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AAdil Sadiq

Srinagar: The security and dignity of women across the country has become one of the prime issues; Kashmir too is not different from the rest of country in crimes and atrocities against women.

We mostly see women in three forms in our families; mother, sister and wife. They are considered as the pride and honour of a family. If they are happy and secure, so is the family and if God forbid any untoward incident happens with them the dignity and honour of whole family comes at stake.

The crime and violence against the women is not a new thing, they have been victimized since ages. Especially in the Arab world the woman was dehumanized and the birth of female child was believed to be curse on the family and were buried alive.

Then came the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and changed the landscape in human history and resorted the faith, love and respect for the women.

However, in the human history the race for male child have still been dominating the family desires. The advancement in science and technology helped in worsening the situation with people resorting to most inhuman acts of aborting the girl child before birth.  The Jammu and Kashmir state has also not stayed away and reported in the census most disturbing sex ratio.

However, the world trend reported by the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) stated that female infanticide for son preference due to variety of reasons is a worldwide phenomenon with 1.5 million female foetuses being aborted every year.

However, as per the census of 2011, the ratio was found 826 females per 1138 males. Moreover the report showed that the districts where girls would have outnumbered the boys in ratio witnessed a severe decline. Districts like Pulwama and Budgam topped the list in skewed sex ratio with Pulwama having 829 females per 1000 males and Budgam 832 females per 1000 males.

Across the other districts also a radical decrease in female ratio was revealed by the report. The number of females had gone down minus 151 (-151) in Ganderbal, minus (-) 136 in Anantnag , -133 in Shopian and -118 in Kulgam.

In October 2013 during a debate in Legislative Council on the issue of female foeticide in J&K, it was revealed that around 1400 girls were killed in wombs every month in the state of J&K taking the total figure of 42000 every year.

Females are not victimized at birth only but also in the education sector. Gender based inequalities are prominent issues like social discrimination and economic exploitation, occupation of girls in domestic chores,  girls working in the household and taking care of younger siblings or needed to earn money for their families by working in agricultural fields.

The gender gap in J&K is also higher than the national average.

The overall female literacy rate in J&K as per census 2011 is 68 percent.  Ramban has an overall literacy rate of just 56.90 percent as per the latest census report. It gives even worse when one compares the male and female education ratio in district.  As against 71 percent male literacy rate only 40.04 percent females are literate in Ramban. The number is worst among all 22 districts of the state.

The atmosphere outside home for females is not a safer again. The security and respect of women is gradually decreasing. The impact of western culture and the impact of movies have adversely changed the minds of youth. They have completely detracted from the core social values. The cases of eve teasing, rape, kidnapping is rising at an alarming rate. The conservative Kashmir society is witnessing a surge in crime against women which include domestic violence and molestation.

As per the report filed by Kashmir excelsior published on 04-07-2015

The data reveals almost twice number of cruelty cases have been registered in the first quarter of year in 2014 as compared to last year at valley’s lone Women’s Police Station in Rambagh. While 42 cases were registered in entire 2014, this year 33 cases have been registered in first six months only. The police station received 1006 complaints of violence against women since 2013, the data maintained by the police station reveals.

The data maintained by Crime Branch suggests that Kashmir valley is ahead of Jammu in the incidents of crimes against women. As per the data, a total of 4362 case of crimes against women were registered in year 2013 and 2014 in the valley while 1088 cases were reported in Jammu in two years. They include the cases of rape, harassment, and cruelty, and kidnapping, molestation, eve-teasing and trafficking.

As per report published in ‘the Northlines’ shows that Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed over 50 percent increase in crimes against women for the last eight years.

A report of the National Crime Records Bureau has revealed that number of cases pertaining to crime against women has shot up by 1296 cases in J&K from 2087 in 2008 to 3363 in 2015.2757 crimes against women like rape, attempt to rape, molestation, dowry abduction of women were reported in 2009, in 2010 (2521) and (3329) in 2011.

Chairperson J&K State Women’s Commission Nayeema Mehjoor, said the commission too receives around 10 complaints of domestic violence every day. She said most of the domestic violence cases came from Srinagar district. Most often, cases of women harassment or domestic violence go unreported either due to remoteness of the location or victims choosing to stay silent out of fear or social stigma attached to such exploitation.

This is not all about the atrocities and injustices of women in Kashmir.  There are thousands of such cases where women are tortured by the hands of civilians and by the hands of men in uniform.  There are the females who are half widows and half mothers and are bearing the psychological trauma of losing their loves ones.

The author can be reached at aadilsadiq@outlook.com

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