MADHU Garg, Malti Devi, Seema Rana (state president, general secretary and joint secretary of AIDWA Uttar Pradesh committee) and I visited Varanasi on October 4-5. After the tremendous agitation launched by the women students against the apathy of the Banaras Hindu University administration towards rampant sexual harassment on the campus and the brutal attack on them by the police on the night of September 23, the university had been abruptly shut. It re-opened on the 2nd and we went to meet students and faculty members.
All India Democratic Women’s Association observed Dussehra on September 30, by burning the effigy of the so-called (religious) babas, who violate women behind the fig-leaf of religion and the anti-women vice-chancellor of BHU. These elements get the patronage of the BJP government which has also resulted in the exponential increase in the incidence of violence against women during the three-years of NDA rule.
EXPRESSING strong protest against the attempts made by the administration of the Jawaharlal Nehru University to weaken the GSCASH (committee to look into complaints of sexual harassment), the AIDWA, AIPWA, ANHAD, Guild of Service, JWP and NFIW have written a letter to the vice chancellor of the university, on September 16.
THE special CBI court in Panchkula, Haryana, has convicted the Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in the charge of rape of two sadhvis, in a case that was registered in 2002. This verdict has sparked off widespread violence and rioting in Haryana, Punjab, Delhi and parts of Uttar Pradesh, leading to the unfortunate death of over 30 people and injuries to hundreds. Both the centre and the Haryana government have failed miserably in anticipating the violence and in maintaining law and order.
ON May 24, Kerala High Court had declared the marriage of Shafin Jahan and Akhila alias Hadiya as null and void on the petition of the bride’s father. The father claimed that his daughter was forced to convert to Islam and marry a Muslim under the influence of the Islamic State. The petition alleged that the girl would be forcibly sent to Syria in order to work for the extremist Islamic outfit. In response, the Court nullified the marriage and the husband of the girl petitioned the Supreme Court.
THE All India Democratic Women’s Association has welcomed the majority judgement in “Shayara Bano v. Union of India and Ors” WP (C) No. 118/2016, in which the Supreme Court has held that triple talaq is arbitrary and un-constitutional. AIDWA, in a statement issued on August 22, has said that it always opposed the unilateral, arbitrary, irrevocable and instantaneous triple talaq, which has always adversely affected the lives of millions of Muslim women.
WOMEN’S anger erupted on July 31 at the gates of the Supreme Court of India against its recent judgement that would lead to the dilution of Section 498A. Several representatives of women's organisations assembled outside the Supreme Court to protest against the recent order of the Supreme Court on Section 498A and demanded its review. The demonstration was held within just three days of the Supreme Court order.
ON July 27, 2017 the Supreme Court of India passed orders that dilute the spirit and the content of the anti-dowry laws. The provision of 498A (protecting women from cruelty by husbands and relatives) was enacted in 1983 after a long struggle by the democratic women’s movement. This victory ensured that the affected women could approach the police and courts without any fear and harassment from their in-laws family and also use the law to protect themselves.
IT is indeed ironical that just a day after the ILO facilitated a national stakeholders meeting on a proposed National Policy for Domestic Workers for the government of India at New Delhi on July 11, the incidents of violence and repression in Noida happened after the news spread that a domestic worker had been wrongfully confined by her employer in a posh apartment complex.
A DELEGATION of the Delhi state committee of AIDWA, comprising Asha Sharma (general secretary), Maimoona Mollah (president), and Sehba Farooqui, Anjana, Asha Yadav (vice presidents), visited Jhewar to meet the victims and family of the recent violent attack and gang rape. The incident had occurred early morning on May 25 – a family, travelling by car was attacked near NOIDA Expressway, one of them, Shakil was shot dead and the women violated.