Violence Against Women In India Essays On Music

Coinciding with the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November, the United Nations in India is committed to joint advocacy initiatives to support the Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s UNiTE campaign. As part of the campaign, advocacy activities to raise awareness on gender based violence are organised during the 16 Days of Activism between 25 November and 10 December.


2nd MenEngage Global Symposium 2014

10-13 November 2014: The 2nd MenEngage Global Symposium 2014 – Men and Boys for Gender Justice was held in New Delhi. Its purpose was to find ways to engage men and boys for gender equality so that society becomes more caring and non-violent and gender relations become more harmonious.

The Scheherazade Initiative India
04 November 2014: Music For Life International, UN Women India and the UN Trust Fund To End Violence Against Women presented an Evening of Opera Arias, Chamber and Hindustani Music on the theme Celebrating the Resilience of Women and Girls In the Face of Violence in New Delhi.


HeForShe Campaign Launch in India at Rendezvous Festival
18 October 2014: UN Women launched the HeForShe campaign in India during the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Delhi) Rendezvous Festival in which this year’s theme is SHE, a social awareness campaign. The campaign was officially launched in India by the H.E Minister Mrs Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Ministry of Women and Child Development.


Inaugural United Nations Public Lecture by Ms. Indira Jaising, Additional Solicitor General of India
25 November 2013: Marking International Day for Eliminating Violence Against Women, Ms. Indira Jaising, Additional Solicitor-General of the Supreme Court of India delivered the inaugural UN Public Lecture where she urged authorities to help survivors of sexual assault to navigate the criminal justice system.

Panel Discussion with the Media on Ending Violence Against Women

16 November 2013: The Indian Women’s Press Corps in partnership with UNICEF and UN Women organised a panel discussion with the media to build on the growing public consensus that violence against children and women can no longer be tolerated and that collective action of all stakeholders is required to help end it.

Launch of UNFPA Study on ‘Laws and Son Preference in India’

A new UNFPA study ‘Laws and Son Preference in India’ released by Dr. Syeda Hameed, Member, Planning Commission, examines laws and policies that inadvertently propagate a preference for sons in Indian society’.




A Life Free of Violence and Discrimination is the Right of Every Woman
The brochure prepared by the Gender Equality and Empowerment Task Team led by UN Women highlights key forms of gender based violence in India including domestic violence, violence in public spaces, trafficking and violence against children. It also refers to gender biased sex selection as a manifestation of gender discrimination.


Sex Ratios and Gender Biased Sex Selection: History, Debates and Future Directions

The sharply declining child sex ratio in India has reached emergency proportions and urgent action must be taken to alleviate this crisis. The study ‘Sex Ratios and Gender Biased Sex Selection: History, Debates and Future Directions,’ undertaken by Dr. Mary John on behalf of UN Women and with support from UNFPA, helps to understand gender-biased sex selection more holistically, and aids in the identification of the important way forward for organisations and people working on the problem. Read more

Laws and Son Preference in India – A Reality Check
The 163 page UNFPA report undertaken by Advocate Kirti Singh, Former Member, Law Commission of India is a no-holds barred, reality check of Indian laws and policies that inadvertently propagate son preference in Indian society. Through the review of laws and the gaps, the study reveals that unless the vicious cycle of discrimination is addressed and the legal, social and economic status of a daughter improves, son preference is likely to continue.


Masculinity, Son Preference and Intimate Partner Violence
A study conducted by the International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) in partnership with UNFPA looks at men’s attitudes and practices around gender inequality, son preference and gender based violence. Based on findings across seven states in India, the study reinforces that men can and do have an influence on gender equality and need to be treated as part of the solution, not the problem.


Why do some men use violence against women and how can we prevent it
[Source: Partners for prevention]
The report, entitled ‘Why Do Some Men Use Violence Against Women and How Can We Prevent It? Quantitative Findings from the UN Multi-country Study on Men and Violence in Asia and the Pacific’ was conducted in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea. It explores the prevalence of men’s use of violence against women in the survey sites, and shows what factors make men more or less likely to use violence.

