Nov 27, 2017

Oxfam India Marks International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in Lucknow


Oxfam India today released a policy brief on the state of gender development and women’s empowerment in Uttar Pradesh.  


The brief examines the socio-economic progress in the state along with implementation of schemes for gender development & empowerment and recommends urgent actions to address the growing gender based violence and inequality in the state.


Uttar Pradesh has a prominent role in the Indian economy; not only because of its large geographical area or the highest share of India’s population (16.5%); but due to several economic, social and political factors.


Uttar Pradesh continues to witness a high rate of violence against women. In 2005-06, the state had the prevalence of spousal violence at 42.4 per cent, which has reduced by 5.7 percentage points during the last 10 years. As per the National Family Health Survey-4, in 2015-16 this figure stood at 36.7 per cent. This level is 7.8 percentage point higher as compared to the All India level of 28.8 percent.  The decline of 5.7 percentage points is also not impressive when compared to other states.  For example, Bihar has seen a decline of 15.9 percentage points in spousal violence, a very commendable achievement.


“This very high level of domestic violence is just one of the indicators of the low value put to women and girls in UP.  UP needs to forcefully adopt the Beti Bachao, Beti Padao campaign and ry and change the social norms and attitudes that lead to such high levels of gender inequality and violence. It also needs to update its State Women’s Policy of 2006 and align it with the National Women’s Policy 2016 (draft).  A strong policy also needs to be backed by resources to implement the laws, policies and programs necessary for bringing about gender quality, and this can be done through gender budgeting as is recommended in both the State and National Policy” said Nisha Agrawal, CEO of Oxfam India.


The policy brief makes several recommendations including urging the Government of Uttar Pradesh to implement the Hindu Succession Act (HSA) 2005, so that women get their fair share from ancestral property.  Further, the state government could adopt a model for property ownership similar to the one in Gujarat and create incentive structure in cases of property purchased in women’s name only or a single male ownership converted to joint ownership of husband and wife.


India 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, including in Uttar Pradesh, has made it inaccessible to women in general and more so to women from socially excluded sections.


On November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Oxfam India in collaboration with Dastak will be organizing an innovative cultural event “Sajhi Awaz Sajhi Parwaz” to mobilize young boys and girls to demand gender equality and to fight violence against women in Uttar Pradesh.


The event will be organised as part of Oxfam India’s gender campaign ‘Bano Nayi Soch’. The campaign aims at challenging the existing social practices that promote violence against women and girls from ‘womb to tomb’.


Around 1500 young boys and girls will gather at Sangeet Natak Academy lawns to take a pledge for creating a new society that respects women and girls and ends  violence against them.


Please contact Himanshi Matta, Media Coordinator (08860182310,, Twitter @himanshimatta) for queries.