Nashik youths develop ‘Me Against Rape’ Android app for women’s safety #Vaw


By , ET
Three Nashik youths have developed an Android app called Me Against Rape that women can use as an emergency alert system. The app allows user to seek assistance from family and friends with just press of a button.
Nashik youths develop 'Me Against Rape' Android app for women's safety

Three youths from Nashik have come with an app that women can use as an emergency alert system alarm and seek assistance from friends or family in time of distress. The software called ‘Me Against Rape’ has been developed in view of the recent incidents of crime against women.

Makers of the app, Gunwant Battashe (23), engineer Anup Unnikrishanan (24) and graphic designer Jayesh Bankar (23) say the Me Against Rape app is available for Android-based smartphones for free.

The app features a one-touch helpline facility, recording facility, and can send location and time details every 10 minutes — including latitude, longitude, address and Google Maps link. The developers of the app believe the app would be very helpful in fighting against atrocities to women.

“If a woman is in any kind of a trouble, she has to just press the help button which will send an SMS to her relative or contact person as registered informing him/ her about her,” say the trio.

The developers also showed off the features of the app to Nashik Commissioner of Police, Kulwant Kumar Sarangal, who said it is an “excellent” option.

There are quite a few similar apps available for smartphone users that can be used as an emergency alert system. Delhi-based security services firm Indianeye Security Pvt. Ltd. has launched a new mobile application called Eyewatch. The app ends multiple messages, images, videos, sound bites and other details such as location status with the press of a button. Users can also press the SOS button to alert contacts listed (maximum three) as the emergency contacts via SMS and e-mail.

There’s also a WhyPoll app aimed at women’s safety. After massive public outrage over Delhi gangrape incidents, a similar Nirbhaya app was launched for smartphone users.

The Mind And Heart Of Lotika Sarkar, Legal Radical, Friend, Feminist


March 8, 2013, Usha Ramanathan

LOTIKA-SARKARUSHA RAMANATHAN via Women’s Feature Service

We have to marvel at how the world has changed since r*** was a four letter word, and young Lotika Sarkar (1923-2013), the first woman lecturer in the Faculty of Law, University of Delhi, shocked the department by teaching rape to her students.

This is what happens when you let women into hallowed institutions of learning:  They don’t understand that, even when they are allowed to be seen, they may not be heard about the obscene. This was our LS-given, early version of the Vagina Monologues, without the theatre. Shift to the present: I suspect some will tell us that the battle to take rape to the classroom is far from over; except, thanks to LS, it is prudery that is on the back foot now.

When the letter protesting the ‘Mathura’ judgment was written, it constituted many firsts. It was the first time that an ‘open letter’ was written to the Chief Justice of India – braving its contempt powers. A first for law teachers – Upendra Baxi, Vasudha Dhagamwar,  Raghunath Kelkar and LS – questioning the legitimacy of the court’s decisions. The first time the cover of silence shrouding custodial rape was torn asunder by the written word. It is one of the contradictions of those times that, in the wake of the ‘Mathura’ letter, the law was changed to make it a crime to reveal the identity of a victim of rape. Yet, ‘Mathura’ remains ‘Mathura’, while Tukaram and Ganpat haunt the peripheries of feminist consciousness. Such is the stuff of which iconisation is made.

A while later, LS was to advocate caution in shifting the burden of proof: A matter that continues to need explaining, and demands debate – especially with the state having used terrorism as a causative agent for extraordinary laws!

In a haze of cigarette smoke, in a room in Delhi’s Centre for Women’s Development Studies, dwarfed by the personalities of the two women in it, sits a third listening to a narrative unfold. “When they set up the Committee on the Status of Women in India (CSWI), no one in government expected the report that we produced,” chuckles Vina Mazumdar. LS smiles wryly. No one in the committee had anticipated the work, travel and discovery either. Soon, though, they had formed teams, and were coursing in all directions, meeting women of all ilk and hues, life experiences and dispositions all over the country.

Before they knew it, the women they met unalterably radicalised them. The Status of Women in India Report is testimony to what they learnt from the women who spoke to them.

It was on reservation in legislative bodies that LS and Vinadi dissented. You see, we had not gone looking for how the political system should be changed for women. But wherever we went, women would raise the problem of political participation. The report had to reflect what they were saying. The Note of Dissent was to resurface years later with the Women’s Reservation Bill.

