Statement by Men for Gender Justice, Bangalore
Public Protest on December 30th
Men against Sexual Violence, Men for Gender Justice
As men, we are ashamed over the continuing domination of men over women!!
Women and men are Equal. Men should understand and accept this!!
Men should become responsible, humane and non-violent!!
As protesters are pouring into the streets all across the country and demanding justice for the recent brutal gang-rape of a 23 year old woman in Delhi, we as men who stand for justice and equality are ashamed, as a large section of men in our country are committing abuses against women – rape, sexual harassment, domestic violence, economic and legal discrimination.
Although we get strength by seeing that there are countless men who share this anger, we assert that this incident is not an isolated one; sexual assault and sexual harassment of women occurs with frightening regularity in this country. Sexual violence is a gender-based crime, in which men use power against women.
Adivasi and dalit women, women working in the unorganised sector, women with disabilities and transgenders are especially targeted with impunity – it is well known that the complaints of sexual violence filed by women are simply disregarded. We urge that the wheels of justice turn not only to incidents such as the Delhi bus case, but also to the epidemic of sexual violence that threatens all of us. We need to evolve strategies that can act as true deterrents to the very large number of men who commit these crimes.
Our 10-point demand:
1. Greater dignity, equality, autonomy and rights for women and girls. For this, the society should stop policing their actions at every step.
2. Immediate relief in terms of legal, medical, financial and psychological assistance and long-term rehabilitation be provided to survivors of sexual assault.
3. A 24×7 helpline should be set up for helping survivors of sexual assault/ sexual harassment. The helpline should also cater to phone calls by women who are alone and feel threatened to travel in the night, thus providing them assistance in terms of safe transport. This should be run by the government in partnership with women’s rights organisations.
4. Provision of improved infrastructure to make cities safer for women, including well-lit pavements, bus stops and emergency services.
5. Effective registration, monitoring and regulation of transport services (whether public, private or contractual) to make them safe, accessible and available to all.
6. Compulsory courses on gender sensitisation should be embedded within the training curriculum at all levels starting from High school to Industries and professional workplaces, including police, judiciary and other Govt. institutions.
7. That the police do its duty to ensure that public spaces are free from harassment, molestation and assault. This means that they themselves have to stop sexually assaulting women who come to make complaints. They have to register all FIRs and attend to complaints. CCTV cameras should be set up in all police stations and swift action must be taken against errant police personnel.
8. Immediate setting up of fast track courts for rape and other forms of sexual violence all across the country. State governments should operationalize their creation on a priority basis. Sentencing should be done within a period of six months.
9. The National Commission for Women has time and again proved itself to be an institution that works against the interests of women. Its role should be reviewed and audited as soon as possible.
10. The State should acknowledge the reality of custodial violence against women in many parts of the country, especially in Kashmir, North-East and Chhattisgarh. There are several pending cases and immediate action should be taken by the government to punish the guilty and to ensure that these incidents of violence are not allowed to be repeated.
We urge all men to treat women (wife, mother, daughter, sister, co-worker and others) as equals and end discrimination against women. We urge men to make all spaces (family, work and public) safe for women.
JOIN the PUBLIC PROTEST: 5 to 7 PM, 30th DECEMBER (Sunday), Town Hall, Bangalore
Organisers: Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum (KSMF), Praja Rajakiya Vedike (PRV), Sangama, Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) and other supporting organisations and individuals
Phone: 96322 23460/ 94839 50202/ 95918 02687, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org