Accepted Paper:

Women's rights are human rights  


Vandana Upreti (N.S.N PG College)

Paper short abstract:

India has made several laws to protect the rights of women in the country. However, like any other law, these too can be bent or broken and taken advantage of by unscrupulous individuals. Money and muscle power also play a role in all this.

Paper long abstract:

The government of India has formulated many laws to protect the rights of women who are being ill-treated by their husbands and in-laws. But how many of these laws really help women gain custody of their children and protect their property? The woman's husband and in-laws usually claim all the wealth and property and also the custody of the child.

The women's movement has been among the most articulate, and heard, in the public arena. The woman as a victim of dowry, domestic violence, liquor, rape and custodial violence has constituted one discourse. Located partly in the women's rights movement, and partly in the campaign against AIDS, women in prostitution have acquired visibility. The question of the practice of prostitution being considered as 'sex work' has been variously raised, while there has been a gathering unanimity on protecting the women in prostitution from harassment by the law.

The Uniform Civil Code debate, contesting the inequality imposed on women by 'personal' laws has been resurrected, diverted and re-started. Representation, through reservation of women in parliament and state legislatures has followed the mandated presence of women in panchayats. 'Women's rights are human rights' has demanded a re-construction of the understanding of human rights as being directed against action and inaction of the state and agents of the state. Patriarchy has entered the domain of human rights as nurturing the offend.

Panel P045
Gender inequality: victimization of women in global context in tradition and modernity