Despite the enactment of stringent laws to protect women’s personal rights and dignity, violence against women has been on the rise. A concerted effort by every section of the society is the need of the hour to check the incidence of these barbarian acts, said the Chairperson of Tamil Nadu State Social Welfare Board, Salma.

Speaking at a function to mark the observance of the ‘International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women’ jointly organised by the Parents Trust, Tiruchi and Sadhana, an exclusive women’s forum at Bishop Heber College in the city on Thursday, Ms. Salma said that although a total of 81 laws had been enacted in our country for protecting women’s rights, the number of incidents involving violence against girls and women was on the rise, indicating the need for further strengthening the women’s dignity. Apart from legal ambit, every section of the society should launch a determined fight against this evil, she said.

Analysing the factors leading to sexual harassment or domestic violence against women, the noted feminist writer said that lack of awareness among women about their personal rights and the legal protection enshrined in various Acts was one of the major reasons for the precarious condition of women. In this regard, she appealed to women to be fully aware of every provision of these Acts and seek immediate remedy.

On the fall in sex ratio, Ms. Salma said that female foeticide was the major factor which led to the poor ratio. She appealed to the voluntary organisations and individuals and professionals to sensitise the masses to the ill-effects of female foeticide and its adverse impact on the social order.

The Judicial Magistrate, Tiruchi, L. Abraham Lincoln, in his address, said that eve-teasing was the major menace against girls. The affected persons should shun their reservations and seek legal remedy by preferring a complaint with the police.

The Superintendent of Police, Perambalur, V. Vanitha, said that women should develop determination to face their challenges.

The Managing Trustee of Parents Trust, T. Jayanthi Ranee, vice-president of the Sadhana, Parimala Kalarani and the Vice-Principal of the college Susila Appadurai were among those who spoke.