Thinking back, this was a casual conversation while taking time off for a smoke. If this is the stuff of which feminist gossip is made, it is no wonder that the women’s movement is now so articulate about how the law needs to change, and where it needs more thought; a far cry from a government that seems clueless that neither patriarchy nor paternalism can provide answers to the women’s question.

Feminism, as feminists know, has its share of mirth, even when it is serious business. The serious business of feminism was on display when LS was co-petitioner in the public interest petition on the Agra Protective Home. ‘Protective home’. We know what that means. The conditions were abominable, the rules were like those of a punitive institution, and codes of civilised conduct seemed to stop at the doorstep.

In 1994, when she was over 70, it fell to LS to pursue the case in the Supreme Court. She was daunted, but determined. What was at stake? An illustration: Now that the ‘Home’ was under the court’s scrutiny, it had directed the District Judge to file a monthly report on the ‘Home’. In this document that was accessible to anyone who cared to look at court papers was the record for every woman in the ‘Home’, tying up her identity with her HIV status. On August 30, 1994, the court directed that all persons testing positive be segregated! On October 10, 1994, armed with a doctor’s opinion, LS stood her ground with a reluctant court to change its earlier order. Fighting prejudice is an everyday task for the feminist, right? It tired her out, and she did the rest of the case with Muralidhar – Murali to LS – by her side, but she stayed the course.

There was no fuss about LS. Just meticulous preparation and grounded work. Ask Gobind, Khem Singh, Dayalji in the Indian Law Institute library, and they would tell you that “Madam worked very hard.” And, they would say, in voices tinged with affection and respect that they were happy to take the books to her, but, no, she will go to the racks and get the books down herself. Mutual respect, no hierarchy, unacceptance of nonsense, and a deep sense of fairness. No
pre-judgment, no prejudice; but excellent judgment.

Students who are now teachers speak of being ticked off by her, and then treated to a cup of coffee in her room. There was never any malice, jealous self-interest or meanness about her. Sure, there were those she did not like or trust – but isn’t that what judgment is about? There is just one person about whom I have heard her say ‘he should be punished’, and that after extraordinary provocation. Need I say more? With her friends, it was affection, jollity, respect and a free exchange of thought, opinion and … well, lunch.

Have you had payesh with mini-oranges? What about lauki in milk with ginger and an indefinable something? Or palak in a million combinations? Ah, that tomato chutney – we have to find another name for it that will do it justice. The three-tiered dabba was not hers once she reached ILI, CWDS, perhaps the Law Faculty too? Her most delectable concoctions were made from – guess what? – leftovers. The thing is, it was true. A visiting friend may leave some mushrooms in a form that does little to add pleasure to the palate; overnight, it
would become a creation whose recipe must be written; except, it had just one ingredient – leftovers!

Politics and pleasure were on the same canvas. Who among us remembers LS, laid up after a hip surgery, spending the evening before 2006 was to arrive, with friends, wine and chocolate cake, discussing a freshly minted Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act which, she angsted, she needed to understand.

When Anthony Lester writes, about LS, that “she changed my life ……. But for Monu, I would not be a human rights lawyer”, he is expressing a sentiment oft-voiced. At the release of LS’s Festchrift (1999), I am told, the hall was full to overflowing. As the proceedings drew to a close, as indeed they must, there was a spontaneous standing ovation. I didn’t hear it then, because I wasn’t
there. But, after four years of sharing a home and being witness to her inexhaustible charm, cheer, comradeliness, compassion, concern, quiet – very quiet – dignity, trust and fairness, we know why the applause will never stop.

 

Bombay High Court upholds death sentence for Sangli rapist


Posted On Saturday, March 09, 2013 , Mumbai Mirror

The Bombay High Court on Friday upheld the death sentence awarded to a 22-year-old for raping and killing a 9-yearold girl.

“The accused is a menace to society and will continue to be so, and there is no possibility of him being reformed,” the division bench of Justice P V Hardas and Justice A M Thipsay observed while pronouncing the verdict on Friday.

Raju Paswan, originally from Muzzapur in Bihar, was convicted by an additional sessions judge in Sangli in November last year.

The high court upheld the verdict of the lower court, which said the crime was premeditated, and not committed on impulse.

The court also observed he chose a girl of that age as she could be overpowered easily.

