‘Find your voice against Violence’ is a panel organised by National Commission for Women, India. It was held on the occasion of ‘International day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women’, November 25th, 2021. The conversation kicked off ‘16 days of activism against gender-based violence’ in 2021. The panel was commenced by Rekha Sharma, the chairperson stating that violence against women often starts at home, and the law can’t enter a home until after a crime is committed.
Girija Devi said that this violence against women is going to keep spiralling until we invest more on prevention that on punishment. If that investment is not made, not only will gender-based violence continue growing but at the same time, so many young men will end up in jails as a result of their upbringing. Ranjana Kumari also agreed to this stating that violence against women is so normalised in our households that boys grow up not knowing that abusing women is wrong.
Nidhi Goyal, founder-executive director of Rising Flame, was invited to share her insights on violence against women with disabilties. She raised the question of ‘who is a woman enough?’ Women with disabilities, be it physical, psychological or social, are often desexualised to the extent of being dehumanised.
The pandemic has increased the rate of violence that women with disabilities have had to face. A lot of this violence was indirectly inflicted by the state, by withholding essential resources. Justice has always been inaccessible to women standing at the intersections of disability, caste, class, gender and sexuality. She concluded by saying that speaking up against violence needs the support of society and a shift in the attitude of media and their portrayal of women.
Pam Rajput also stated that the media often focuses on the victim of violence instead of the perpetrator. This narrative needs to change.
The NCW, India, was also requested by the speakers to add more men to the list of panelists next time, since it’s imperative that men participate in taking action to make India a zero tolerance space for violence against women.
You can watch the full panel here.