Conflict aggravated miseries of women in JK

Workshop on Domestic Violence


Srinagar, Jan 1: Taking the Indian civil society head-on for its alleged ‘discriminatory’ role, the Kashmir based civil society members and human rights activists Tuesday said the armed conflict going on in Jammu and Kashmir had escalated every kind of rights abuse against women including domestic violence.
Talking at a sensitization workshop ‘Domestic Violence in JK’ organized by the Human Rights Law Network (HRKN), the participants stressed on the effective implementation of the stringent laws in the state to stop the violence against women folk.
“In Delhi rape was committed by civilians, but in Kashmir hundreds of rapes have been committed by state actors. The problem actually is that masculinity of man is challenged by forces outside and in turn men try to exert pressure on women at their homes. It catalyzed the domestic violence,” said a woman activists and Chairperson Kashmir Centre for Social and Developmental Studies (KCSDS) Prof Hamida Nayeem.
Prof Hamida said the rapes had been going on since long in Kashmir but the Indian civil society groups and media turned a blind eye towards these crimes inflicted on women in Kashmir.
“The way gang rape of Delhi girl triggered extensive media coverage and protests by activist in India, why not hundreds of such crimes in Kashmir been highlighted?” she questioned.
Prof Hamida said that people should revive or establish Mohalla Committees whenever any wrong doing happens against women. “We have lost faith in government institutions so there is need for social intervention to stop this,” she said.
Senior Journalist, Zahiruddin said the human rights violations emanating as a result of conflict in  the Valley have put many domestic issues on the backburner.
“We have to face the plenty of serious human rights abuses due to heavy militarization in Kashmir. So the issues like domestic violence have taken a back seat. The media organizations also had many pulls and pressures by which they could not highlight certain violations,” he said.
Earlier, the representatives of HRLN highlighted the pros and cons of the Jammu and Kashmir Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2010.
“The Act came about in response to decade-long pressure from various national and international organizations and activists. But two years later, despite noble intentions, it remains an unviable proposition,” said Shahnawaz, an Advocate in the District Court Pulwama.
He said that the little thinking had gone into understanding the context in which spousal abuse overwhelmingly occurs in Kashmir. “The ground realities have been ignored and the implementation aspects left woolly and unprovided for.”
 The social activist, Qurat-ul-Ain said the law did not take into account the realities of the joint family system where female members of the family heap both physical and emotional aggression against a woman. “We need to change our patriarchal mindset to ensure continuance of the joint family ethos to cushion the woman against violence,” she said.
The day long workshop was attended by students, social activists, lawyers and journalists who deliberated on various aspects of the violence and suggested ways to put an end to the criminal mindset.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 1 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 1 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 2 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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