“The victim, by virtue of her age, was in a situation where she could have offered little or no resistance at all. The accused has committed an offence of rape on a defenceless child, which is the ultimate insult to womanhood. The entire gory and grisly incident had shocked the collective conscience of the village,” observed the high court.

The court also rejected advocate Niteen Pradhan’s plea for mercy on account of Paswan’s age. The bench noted that an accused who has shown remorse and genuine regret at having committed an offence is someone who can be reformed.

It added, “An offender who remains a nonchalant offender throughout and does not show any regret or repentance at having committed the offence, cannot be said to be aperson who can be reformed.”

Rejecting all the contentions raised against the prosecution’s case, the court accepted all the arguments made by chief public prosecutor Revati Mohite Dere.

The incident dates back to June 21, 2010, when the victim went missing from her home in Bedag village, Sangli district. Her father, a farm labourer, lodged a missing person complaint.

During their investigation the police learnt that the victim was last seen with Paswan, who used to live in the neighbouring house.

One of the main witnesses in the case was a 10-year-old child who, while playing with his friends, had seen Paswan dragging the girl to a secluded place.

 

 

Global thematic campaign on Gender and Reproductive Justice #Vaw


Gender 'tag cloud'

 

People’s Health Movement

 

8th March, 2013

 

 

 

At the People’s Health Assembly 3 held in Cape Town, South Africa in July 2012, People’s Health Movement committed to build a campaign on gender issues through initiating separate circle on the Global thematic campaign on Genders within the PHM right to health campaign. Through the online correspondence in these last few months, a general view of expanding the gender circle has emerged, especially regarding specific themes of gender, equity, and violence, Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights and Reproductive Justice.

 

Why a Global thematic campaign on Gender

 

We, at PHM believe that Health Rights including Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights must be located within a perspective that recognizes social determinants of health, and universal health entitlements/access to healthcare. The framework should address the oppressive structures of neo-liberal globalization, capitalism, poverty, patriarchy, privatization of essential services, imperialism, militarization, fundamentalisms, heteronormativity, racism, casteism and ableism, which not only exacerbate poor physical, sexual, reproductive and emotional health for women and young girls but also disadvantage them in accessing health-care.

 

We are only too aware of how gender oppression is intricately linked to other systems of oppression and PHM’s agenda should be to make a conscious effort to create space and visibility for some such concerns that can often be observed to be marginalized even within progressive, rights movements. While they assume different forms in different contexts and social realities, issues of ability/disability, sexuality, health in the context of conflict, state sponsored coercive population policies, gender based violence, non-coercive access to contraception and abortion, and especially the rights of sex workers, transgender, HIV positive individuals in relation to all the above are sparsely raised on the public health platforms and health movements across the world.

 

There is a cyclical relation between violence and ill-health; both influence each other, yet gender based violence is rarely addressed as a human rights or public health issue. That violence takes varied forms and that gendered notions make certain peoples particular targets is a question of political violence that a movement like PHM needs to urgently address.

 

Historically, as we know that women’s ability to make choices and exercise autonomy in matters of sexuality and reproduction has been conditioned and constrained by economic, political, religious and cultural patterns, responding to a model of prescriptive ‘normality’ and disallowing any kind of behavior which deviates from this. The relegation of women’s health to maternity and family planning on the one hand and the concerted attack on women’s reproductive and sexual rights on the other are serious violations of women’s autonomy, personhood, dignity and human rights.

 

Throughout the world, society, law and cultural norms have repressed any behaviour that could challenge this prescriptive reproductive role of women. Reproduction itself becomes a site of coercion and social inequality, being regulated by morality, class, caste, race hierarchies and community. It is the same ideas of gender roles, relations and sexual division of labour that result in coercive structures for women, and further marginalize several persons who go against the existing heteronormativity.

 

As an object of policy, sexuality and sexual rights have generally been considered as an ‘unimportant’ and secondary issue. Women’s movements have also only gradually given space to these debates. That sexual rights for all are essential for better physical, mental and emotional health is a perspective that needs a much stronger acknowledgement and activism by both the state and social movements.

 

Within the health care systems, health professionals need to be sensitised in order to address all forms of violence and discrimination on the basis of gender within the private as well as public spheres. Health rights can be enjoyed by all and accessed at all times only if the rights of those who occupy low rungs in the gender hierarchy have secured rights in all spheres.

