Social action committees mooted to address issues in rural areas

Every bus stop, school, college, university, and prominent centre should display posters about existing Acts that protect women against violence and sexual harassment, including the nature of punishment for each offence.

Every woman should feel responsible towards each other, as the onus to safeguard a woman’s dignity and self-respect is on each one of us, AP Women’s Commission Chairperson Tripurana Venkataratnam has said.

Addressing a large audience of aganwadi workers, social workers, advocates, SHG members, representatives of NGOs, and government and police officials at a workshop on ‘Women’s safety’ organised jointly by the Women Development and Child Welfare and District Rural Development Agency here on Saturday, she said: “From womb to tomb, a woman’s life is being tossed about in a sea of abuse and exploitation. Being attentive, confident, and coming out of the self-imposed shell helps to stand up and fight for one’s rights. Your life is precious and worth more than falling prey to petty attractions that snatch your peace of mind.”

“Despite there being a number of laws against sexual abuse, it is appalling to note the incidence of gender violence is increasing at an alarming pace. Apart from sensitising people at the micro level, there is a need to break the notion that demean woman and view her only as an object of desire,” the chairperson said.

To address violence against women in the rural areas, there is a proposal to establish social action committees with mandal level officers as members. The committees would provide support and counsel women and give them confidence to lodge a complaint.

Ms. Tripurana Venkataratnam said the AP State Commission for Women can be approached directly in case of any complaint on gender issues and the commission would take steps to address it. The office can be contacted at 040-27542017 or 040-27540415.

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