2 : Gallery
  • Konthoujam Maikel's Painting : Gallery
  • Impact of Anglo Manipur War 1891 #1
  • RS adjourned without CAB: What now? #2
  • Hole in the bag :: Poem
  • Climate change: Dual perspective
  • Pui Jianna Thangamliu :: eRang
  • March Past: Republic Day: Gallery
  • Dark light and The Wishess' might
  • Manipur on Meitei edge
  • Belshazzar's feast - A failed mission
  • Education in the era of Google
  • Healing is different from cure ....
  • RPL trainees of Garo Hills - II
  • MHA "notification"
  • Nagaland- Feb 26 : Sense of urgency
  • Lui-ngai-ni @Senapati #2: Gallery
  • Police check @Jirimukh, Jiri : Gallery
  • Nongkhrang Ehanba @Lilong #1 : Gallery
  • Traditional Raas Dance #1: Gallery
  • Rajkumar Singhajit : Tagore Award 2014
  • Mukna - Indigenous Games : Gallery
  • Dzukou Valley, Senapati : Gallery
  • Amuktang-Ga Haikho #2 : eRang
  • Thamoise Foidattuna :: e-pao Radio
  • Check Post (ICP) @ Moreh : Gallery
  • Konthoujam Maikel (Painter) :: Profile
  • Onetwo Okram : Singer- Profile :: eRang
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #3 : Gallery
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2019 : Download
  • List of Restricted Holidays for 2019
  • List of Public Holidays for 2019
  • List of General Holidays for 2019
  • SPONSORED ADS