 

PHM is well-placed to address components of policy advocacy, capacity building, knowledge creation and health systems engagement within this umbrella framework.  The need is for us to foreground this perspectives in our strategies. We can hold capacity building and advocacy initiatives for SRHR, violence There is a need to conceptualize the campaigns/circles in a way that we understand the common systems of oppressions and gender hierarchies and are able to equally visiblize and address concerns of all those who are marginalized, exploited and discriminated against on the basis of their gender identities and sexual behaviour.

 

The thematic Circle will Insert all these concerns within the People’s health movement by- informing the PHM mandate and the campaign for Health For All and vis-à-vis gender. PHM will provide a platform for women across the world to articulate the above concerns as well as to share and learn from each other the creative struggles waged by people, especially by women, against injustice and inequality.

 

 

 

PHM global has already been engaged with many networks such as WGNRR, IWHM, ARROW, SAMA, WISH to name a few. We would like to welcome and invite networks/organisations, coalitions to join and collaborate with us on this initiative. Together we can strategise for a better world that is founded on social justice, non-discrimination and equal opportunity for all people.

 

contact:  <sarojinipr@gmail.com>

 

 

 

Spew venom and enjoy life: Who scripted Mr Varun Gandhi’s release?


MARCH 7, 2013

by , kafila.org

English: Mr. Feroze Varun Gandhi

“This is not a hand (Congress symbol), it is the power of the lotus (BJP symbol). It will cut the head of… Jai Shri Ram,” a PTI report quoted Varun Gandhi (29) as telling an election meeting in Pilibhit, his attack directed at the Muslims. At another meeting, the PTI report said, he said: “If anyone raises a finger towards Hindus or if someone thinks that Hindus are weak and leaderless, if someone thinks that these leaders lick our boots for votes, if anyone raises a finger towards Hindus, then I swear on Gita that I will cut that hand.”

(Varun Gandhi’s hate-Muslim speech makes his BJP squirm; Express News Service: Lucknow, Tue Mar 17 2009)

Mr Varun Gandhi, BJP M.P. was all smiles when he emerged from the courts which had acquitted him in the second hate speech case. Expressing confidence in the Indian Constitution and India’s Legal System he said ‘truth has prevailed’. Only a few days ago another court in UP had acquitted him of the first hate speech case. It may be added that when extracts of the speeches he had allegedly delivered during election campaign in 2009 had appeared in a section of the press, the then Mayawati government had promptly filed cases against him and ordered his arrest and had to spend some time behind bars before bail was ultimately granted to him then.

It is interesting to recall how BJP, had then reacted to his alleged hatespeeches. Officially it was stated then that the BJP party squirmed  when his controversial speeches had made headlines, with one of its spokesperson claiming that Varun’s outburst “did not reflect BJP’s traditional culture”. It it was a different matter that the then party president Mr Rajnath Singh had gone to visit him in jail supposedly to show solidarity.

Coming back to the case and looking at the legal proceedings, one finds that there are many gaps, which have allowed this acquittal to happen. In fact, the role of the Akhilesh Yadav led government in the whole case has also come under scanner. Few months back  newspapers carried out a report wherein it was mentioned that Akhilesh led government was contemplating withdrawal of cases against the young M.P.  As this report – which was never confirmed nor rejected – raised an uproar in the state, no formal withdrawal of cases was done. A fact which has been noted by activists is that once it was known that state government was not keen to follow the case witnesses started turning hostile..

Another point concerns the issue of voice sample.  The forensic report had stated that unless and until they get a voice sample they would not be able to confirm it whether the said speeches were made by Mr Varun or not. It is really surprising that despite repeated instructions by the honourable court Mr Gandhi had not agreed to submit his voice sample to the police which would have validated the prosecution’s charge against him. According to him his speeches had been edited by local channels to make it seem like he was promoting communal hatred. Interestingly the broadcasters were unable to furnish the original, unedited footage to the police. 51 witnesses produced by the prosecution did not indict him for delivering speeches to provoke communal hatred.The same witnesses were used for the second case. The courts also did not deem it necessary to call reporters of the TV channels as well as the print media, which had carried report about the controversial speeches.

