WOMEN’S RIGHTS INITIATIVE
Lawyers Collective, Women’s Rights Initiative in joint collaboration with National Commission for Women and supported by UNTF,held its Fourth National Conference, “Staying Alive: on the implementation of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005” on 19th December 2010 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.
The conference began with welcoming the dignitaries with floral bouquets and lighting of the lamp. Ms Indira Jaising, Executive Director, LCWRI welcomed the participants and also addressed the gathering. At this event, Smt Yasmeen Abrar, Member NCW released the fourth Monitoring and Evaluation Report, 2010 and Smt. Meira Kumar, Speaker Lok Sabha inaugurated the Conference. Smt. Abrar presented the first copy of the Report to Hon’ble Speaker which indeed, in effect, increase the credibility of the Report and indicate Government endorsement of this M&E effort being undertaken by the LCWRI. Smt Meira Kumar in her inaugural address expressed her delight at being present at this National Conference on the implementation of the PWDVA. She articulated further that it is time to address cultural stereotypes, equal participation in policy making and in processing gender budgeting and evolve policies for healthcare for women and create awareness regarding violence against women.Smt Zohra Chatterji, Member Secretary, NCW and Ms Anne F. Stenhammer, Regional Director, UNIFEM also graced this occasion and addressed the gathering.
The conference was well attended by government officials with representation from women and Child Development Departments, State Legal Services Authorities, State Women’s Commission. Protection Officers, Service Providers, NGO representatives, lawyers, from across the country attended in big numbers.
The working sessions mainly included presentation on findings of the 4th M & E Report, discussions on the appointment of & the role of Protection Officers, Service Providers, Medical Facilities, police and Legal services Authorities. These sessions mainly addressed the issue concerning their appointments, notifications, inadequate infrastructure and budget allocation and drew attention of requirements of interventions by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in all these spheres. Some emerging practices in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana too was emphasized upon and need was felt to assess these models. The reasoning of the lower courts as well higher judiciary too was analyzed to track development of jurisprudence on domestic violence. Budget allocation for implementation of the PWDVA is a disregarded area and needs serious attention both at Central as well as State levels. Also role of electronic and print media in creating positive awareness on the issue was strongly expressed.
The National Conference concluded with urgency to essentially sensitize and train the judiciary and Police. Also assessment of the beneficiaries under the Act needs to be monitored and evaluated as the M & E Report mainly analyses the orders of the magistrate Courts as well as higher judiciary but it is silent on enforcement of the orders. State Level M and Es needs to carried out to get a holistic view of the status on implementation of the PWDVA.
Fourth Monitoring & Evaluation Report 2010 on the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
Pictures by Mehak Sethi
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