Odisha: Gender-based inequality still at its peak on many fronts Workshop on the CEDAW held in the city

Bhubaneswar: The government must take actions on the constitutional, legislative and administrative reforms that have been adopted by our country in response to CEDAW recommendations to eliminate discrimination against women as well as to prevent and address gender-based violence against women, said a group of Women rights activists and grassroots level women leaders who congregated in a workshop on Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), held in Bhubaneswar today.
The workshop was organised by Odisha Shramajeebee Manch and Mahila Shramajeebee Manch, Odisha, the people collectives which work towards socio-economic and political empowerment of the people especially for Tribals, Dalits and women.
“Orthodox and brutish male-dominated family systems, and the tradition of patriarchal inheritance have shored up the idea that women are mere ‘possessions’. All forms of violence against women must be stopped and collective actions to abate this is the need of the hour”, said Ms Shanti Bhoi, President, Mahila Shramajeebi Manch, Odisha.
Worrying trends
Odisha contributes to about 3% of India’s population but, with 94.5 cases of crime against women per lakh people, the state also contributed to 5.6% of all crime against women in 2017. It ranks as the second-worst state in the country on this front, as per the data released by National Crime Record Bureau report, 2017.
Inequality, in a gender lens, is undoubtedly a daunting challenge. Data from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS 4) shows a grim picture of the state of women in Odisha. The survey says, between 2012 and 2018, the incidence of rape cases in Odisha increased from 7.2 per lakh women to 9.7 per lakh women. In the six years from 2012, 2,921 women have been killed for dowry-related issues in the state.
The data further disclose that the female literacy rate in the state is 67.4%. By the time girls turn 15, their school attendance drops to 63%. Therefore, the state government must prioritize efforts to ensure an equitable and a rightful place for girls and women of our state.

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