A statement issued by ‘Rihai Manch’ – A forum for the release of innocent Muslims imprisoned in the name of Terrorism’ , Lucknow, (email-rihaimanchindia@gmail.com) has thrown light on the way the witnesses in the case turned hostile – en masse. According to them it cannot be called mere coincidence that  during hearings in the said cases held on 24 th November and 29 th November, total 18 witnesses turned hostile,  The press release further underlined that when Mr Gandhi refused to give voice samples to the public prosecutor, he neither apprised the courts of Mr Gandhi’s refusal nor deemed it necessary to  emphasise the point and ensure that it was done.According to them it rather vindicates the fact that the state government was keen to release Mr Varun Gandhi and not to punish him.

‘Rihai Manch’ also questioned the role of the judiciary in the whole case. It added when advocate Asad Hayat, associated with the Manch put forward a prayer before the CJM court in Pilibhit on 25 th February that since Mr Varun Gandhi’s said speeches had hurt his religious feelings therefore the channels who had shown his speeches be called as witnesses. The petition also requested to the honourable courts to ensure Mr Varun Gandhi’s voice sample be taken and if he does not comply then consider it adverse inference in his case and declare that it was his speech only. The court did not admit the petition and because of the insistence of public prosecutor rejected it on 27 th February.

Mr Asad Hayat then put a revision application in the highcourt and also petitioned the CJM’s court a second time that since an application is pending before the highcourt in connection with rejection of his case on 27 th February, it is requested that the CJM’s court does not decide on the matter till the highcourt gives its decision. Here also because of the resistance put forward by the public prosecutor, the CJM court rejected his application on 4 th March and finally gave its verdict on 5 th March.

One does not know what will happen next. With more than eleven communal riots in a period of less than a year, under a government which has received fullsome support from the minorities, Akhilesh Yadav led government has exhibited its ineptness in handling communal elements. If justice is to be done in the hatespeech case it is incumbent that the state government challenge this decision by moving a fresh application in the high courts. Looking at the fact that there is a world of difference between what the Samajwadi Party claims and does, the possibility seems really dim.

 

International Womens Day- Statement on alarming trends in Negotiations of UN Document


English: Emblem of the United Nations. Color i...

 

STATEMENT OF FEMINIST AND WOMEN’S ORGANISATIONS ON THE VERY ALARMING TRENDS IN THE NEGOTIATIONS OF OUTCOME DOCUMENT OF THE 57TH SESSION OF THE UN COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN

 

 

 

We, the undersigned organisations and individuals across the globe, are again alarmed and disappointed that the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is wavering in its commitment to advance women’s human rights as demonstrated in the constant negotiation of the language in the outcome document continues. On the occasion of celebrating the International Women’s Day we call on the states to reaffirm its commitment to agreed upon standards in promoting women’s human rights as articulated in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action as well as other international humanitarian and human rights law. We say NO to any re-opening of negotiations on the already established international agreements on women’s human rights and call on all governments to demonstrate their commitments to promote, protect and fulfill human rights and fundamental freedoms of women. It is alarming that states are continuing to negotiate established standards that they themselves have agreed to as we are witnessing in the last few days of negotiation. Considering the lack of an outcome document last year we hope that this is not the pattern when it comes to advancing women’s human rights agenda. Women’s human rights are not to be negotiated away. Similar to last year, we strongly hold the position that given the progressive development in the international era on standard setting there should no longer be any contention on any issues related to the definition and intersectionality of women and girls experiencing violence against women, including in relations to sexual and reproductive health and rights, sexual orientation and gender identity, harmful practices perpetuated in the context of negative culture and traditions, among others. We remind states that the CSW is the principal global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women with the sole aim of promoting women’s rights in political, economic, civil, social and educational fields. Its mandate is to ensure the full implementation of existing international agreements on women’s human rights and gender equality. We strongly demand all governments and the international community to reject any attempt to invoke traditional values or morals to infringe upon human rights guaranteed by international law, nor to limit their scope. Customs, tradition or religious considerations must not be tolerated to justify discrimination and violence against women and girls whether committed by State authorities or by non-state actors. Given the current global activism around violence against women it is imperative that member states take the lead is agreeing on a progressive outcome document that reaffirms its commitments to universal human rights standards. This is an important moment as we are planning the post 2015 process. The outcome document has to advance women’s human rights and not lower the bar for women’s human rights. Future international negotiations must move forward implementation of policies and programmes that secure the human rights of girls and women.
We call upon the member states of the UN and the various UN human rights and development entities to recognise and support the important role of women’s groups and organisations working at the forefront of challenging traditional values and practices that are intolerant to fundamental human rights norms, standards and principles.
Drafted by:
Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL)
International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW Asia Pacific)
Endorsed by: Amnesty International ANIS – Institute of Bioethics, Human Rights and Gender – Brazil
Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) Asia Safe Abortion Partnership Fiji Women’s Rights Movement Namibia Women’s Health Network Rutgers WPF, Netherland Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poor urban services found to increase risk of #Vaw #womenrights


