Noorbina Rasheed, member, Kerala State Women’s Commission, has said that the local bodies show no interest in the functioning of the jagratha samithis, local-level committees intended to solve the problems of women.

The committees can help solve those problems at the local level without the intervention of the commission.

Ms. Rasheed told presspersons after the commission’s hearing here on Tuesday that the local bodies were not considering the importance of forming the committees and strengthening their activities. The committees could have settled most of the cases and prevented their flow to the commission.

She said the complaints being lodged before the commission were mostly related to property disputes. A rising practice was to involve women in property disputes and make them approach the commission.

She, however, said the number of cases of marital discord reaching the commission had come down, possibly because more people were approaching courts to settle such cases.

She said the commission would consider all complaints involving issues that came under its jurisdiction, including those relating to cases pending in courts. She admitted that it was getting many complaints outside its purview.

Ms. Rasheeda said the commission had taken up the problems being faced by teachers of schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education with the National Women’s Commission.

She said the State commission had initiated steps to raise the status of women. A programme to offer counselling to newly married couples and those planning to marry was under way. The first counselling class was held in Thiruvananthapuram, and similar classes would be conducted in other districts.

Seventy-nine cases were taken up for hearing at the sitting here on Tuesday, and 38 were settled. Four cases were referred to a sitting of the full commission.

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