India should come up with a clear framework to address the spate of sexual violence against women and girls in the country. Women’s safety, protection, and support should be a priority and the words put into action. The government should consider implementing sexual violence legislation and legal processes made should be easy for the victims and their families. Moreover, a special committee or a team made up of government officials, members from the judiciary system, academics, mental health experts, non-governmental organizations and members of the civil society should be set up to look into the increasing cases of sexual violence.
The special committee should focus on the causes of sexual violence against women including its root causes. They should look into the health, social and economic costs of violence against women. The special committee should establish policies, legislation, programmes and effective remedies. This will surely bring about a resolution of combating and ending the cycle of sexual violence against women. There should be effective strategies and interventions to address this endemic.
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Sexual violence is a vicious cycle. For working women, it reduces productivity and earnings for their families. The girl-child drops out of school, as going to school puts them at the risk of abuse. It also affects agency, including decision-making ability within the household. Violence affects women and girls of all ages and impacts their full and equal participation in society and the economy.
There has also been an increase in public sexual harassment. This is described as unwanted sexual advance or physical contact, comments, gestures or actions of sexual nature directed upon a stranger without their consent in a public area such as in train stations, buses, and streets. Sexual harassment includes unwanted whistling, leering, sexist and sexual comments, language or action that is explicitly or implicitly sexual. This issue should also be addressed by the special committee.
A comprehensive and multidisciplinary strategy is need of the hour to combat sexual violence against women. Moreover, it should be addressed on multiple levels and in multiple sectors of the society. The local people should play an active role in how women’s rights can be upheld, promoted and protected.