GUWAHATI: On the occasion of International Women's Day, several women organizations raised a voice against rising crime against women in the state.
Demanding women's safety committees (WSC) at the panchayat level, the organizations - the All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA), the Asom Mahila Sangha, the North East Network, the Sadou Asom Pragatishil Nari Sanstha and the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) -submitted a memorandum to the chief minister seeking government intervention to check crimes against women.
"We would like to bring to your kind attention the rising incidence of violence against women in public and private spaces in all districts of Assam. Cases of domestic violence, acid attack, molestation, stalking and sexual harassment of women at workplace among others are on the rise," the memorandum said.
"We strongly recommend establishment of women's safety committees at the panchayat level with equal representation of men and women to ensure safety of women in homes and public places. It is high time. Besides, compensation and restitution for victims of violence through state funded schemes must be made easily accessible and without procedural delays," said Anurita Hazarika of NEN.
The crime against women has been terribly increasing in the state. According to the government report, altogether 22,223 rape cases have been registered in the state from 2001 to May 2016. And 1,922 women have lost their lives in the same period of time due to dowry related issues. Apart from that, from June 2016 to January 2017, altogether 1,294 rape cases have been registered and 97 women have died due to dowry-related issues in the same period.
Among others, they also demanded at least 50% reservations for women in the local governance bodies of the Sixth Schedule areas, to ensure representation of women in public committees such as block-level vigilance and monitoring committees, village health, sanitation and nutrition committees, social audit committees, village education committees, nagarik/citizens' committees, social justice committees and peace committees.
Kamrup (Metro) deputy commissioner M Angamuthu, who received the memorandum, assured the representatives of women's organizations that the matter will be looked into.