State Women’s Commission dormant, women’s rights go for a toss

Srinagar, Dec 12: The Jammu and Kashmir State Women’s Commission, a crucial institution tasked with safeguarding the rights of women, has been inactive since 2019.

The absence of this regulatory body raises serious questions about the J&K government’s commitment to addressing the alarming surge in crimes against women.

After the abrogation of Article 370, the J&K government winded up the State Commission for the Protection of Women and Child Rights (SCPWCR).

It also ordered that the chairperson of the women and child rights panel should cease to hold office from October 31, 2019.

All the cases are now being transferred to the National Commission for Women (NCW) headquartered in New Delhi.

Talking to Greater Kashmir, former chairperson of the J&K State Commission for Women, VasundharaPathakMasoodi expressed concern over the stark increase in crimes against women in the region.

She said that amid increasing crimes against women, the Women’s Commission stands as an indispensable force, working relentlessly to break down barriers and build a future where every woman can live free from discrimination and violence.

“Cases of women related to eve teasing, rapes, harassment, and domestic violence were addressed by the Women’s Commission. Women were more comfortable in approaching the Commission instead of the Court. They have to hire a lawyer to proceed with their case. But their cases were solved in the Commission after proper verification and procedure. Even counselling in the Women’s Commission has proved beneficial,” Masoodi said. “It serves as a platform for women to voice their concerns and aspirations. It ensures that the diverse needs and perspectives of women are acknowledged and incorporated into policies and programmes.”

J&K has witnessed a concerning rise in crimes against women, with over 11,000 cases registered between 2020 and 2022, according to the latest Crime in India Report released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

Despite a marginal dip from 3937 cases in 2021, J&K recorded 3716 crimes against women in 2022, significantly higher than the 3405 cases in 2020.

Kidnapping and abduction of women emerged as a major concern, with a staggering 886 cases reported in 2022.

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