Narrative of Dalit Women- A report in United Nations Human Rights Commission - Seeker's Thoughts

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Saturday, 23 June 2018

Narrative of Dalit Women- A report in United Nations Human Rights Commission

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Introduction- The first report on 'Caste- Based Violence' particularly against women was released at United Nations Human Rights Council at Geneva.
Voices Against Caste Impunity: Narratives of Dalit Women in India- A report was published for addressing the gender violence in India. It includes- witness, statistics, and testimony about the caste based violence in India. It also suggest and recommends policy actions to end this. For the first time such presentation is given in United Nations Human Right Council by ' A dalit women's collective.'. Indian Government has condemned the report.
Issues- 
1. Structural violence- Reports highlights issues of discrimination. Discrimination begins early as mother's access to health care, infants access to adequate nutrition and in education system as well.
2- National family heath survey also quoted in report that by the age of 15, 33.2% schedules caste women experience physical violence while the figure is 19.7 for other category women.
3- The Violence continues largely due to a sense of impunity among dominant class.
4- Dalit women elected representatives have also faced discrimination in work place, where they were made feel inferior.
5- Many people from Schedules caste are not aware with their rights.
 Indian Government's Stand- Indian government rejects caste discrimination to be addressed as racial discrimination, as well as India does not want international community to interfere in internal matters. This does not mean that welfare measures were not taken from the government side, yet implementations of those rules and social narratives of caste still remains a dilemma.
A way ahead
At government's behalf - The Minister of Law and Justice introduced the schedule caste and schedule tribes (Prevention of atrocities) Amendment Bill 2014 in Lok Sabha.
There were introduction of new offences like --- Garlanding with Footwear, compelling to dispose of or carry human or animal carcasses or to do manual scavenging.
Abusing schedule caste/ schedule tribes by caste name in public also comes in the category of offence.
The bill proposed setting up special court at district level to try offences mentioned in bill.
The bill may include certain provisions for women related to schedule caste and schedule tribes to provide better governance.
As a Society- Social primitive practices of castes are still prevalent and this issue is not only related to law and order situation. It is related to deeper sense of culture which needs a correction on more scientific and humane approach. Government needs to sensitize people with the adverse impact of caste system.