Concerned over the increasing cases of atrocities against women in the country, around 200 intellectuals, civil society members and people from different walks of life gathered here on Sunday to chalk out plans to check this ‘uncivilized’ practice.
“Physical violence and other atrocities against women have become rampant in our country now. A series of rape cases reported in the Indian media this year narrates the real status of women in the country and reflects the state of the civilization we and our society have,” said Prof Aruna Mishra while presiding over a convention on ‘Ever increasing atrocities against women’. These illegal should be checked to provide women a peaceful environment to live a life of dignity free of fear.
Observing that the Indian system and the power that be have failed to arrest an epidemic of violence against women, Prof Aidwyta Mohanty said it was easier for the morality-police to start a backlash against women, banning them from the streets, from going out to their work places or forcing them to stay at home. This ‘blaming-the-woman-culture mindset’ needs to be changed through concerted and organised efforts, he said.
“Change in Indian society and attitudes will only arrive when the enforcement agencies are challenged to become accountable to the people. And they will only become accountable once the national discourse on women begins to change substantively,” said Prof Mohanty.
Speaking on the occasion Prof Rita Ray pointed out that the vast majority of women are attacked or abused with such barbarity and brutality that they start suffering from depression due to post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental illnesses, pregnancy complications, broken bones and bruises. Many of them contemplate suicide or are forced to commit suicide under compelling situations, she said.
“Although women are considered to be the decent half of our society, they live a life of vulnerability and insecurity. The safety, well-being and working lives of women are at stake. From the recent gang rape of a photojournalist in Mumbai to rape and murder of girls in various parts of the State like rape and murder of Bebina Behra in Pipili, gangrape of a deaf and dumb girl in Konark underlines the gravity of the situation,” the speakers observed.