ActionAid says lack of transport, housing, sanitation and street lighting leaves poor women and girls in cities vulnerable

Indian women travel inside a ‘women only’ metro train compartment in Delhi

Indian women travel inside a ‘women only’ metro train compartment in Delhi. Photograph: Yirmiyan Arthur/AP

Poor quality and underfunded public services are exacerbating the “constant” violence, harassment and intimidation that millions of women face in cities and urban centres across the world, according to a report.

 

ActionAid International interviewed women in six cities – in Recife (Brazil), Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Mombasa (Kenya), Monrovia (Liberia) and (Kathmandu) Nepal – who spoke of the daily threats they face, including rape, sexual harassment, robbery and beatings, in public spaces and around their homes and places of work.

 

The report says lack of access to public services such as transport, decent housing, sanitation, water and street lighting was leaving poor women and girls vulnerable and exposed. Systematic failings by police to address the widespread problem of violence against women and girls exacerbated these threats.

 

More than half the global population – around 3.4 billion people – now live in urban areas. The UN says rapid urbanisation has increased the risks for people living in urban areas, especially women and children. According to its figures, global crime rates rose by 30% between 1980 and 2000. Between 2002 and 2007, 60% of urban residents in developing countries, the majority women and young girls, reported they had been victims of crime.

 

 

Women street vendors in Addis Ababa told ActionAid that lack of policing meant they were attacked and robbed on their way home from work by men who knew they were carrying money.

 

In Phnom Penh, garment workers lived in cramped, rented rooms with few basic facilities near their place of work. Many are forced to walk down dark, muddy roads late at night after overtime shifts. A lack of policing and street lighting has led to the constant risk of attack, robbery or sexual assault.

 

In Mombasa, women and girls living near and around the dumpsites of Mwakirunge lack access to water, electricity or healthcare. Research concludes that this lack of services has led to extreme violence, such as rape and young children being sexually harassed.

 

“Violence against women is obviously a global problem and as the majority of people now live in cities, public services can and must be part of the solution for making their lives safer,” said Ramona Vijeyarasa, senior programme manager for women’s rights at ActionAid International.

 

A big part of the problem, said Vijeyarasa, is that women have no voice or participation in planning decisions. “City planning is still very much a male-dominated world, and until women can have a say in how cities should be designed and built, their needs and safety are going to be ignored.”

 

In 2011, a study into urbanisation, poverty and violence (pdf) by the International Development Research Centre, said city design had an influence on gendered patterns of crime and urban violence. For example, public transport, designed predominantly for the needs of male workers, paid little attention to women’s safety.

 

It concluded that the “dark side” of urbanisation and spiralling levels of violence threaten to erase the potential of cities to stimulate growth, productivity and economic dividends for some of the world’s poorest people.

 

ActionAid International said governments must allocate funds to ensure the provision of accessible and affordable public services, including drinking water, healthcare, education, housing, sanitation, electricity, roads and transport for poor people, especially women and girls.

 

Services to prevent and redress violence against women, both in the private sphere and in public, should also be included in the realm of essential public services.

 

Some international efforts have been made to try to address the problem of rapid urbanisation leading to increasing levels of gender violence. In 2011, Unicef, UN-Habitat and UN Women launched a Safe and Friendly Cities for All (pdf) initiative, a five-year programme aimed at making women and children feel safer in local neighbourhoods

 

 Delhi student gang-raped after leaving mall in an auto cried for help for 2 hours ; two arrested #Vaw


Reported by Sonal Mehrotra, Edited by Sindhu Manjesh | Updated: March 07,

 Delhi student gang-raped after leaving mall in an auto; two arrested
GhaziabadTwo of the three suspects in the gang-rape of a schoolgirl in Ghaziabad have been arrested today. The girl was gang-raped on Saturday after she took an auto-rickshaw  to head home from a mall in Ghaziabad, on the outskirts of Delhi, a little after 8 pm. The  auto had been stolen by three men who were on what the police describe as “a joyride.”The girl was told the two men sitting in the back were passengers.  “Shared autos” are a common practice here, partly because they make commuting cheaper, and because there’s a paucity of public transport.

