TAMIL NADU

Measures sought to stop violence against women

DINDIGUL, NOV.29 . The Dindigul MLA, K. Balabarathi, today said creation of a society free from gender bias was essential to stop harassment of women and girl children.

Addressing an awareness meeting against atrocities and violence against women held here, she expressed grave concern over rapid increase in the number of eve-teasing cases. "What is pathetic is that violence and teasing were accepted by the society. Creation of an awareness of violence against women, particularly among rural women would have a greater impact. Rights and legal support should also be propagated among women to enable them to fight against atrocities'', she said.

Women Movement Against Poverty and Violence member R. Gayathri Devi said that 46,125 women were killed in dowry harassment between 1997 and 2002 and 2.65 lakh women harassed by husband and his family members. Besides, 94,773 women were exposed to sexual harassment and 92,000 girls abducted. About one lakh girl children were allegedly engaged in sex trade. Atrocities against women were rampant in homes rather than at public places. She appealed that the government should create equal employment opportunities for men and women in government as well as in private companies to make women economically independent. Government should implement 33.3 per cent job reservation for women. Change in society could be possible only through humanitarian and equalitarian approach towards women.

A. Bakiam, author of the book `Family violence — a multi faceted view', said the low female-male ratio in Dindigul district had reflected atrocities against women and girl children. About 1,064 cases of violence relating to women were registered in the district this year. A majority of cases were registered in the Nilakottai women police station.

Earlier, Ms. Balabarathi released the book.

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