Tough laws alone can't protect women against sexual violence: CJI
Bengaluru: Tougher laws alone cannot protect women against sexual violence and a holistic and systematic approach ha to be adopted to address the issue, Chief Justice of India H L Dattu today said.
He said sexual violence is an area of concern and the country has to act urgently if it has to combat the menace. “Hoping that tougher laws will reduce sexual violence is like putting a band-aid over a deep wound”, he said.
“Our solution cannot be limited to tougher laws. Tougher laws alone cannot protect women against sexual violence. We have to adopt a holistic and systematic approach to address violence because the problem is not just legal in this context,” he said at the inauguration of International Federation of Women Lawyers' 35th convention here. He spoke of education to be imparted to young boys and girls about gender rights.
“We need widespread education - young boys and girls require effective awareness about gender rights,” he said. Dattu also talked about making investments in building basic infrastructure for women to protect women against sexual violence.
“We have to make investments in basic needs like accessible toilets and proper streetlightning. Unless we think about these widespread requirements, I am afraid we will not be able to protect women against sexual violence,” he said.
Protecting women cannot mean “putting women in a cage - security at the cost of freedom is no security at all.” “In order to protect women, we end up curbing their liberty and autonomy. Our aim to protect women cannot mean putting them in a cage. Security at the cost of freedom is no security at all,” he said.
On reservation for women in legislative assemblies and Parliament, Dattu said the situation is “extremely disappointing” and political parties have been scuttling this important piece of legislation.
“.... This extremely important piece of legislation has been scuttled by political parties in Parliament,” he rued. Quoting Manu, Dattu said, “the place where women are worshipped, Gods themselves inhabit that place, and where it isn't the society does not progress.”