The auto drove through multiple police check points for a journey that lasted more than two hours on Saturday night.  The men in the back  pinned the girl down and gagged her, preventing her from shouting for help, according to the police.

When the men had raped the teenager in a secluded area near a major highway, they threw her onto the road. But not before robbing her of her cash and cellphone.

Police patrol vans that were on duty did not spot the auto, or the abandoned girl.  She  was found lying bleeding near a highway by passers-by who took her to a police station.

The assault repeats the horrific details of the fatal gang-rape of a medical student in a moving bus in Delhi in December, which became the origin for massive street protests and tough new laws to punish crimes against women.  In that case, Amanat (NOT her real name) boarded a bus after visiting a South Delhi mall with a male friend.  A gang of men on the bus hit the couple with an iron rod, raped Amanat, and then threw her friend and her, naked and bleeding, onto the road.

Since then, the police has said that it has increased patrolling in areas like malls, which are visited frequently by women at nigh

Invitation- Know Whats wrong with Clinical Establishment Act in context of Maharashtra


Consultation on the proposed Clinical Establishment Act in context of Maharashtra on 12th of March, 2013 at 3 pm at College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan, New Marine Lines

 

 

Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (JSA) is the Indian circle of the People’s Health Movement, a worldwide movement to establish health and equitable development as top priorities through comprehensive primary health care and action on the social determinants of health. The Jan Swasthya Abhiyan coalition consists of several hundred organisations as well as a large number of individuals that have endorsed the Indian People’s Health Charter adopted in the year 2000.

 

State government is moving to adopt the National Clinical Establishments Act in its existing form in Maharashtra.  While the National Act in its existing form has certain positive provisions, its implementation is likely to remain quite inadequate, since it does not specify any dedicated regulatory framework to ensure implementation of provisions, the manner of regulation is not participatory or accountable (opening the likelihood of totally bureaucratic regulation without much scope for civil society organizations to promote interests of patients), and there is no mention of patients rights.

 

The Mumbai Chapter of Jan Swasthya Abhiyan is organizing a consultation on the proposed Clinical Establishment Act in context of Maharashtra. The Consultation will be held on the 12th of March, 2013 between 3 pm and 6 pm at College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan, New Marine Lines.

 

There is significant interest among civil society organisations regarding this act, since there is an urgent need to regulate the current private medical sector. There is need to build awareness in society about the significance of this act, especially  given certain amount of resistance and misinformation from sections of the private medical profession regarding the act. 

 

This consultation is aimed at developing a clear understanding about the proposed Act and its implications on people’s 

access to quality health care.

 

A panel comprising of an advocate, a representative from JSA and the President of Indian Medical Association, Mumbai  will be addressing the participants at the consultation.

 

You are requested to kindly attend the consultation.

 

for more information contact- Leni Chaudhuri-9820639762, Kamayani Bali Mahabal – 9820749204

 

 

 

International Women’s Day Past and Present- Anuradha Ghandy #mustead #mustshare


8 March 2001 is the 91st anniversary of the International Women’s Day (IWD), which was first declared in 1910. In that year, Clara Zetkin, inspired by the working class women’s movement in America, proposed to the Second International Conference of the Socialist Working Women that an annual celebration of women’s day be held. The Socialist International meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, established a Women’s Day, international in character, to honour the movement for women’s right and to assist in achieving universal suffrage for women. The proposal was greeted with unanimous approval by the conference of over 100 women from 17 countries. No fixed date was selected for the observance.

 

As a result of this decision, the first International Women’s Day was held on 19 March 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, where more than one million women and men attended rallies. In addition to the right to vote, they demanded the right to work, to vocational training and an end to discrimination on the job. The date was chosen by Germany women as 19 March, because, on that date in 1848, the Prussian king, faced with an armed uprising, had promised many reforms, including an unfulfilled one of votes for women.

 

In 1913, the date for the IWD was changed to 8 March. This was to commemorate tow important events which occurred on that day. On 8 March 1857, women garment and textile workers in New York City had staged, for the first time, a protest against in-human working conditions, the 12-hour work day and low wages. The marchers were attacked and dispersed by the police. Two years later, again in March, these women formed their first union. Again on 8 March 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter working hours, better pay, voting rights and an end to child labour. They adopted the slogan‘Bread and Roses’; with bread symbolizing economic security and roses, a better quality of life. In May of that year, the Socialist Party of America designated the last Sunday in February for the observance of the National Women’s Day.

