Bhubaneswar: On the concluding day of the UN System’s 16 days of activism against Gender-based Violence and to mark the observation of International Human Rights Day, the Civil Society Organizations in Odisha wrote letter to the Chief Minister to make all workplace as harassment free Zone so that women and girls of our state can live in a better and safer society. Secondly, the state government must make guidelines to check online violence against women and girls in order to end it.
The letter has been sent by non-profit Atmashakti Trust, Mahila Shramajeebee Mancha, Odisha and Odisha Shramajeebee Mancha, on behalf of a network of CSOs, community members and individuals working with rural and tribal communities, marginalized women across 17 districts of Odisha.
Why gender-based violence a cause of concern?
Odisha ranks poorly on the safety of women. The recent report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) 2017 reported that the percentage of crimes against women in Odisha is outpouring. Though Odisha contributes to about 3% of India’s population, the rate of crime against women in the state was 5.6%. Odisha has been ranked as the second-worst state in the country on this front after Uttar Pradesh. Statistics indicate that a total of 11,318 cases of molestation against women have been reported in the state in 2019.
the NCRB report 2018, also reports that Odisha tops the rank in Assault of Women and use of force to disrobe and comes in second place in the country in cyber-crimes and transmitting of sexually explicit materials. The cyber-related crimes have increased by about 76 per cent in Odisha in 2019 (1485 cases) in comparison to 2018 (843 cases). Similarly, the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-4 report suggests that 35.2% of women in Odisha reported having faced spousal violence.
“The data reveals that gender-based violence in the state is a cause of concern and law alone cannot solve this problem. Empowerment of women from education to participate in decision-making process can sow the seeds of change. Therefore, we request the government to enforce measures and support systems so that violence against women and girls are minimized and they can enjoy social and legal protection for them in the society which is also a dire need to promote gender equality, said Shanti Bhoi, President, Mahila Shramajeebee Mancha, Odisha