NEW DELHI: The United Nations on Thursday deplored the miniscule 3% representation of women in India’s judicial system and claimed that 35% of fair sex face physical violence in the country.
UN women, a newly created body dedicated to gender equality and empowerment of women, it its report titiled ” Progress of the World’s Women” said India “significantly” lags behind the rest of the world in representation of the fairer sex in judicial system and justice is still out of reach for majority of the community.
Releasing the report, assistant secretary general of UN Women Lakshmi Puri termed it as”disappointing” the meagre representation of women in India’s judicial system saying gender equality was”key” for ensuring justice to the victims.
The report which examined a variety of issues like women’s access to judicial system and sexual harassment in countries accross the world also pointed towards high prevalence of physical and sexual violence against women.”It was found that 35% of respondents in India have reported to be victims of physical violence by their intimate partners, while 10% of respondents were victims of sexual violence by their intimate partners,” it said. The report also said that 39% of men and women think that it is”sometimes or always” justifiable for a man to beat his wife.
Quoting details of a survey carried out by NGO Sakshi to reflect upon the judicial system, it said majority of those surveyed feel that women who are abused by their spouses are to be blamed for their ordeal.
The report, however, complimented the Panchayati Raj system saying over a million women are actively participating in matters of local governance, policy formulation and decision making.”Almost 94% of elected women representatives reported being able to freely raise issues in gram sabha,” the report said, noting that several states have already reserved 50% seats for women in local bodies.