Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Women demand separate wing to tackle domestic violence

A round-table conference of women’s representatives has demanded that the Government constitute a separate wing to implement the Domestic Violence Act, divesting the Woman and Child Welfare Department of the responsibility.

The Mahila Satta and the Legal Cell of the Lok Satta organized the conference to review implementation of the four-year-old Act at the Lok Satta Party Headquarters here today.

Participants cutting across party lines pointed out that implementation of the Act left much to be desired and traced the high incidence of violence against women to the growing liquor consumption and consumerism and illiteracy among women. Significantly, the participants conceded there were instances of violence against men too which need to be addressed.

The participants in the four-hour conference included Mrs. Tripurana Venkataratnam and K. Pushpaleela (Congress), Mrs. Madhavi Deepak and Mrs. Shaheeda Begum (Praja Rajyam), AP Women’s Federation State Secretary Aruna, Telangana Democratic Front President N. Vijayalakshmi, Mrs. Aruna of Vikasa Dhatri, Mrs. Challa Uma of AIFW, Mrs. Kalpavalli and Mrs. Lakshmi, social workers, Mrs. Mahalakshmi, Vice President, State Mahila Satta, Mrs. Gajanani, GHMC Mahila Satta Secretary, Mrs. Padmavati of the Legal Cell, and Lok Satta leaders Mrs. Y. Ramadevi, Subhashini, Mangala, Rama Subhadra, Sujata, Vimaladevi, Sarada, Vijayakumari, Vijaya Venkateswarai, Nirmalarani, V. Ramachandraiah, A. B. Prathap Reddy and Srikant.

Mrs. K. Gita Murthy, Mahila Satta General Secretary, coordinated the program.

Initiating the discussion, Lok Satta Legal Cell Convener C. V. L. Narasimha Rao wanted the media to publicize the Domestiv Violence Act and educate people. Mrs. Tripurana Venkataratnam suggested that the Government open family counseling centers up to the mandal level and utilize retired employees’ services. Mrs. Pushpa Lela welcomed the trend of women coming together transcending their political differences. Mrs. Madhavi Deepak said that domestic violence could be prevented through eradication of the drink evil. Mrs. Aruna of the AP Women’s Federation said that committed and knowledgeable persons be appointed to the State’s Women’s Commission. Mrs. Mahalakshmi wanted swift punishment to the guilty under the Act. Mrs. Aruna of the Vikasa Dhatri suggested that the Government, media and civil society organizations fight jointly against domestic violence.

The conference endorsed Mr. C. V. L. Narasimha Rao’s suggestion that an action committee be formed after some more workshops to take the cause forward.

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