Nov 25, 2016

Oxfam India launches Bano Nayi Soch campaign to end violence against women

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Oxfam India today launched ‘Bano Nayi Soch’ campaign to end violence against women and girls in India.  The nation-wide campaign, started from Bihar, coincides with 25 years of the UN designated International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. 

‘Bano Nayi Soch’ campaign aims to challenge and change the way existing social understanding and practices ensure that women and girls continue to face violence from ‘womb to tomb’.

The event was attended by Finance Minister of Bihar Abdul Bari Siddiqui, Managing Director of Women Development Corporation Dr. N Vijaylaxmi, Padma Shri awardee and social worker Sudha Varghese and Vice Chairman Bihar State Disaster Management Shri Vyas ji.  

“In a country where women are revered as Goddess it is sad that violence against women continues. We have taken steps in the direction of gender equality. Bihar is the first state to implement 50 per cent reservation in Panchayati Raj institutions. Globally, the challenge is that men are considered socially superior. I am glad that Oxfam India is working to change this idea. Apart from legislations, there is a need to bring a change in the attitudes of citizens as well,” said Bihar Finance Minister Abdul Bari Siddiqui.  

“It is frightening to know that 54 per cent women and 51 per cent men think it is normal for women to be beaten up by their spouses for various reasons.  Government data shows women are abused for insignificant issues like not serving hot food or arguing with the husband or even for going out without telling the spouse. The campaign will challenge the acceptance of this so called social norm,” said Oxfam India CEO Nisha Agrawal.   

In the last ten years, Bihar has shown considerable progress to move towards gender equality and reduce spousal violence. 

“Bihar has made a promising start in the direction of gender equality. As per the National Family Health Survey 3 (NFHS) Bihar had the highest prevalence (59.0 per cent) of spousal violence. The NFHS-4 survey showed a reduction by 15.8 per cent, down to 43.2 per cent,” said Managing Director of Bihar Women Development Corporation Dr. N Vijaylaxmi.

“To sustain the momentum on this issue and ensure further empowerment of women Bihar government must take some immediate policy interventions like setting up of Department of Women and Child Development, ensure livelihood and land rights and stronger implementation of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act,” said Nisha Agrawal.

The Indian state has enacted laws like the Protection of Women against Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA) 2005, and the Criminal Amendment Act 2013 to provide relief and justice to women facing violence at private and public spheres. However, the poor implementation of the laws has made it inaccessible to women in general, and more so women from socially excluded sections.

Over 30 countries including Pakistan, Indonesia, Morocco will be a part of this multi-country campaign over time. The multi-country campaign called “Enough: Together We Can End Violence Against Women and Girls” aims to mobilize citizens and decision-makers to challenge the discrimination that drives this abuse against women and girls. 

India and many other countries in the world have recently committed to the Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved by 2030. One of the goals is gender equality and empowered of all women and girls.  The country has also promised to eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.

“It is time that India including Bihar works aggressively to achieve these goals. This must be an urgent imperative for all of us,” said Nisha Agrawal. 

 

Please contact Himanshi Matta, Media Coordinator (08860182310, himanshi@oxfamindia.org , Twitter @himanshimatta ), Pravind Kumar Praveen, Regional Manager (Bihar), 9771473681 for further information or to arrange for an interview.