TODAY -

Addressing Democracy, Diversity, Race and Gender-Based Violence

21 September 2018, New Delhi

Panel Discussion and Pre-Book Launch on 'Addressing Democracy, Diversity, Race and Gender-Based Violence'
Panel Discussion and Pre-Book Launch on 'Addressing Democracy, Diversity, Race and Gender-Based Violence'



Panel Discussion and Pre-Book Launch on 'Addressing Democracy, Diversity, Race and Gender-Based Violence'

A new book born out of three years of intensive research across Northeast India and the National Capital Region of Delhi (Delhi NCR) focuses on the rising intolerance in the world’s largest democracy. The book “Addressing Democracy, Diversity, Race and Gender-Based Violence with special Focus on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones in India” is carefully conceptualized under the lens of the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

The issue of rising rape and sexual violence of women and children happening in India is a serious concern; every 22 minutes a woman in India is raped and there are 100,000 pending rape cases in the country. 1.74 lakh females went missing in the year of 2016 in the country. New Delhi has the highest crime rate against women at 77. 5 percent and Assam has the second highest rate at 74.22 percent in the entire country. The situation is the same everywhere around the world where 70% of the 1.2 billion people living in poverty are female.

Moreover, inequality can be seen in the workspace. Women do more than 67 percent of the hours of work done in the world but earn only 10% of the world's income and own only 1% of the world's property and unfortunately, women are paid 30-40 percent less than men for comparable work. In conflict and post conflict, maternal mortality is 2.5 times higher further reinforcing the brutality of sexual violence and its impact.

Panel Discussion and Pre-Book Launch on 'Addressing Democracy, Diversity, Race and Gender-Based Violence'
Panel Discussion and Pre-Book Launch on 'Addressing Democracy, Diversity, Race and Gender-Based Violence'



Statistics show that 54 per cent of people living and working in capital felt that New Delhi is the most “unsafe place” in terms of ethnic intolerance while 67 percent feel that they were victims of racial discrimination. Crimes against people from Northeast India have also increased by 200 percent since 2016. 78 percent of people from Northeast claim to have faced racial discrimination of various forms out of which 83 percent men and 74 percent women have claimed to face this discrimination. Moreover, a government agency like the NCRB does not collect statistics on region specific discrimination in the country which can help us identify and tackle such human rights abuses and crimes.

A compilation of seminal research, writings and articles, the book explores the dynamics of the race and gender debate as well as the high rise in discrimination against women and minorities in contemporary India. The book focuses on addressing the clashes of various ethnicities in relation to the various constitutional provisions, laws and other policy initiatives. On a different yet related spectrum, the book tackles the issue of sexual violence and its’ prevalence in conflict zones, which has been identified as a problem since long.

Amidst, the discussion what stands out is the very recognition of areas as ‘conflict zones’ is being denied by the country, and such areas are rather termed as ‘disturbed areas’, despite the armed clashes as well as the brutality of sexual violence, especially in the Northeast of India. Published by New York Universal Publishing House, the book is sure to be an eye-opener and provide as a base for further research. The volume also contains recommendations for a National Diversity Policy for India and a draft of a National Action Plan Against Racial Discrimination (NAPARD) as well as testimonies.

The event started with an inaugural statement issued by Ms Binalakshmi Nepram, Secretary General of Control Arms Foundation of India and Editor of the book, who shared that “India signed UN Convention on Racial Discrimination in 1967. It is mandated to turn this into a law. Unless this is done, racial violence will continue in a land of 1.3 billion people and we cannot as a nation afford this. It was surprising when we started this project and work to know that inspite of 70 years of independent India, we do not have a National Diversity Policy. It is time we make this happen. We are working with lawyers to ensure that we are able to draft an Anti-Racial Law by 2018.”

The Book was formally launched by the esteemed scholars with the team of Control Arms Foundation of India and Multiple Action Research Group.

The pre-launch was followed by a panel discussion on the same theme chaired by Ms. Anju Talukdar stated “Racial Discrimination happens in India all the time, to Indians by the Indians. We need to ensure that such discrimination becomes part of the public discourse that could lead to an anti- racial law in India in order to fullfill the promise of CERD ratification.”

Independent scholar, Dr Umakant added “Racism happens not only in black and whites, it happens in multiple colours” he further stated that” What kind of violence is happening in the country? Whether it is based on caste, race, gender or it is happening with Northeast People; wherever you go there is violence. But we all say we believe in peace, but how will peace be there, if there is no justice? Peace cannot happen in isolation.”

Panel Discussion and Pre-Book Launch on 'Addressing Democracy, Diversity, Race and Gender-Based Violence'
Panel Discussion and Pre-Book Launch on 'Addressing Democracy, Diversity, Race and Gender-Based Violence'



Speaking on the issue of Racial Discrimination in Delhi NCR, Dr Govind Singh highlighted “Diversity is actually strength; the more diverse is the eco-system, the more strengthened it becomes. But because of issues related to Racial Discrimination and Gender Based Violence, diversity becomes drawback for our country”

Dr. Lianboi Vaiphei, Professor from Indraprastha College, Delhi University has shared “ Being a women from Northeast, I have faced discrimination and also the other women from my part of the country treated more worse because they are beaten up just because of their Northeastern features and looks.”

This is the first book in India that is looking into issue of racial discrimination, diversity and gender based violence. Many noted and respectable academicians from all over country and world have contributed to this important volume.

The event was organized by Control Arms Foundation of India in collaboration with Multiple Action Research Group (MARG) and India Habitat Centre (IHC) with support from EU. This congregation saw attendance and participation from parliamentarians, academicians, lawyers, civil society organizations, government officials and students.

Office of Control Arms Foundation of India
B 5 / 146, First Floor, Safdarjung Enclave,
New Delhi - 110 029, India
Tel: 91-11-46018541 Fax: 91-11-26166234
www.cafi-online.org


* This Press Release was sent to e-pao.net by Control Arms Foundation of India who can be contacted at cafi(DOT)communique(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This Press Release was posted on September 23 2018

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