Child Marriage in India – An analysis of available data (2012)
The data in the document highlights that a lot needs to be done to provide a response to child marriage. UNICEF is committed to support comprehensive efforts to change social norms and beliefs that promote child marriage, to ensure protection mechanisms are in place, to encourage the enforcement of the law and to create spaces for girls’ voices.

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UN Videos

Emma Watson UN speech
Emma Watson’s moving speech about gender equality and the HeForShe campaign.

Farhan Akhtar is a HeForShe
Indian actor and director of numerous films and founder of Men Against Rape and Discrimination (MARD), Farhan Akhtar was touched by the struggle to end violence against women when a woman he worked with was sexually assaulted and killed in her own home. Farhan established MARD to advocate for change in the ideas of masculinity, and to campaign for the end of violence against women.

HeForShe Campaign Video
This is the official video from the UN Women’s HeForShe campaign to promote gender equality. Make your voice heard by making your commitment at

Highlights of the UN Public Lecture 
Key highlights from the UN Public Lecture with Indira Jaising, Additional Solicitor General, Supreme Court of India on ending violence against women

Violence Affects Us All
Nandita Das, Actor says that violence against women affects all people and that if we stand up together, we will be a less fearful and more compassionate society.

Urbanization and Gender Violence
Kalpana Vishwanath, Jagori on the need to address violence against women in public spaces and cities within a larger discourse of urbanization in India.

Caste Hierarchies and Violence Against Women
Asha Kowtal on how caste hierarchy and patriarchy intersect to perpetuate violence against women.

Violence Against Minorities
Asha Kowtal, All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch, on how violence experienced by Dalit women is very different from violence against other women.

Laws and Son Preference in India

A new UNFPA study ‘Laws and Son Preference in India’ released by Dr. Syeda Hameed, Member, Planning Commission, examines laws and policies that inadvertently propagate a preference for sons in Indian society’.

Planning and Gender-based violence
Dr. Syeda Hameed, Member, Planning Commission on key monitorable targets in the 12th Five Year Plan that aim to improve India’s child sex ratio.

Preference for Sons

Kirti Singh, Advocate and Former Member, Law Commission of India outlines key findings from a new UNFPA study on ‘Law and Son Preference in India: A Reality Check’.

Addressing caste based gender violence
Dr. Ruth Manorama, President of the National Alliance of Women, National Convenor, National Federation of Dalit Women on violence against Dalit women.

Understanding India’s declining sex ratio
Dr. Mary John, Senior Researcher, Centre for Women’s Development Studies on India’s declining sex ratio.

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Posters and Comics available for download

Voices Against Violence

The United Nations in India in partnership with World Comics India uses the power of comics to tell stories from across India, across communities, and across languages. Through workshops held in the country, young people, women, men and children who are poor and from marginalized communities find expression through comics. As the second in a series of exhibitions that begins in November, the partnership focuses on Voices Against Violence, in support of the UN Secretary General’s global campaign – UNiTe to End Violence against Women. The Campaign aims to protect the basic human rights of women and girls to live lives free from violence. This collection of stories are a reflection of people’s lives, the reality they have to contend with on a daily basis and the challenges they have to overcome related to gender-based discrimination and violence including eve-teasing, witch-hunting, sexual abuse and domestic violence.

Photo Essays

Empowered lives: Duli & Amir redefine widowhood in India
UN Women is working to empower 500 widows in two towns in India – Udaipur and Vrindavan. Vrindavan, located in Uttar Pradesh in Northern India is the town where thousands of widows go to live, abandoned by their families.

From pain to puppetry
Through training provided by a UN Women programme, 16 widows have learnt puppetry and given eight public performances. By making their own puppets and scripting their plays, they have been able to tell their stories and deal with their pain.

