International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women: Basics Explained

On 7 February 2000, the General Assembly adopted resolution 54/134, officially designating 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on 25 November, followed by the global 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence, is a moment to reflect on, renew, amplify, and strategize to achieve commitments to eliminate violence against women by 2030.

The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women issued by the UN General Assembly in 1993, defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”

  •  One-Stop Crisis Centre for women in distress; A Women and Child development ministry’s initiative, the Centre would act as a one-stop facility to provide all kinds of aid to women in distress including medical help, counselling, legal and police assistance, while ensuring anonymity of the victim. The Centre will be mandated to provide legal, medical and psychological assistance to distressed women. There are many scenarios when women, who are stalked, molested, raped or experience violence are not willing to go to a police station. So the idea is to provide them all assistance at one place while maintaining their privacy. The victims of rape, dowry harassment and domestic violence will get medical aid and also help in filing FIRs, legal advice and psychological counselling.
  • Beti bachao beti Padhao (BBBP) Yojana (save daughter, educate daughter) to save and empower the girl child; Prevention of gender biased sex selective elimination; Ensuring survival & protection of the girl child  and  Ensuring education and participation of the girl child; coordinated and convergent efforts to ensure survival, protection and empowerment of the girl child.
  •  Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005: The amendments of 2005 gave equal right to daughters in coparcener properties by removing the discrimination that existed in the original enactment, the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 against Hindu women on rights over ancestral properties. The Supreme Court (October 2015), interpreted the succession law, declared that the provisions of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, are applicable “prospectively” [on and from September 9, 2005, when the Act came into force], and not with “retrospective” effect as held by some High Courts in the country. The Karnataka High Court had held that daughters would be entitled to equal share even if father had died prior to September 9, 2005, when litigations over partition were pending in courts.
  • The Delhi High Court( September 2015) allowed women to be granted permanent commission in the Navy, ensuring that women naval officers enjoyed rights similar to their counterparts in the Army and the Air Force.
  • Navy treated women officers as a group entitled only to a short service commission of 14 years and men were entitled to both short service and permanent commissions.
  • The Supreme Court(January 2016) said no temple or governing body can bar a woman from entering the famous Sabarimala shrine in Kerala where lakhs of devotees throng annually to worship.
  • The Constitution in Article 15(3) lends helping hands to the women and children by incorporating that nothing would prevent the State from legislating any provisions for women and children. 
  • Article 14 prohibits discrimination of any kind but Article 15(3) encourages affirmative discrimination in favour of women.
  •           The Act( a civil law) is enacted to protect wife or female live-in partner at the hands of the husband or male live-in partner or his relatives, the law also extends its protection to women living in a household such as sisters, widows or mothers from domestic violence-definition being broad and including not only physical violence, but also other forms of violence such as emotional/verbal, sexual, and economic abuse.
  •            Domestic violence under the act includes actual abuse or the threat of abuse whether physical, sexual, verbal, emotional or economic. Any form of harassment, coercion, harm to health, safety, limb or well-being is covered.
  •                Physical abuse: Defined as act or conduct that is of such a nature as to cause bodily pain, harm, or danger to life, limb or health or impair the health or development of the aggrieved person’. Physical abuse also includes assault, criminal intimidation and criminal force.
             Sexual abuse: The legislation defines this as conduct of “sexual nature” that ‘abuses, humiliates, degrades or otherwise violates the dignity of a woman.’
              Verbal and Emotional abuse: Insults/ ridicule of any form, including those with regard to inability to have a male child, as well as repeated threats.
              Economic abuse: Categorized as including deprivation of financial resources required for survival of the victim and her children, the disposing of any assets which the victim has an interest/stake in and prohibition/restriction of financial resources which the victim is used to while in the domestic relationship.
  •                             The Supreme Court, Lalita Toppo vs The State of Jharkhand and Anr observed that a live-in partner can seek maintenance under the provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.


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