 

The first National Women’s Day was observed across the USA on 28 February 1909. Soon, women in Europe began celebrating Women’s Day on the last Sunday of February. It was in this background that Clara Zetkin put forward the proposal for an International Women’s Day at the 1910 Conference of the Women’s Socialist International. Within a week of the first celebrations in 1911, on 25 March 1911, over 140 working girls were killed in the tragic Triangle Fire in the USA. This event had a far reaching effect on labour legislation in the USA and gave the IWD a further impetus.

 

On the eve of World War I, Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day in 1913. Elsewhere in Europe, on or around 8 March of the following year, women held rallies either to protest against the war or to express solidarity with oppressed women. The most famous International Working Women’s Day was the 8 March 1917 (24 February in the Russian style calendar) strike for ‘bread and peace’ led by the Russian women of St. Petersburg. Both Clara Zetkin and Alexandra Kollontai took part in this event. The IWD strike merges with the riots that had spread throughout the city between 8-12 March. The February Revolution, as it came to be known, forced the Czar to abdicate.

In the Soviet Union, 8 March was declared a national holiday and accompanied by a celebration of ‘the heroic women workers’.Since then, 8 March has grown in significance, and its celebrations throughout the world have marked a growing awareness of women’s rights. The great advances achieved in women’s rights in the Soviet Union, after the socialist revolution, were an inspiration to women throughout the world. The Chinese revolution in 1949 showed how, even in one of the most backward countries of the world, seeped in feudal values and patriarchal thinking, women can be aroused for change. The gigantic strides made by women in socialist China were a living example for women throughout the Third World. Particularly, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, and its consistent attack on feudal Confucian thinking, acted as a great source for the further emancipation of women in China. Comrade Chiang Chiang was its living symbol.

 

The 1960s and early 1970s, which saw a strong democratic upsurge in the capitalist countries and powerful national liberation movements in the Third World, also witnessed a rejuvenation of the women’s liberation movement. The movement had such an enormous impact throughout the world that the imperialists sought to destroy it through co-option and diversion into acceptable channels. This resulted in large, corporate or state-funded NGOs vehemently attacking socialism, and putting for-ward a bourgeois form of feminism. The process of co-option culminated in the United Nations officially recognizing 8 March as the International Women’s Day in 1977. Since then, the most bourgeois and reactionary organizations have also come to ‘celebrate’ 8 March, depriving it of its revolutionary content and great history of struggle, through which it originated. This process was further catalysed with the reversal of socialism, first in the Soviet Union, and, later, in China. The first casualty of these reversals was the denial of some of the rights achieved by women under socialism.

Yet, the International Women’s Day continues to live on amongst the oppressed women of the world. The temporary setback of the communist movement and socialism, and the re-assertion of capitalism/imperialism, has hit women hard. Globalizations, and the crass consumerism associated with it, have witnessed the mass commodification of women, on a scale unheard of before. The cosmetic industry, tourism and bourgeois media have degraded the women’s body as never before, without any respect for their individuality. This, coupled with mass poverty, has led to entire populations turning to prostitution as witnessed in East Europe, East Asia, Nepal, etc. Coupled with this, the rise of religious fundamentalism and various sects throughout the world is pushing another section of women back to a status of the Dark Ages. Squeezed between these two extremes, women, today, more than ever before, feel the need for assertion, for self-respect and equality with their male counterparts. 8 March has, therefore, an even greater significance today.

 

The revisionists and bourgeois liberals seek to dampen the women’s spirit of freedom, displaying mock ‘concern,’ acting as condescending saviors, confining women to their home. They compromise with patriarchal values, feudal traditions and fear women’s emancipation and assertion. They, of course, also ‘celebrate’ women’s day, as a routine, issuing out the regular hypocritical statements.

 

It is the revolutionary forces throughout the world, and, more particularly, the Maoists, who have brought back a living vibrancy to the IWD, making it, once again, a day symbolizing the struggle of women for freedom, self-respect, equality and emancipation from all patriarchal values and exploitative practices. It is this revolutionary spirit that kindles a new hope in the future for the oppressed women of India, and the world.

 

From: Scripting the Change- Selected writings of Anuradha Ghandy- DAANISH BOOKS

 

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