Better Lighting, Wider Pavements: The Need of the Hour
A Safe Cities programme in New Delhi is conducting safety audits, whose findings are being adapted to make the crucial link between the public’s needs, urban planning and safety.

Cartoons for change
Three leading cartoonists from three leading Indian newspapers took to their drawing boards to portray the current status of women in India, and advocate for change.

Web Stories

India: From Darjeeling to Delhi – story of a young girl who was trafficked
Darjeeling, West Bengal in the north-eastern part of India is vulnerable to human trafficking. Lack of awareness, paucity of work opportunities and frequent natural disasters push women and children into the hands of traffickers.



The Secretary-General Message on the International Day to End Violence Against Women

25 November 2014
The UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon highlights that this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is centred on a grassroots effort to raise awareness called Orange Your Neighbourhood.

Message of the Executive Director on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

25 November 2014
UN Women Executive Director Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka highlights that UN Women has launched HeForShe, a global campaign to engage men and boys as advocates and agents of change for the achievement of gender equality and women’s rights.

Message from UNDP Administrator Helen Clark on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

25 November 2014
UNDP Administrator Helen Clark says that violence against women is a consequence of persistent inequalities between men and women.


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon supports the One Billion Rising Campaign
On Valentine’s Day on 14 February 2013, the UN Secretary General emphasized the need to speak out against the global pandemic of violence against women and girls that thrives in a culture of discrimination and impunity.

The Red Siren Campaign
UNICEF India has launched the new initiative Time to Sound the Red Siren, which tackles violence against children and places a special focus on sexual violence against girls.

Say No to Violence
The Sub-regional Office of UN WOMEN South Asia places the advancement of women’s human rights at the centre of its efforts and focuses its activities on four strategic areas: reducing feminized poverty, ending violence against women, reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS among women and girls and achieving gender equality in democratic governance. Have Your Say in 2013: Every week UN Women’s Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence against Women YouTube Channelfeatures a different video that speaks on the issue.

Oxfam’s Give Women their Share Campaign
In both rural and urban settings, land and house remains the primary properties that shape the equations of power between men and women irrespective of their caste, class and creed. Research shows that when women own land and house, it leads to transformative change for herself, her family and the society in terms of production, gender equity, women’s agency, and liberty. Advocating to Give Women Their Share, Oxfam India is demanding a shift in community attitudes towards women’s land rights to enhance their dignity, security, freedom, reduction in violence along with their economic empowerment.


News Articles

Promise of favours to women at workplace is sexual harassment, govt says
[Date: 28 November 2014, Source: The Times of India]

Ban Ki-Moon asks men and boys to fight violence against women
[Date: 27 November 2014, Source: Day & Night News]

Sania Mirza becomes UN Women Ambassador for South Asia
[Date: 26 November 2014, Source: ProKerala]

Sania Mirza is UN Women’s envoy
[Date: 26 November 2014, Source: India Every Day]

Sania Mirza is UN Womens envoy
[Date: 26 November 2014, Source: Deccan Chronicle]

more >>

Since the Beijing conference, there has been measurable, though mixed, progress on many fronts, according to the United Nationsanalysis.

As many girls as boys are now enrolled in primary school, a sharp advance since 1995. Maternal mortality rates have fallen by half. And women are more likely to be in the labor force, though the pay gap is closing so slowly that it will take another 75 years before women and men are paid equally for equal work.

The share of women serving in legislatures has nearly doubled, too, though women still account for only one in five legislators. All but 32 countries have adopted laws that guarantee gender equality in their constitutions.

But violence against women — including rape, murder and sexual harassment — remains stubbornly high in countries rich and poor, at war and at peace. The United Nations’ main health agency, the World Health Organization, found that 38 percent of women who are murdered are killed by their partners.

Little was even known 20 years ago about the extent of such violence, a measure of the lack of focus on the issue.

“At the time of the Beijing conference there was a desperate call for more information,” said Mary Ellsberg, director of the Global Women’s Institute at George Washington University. Now, she said: “We have data from most of the countries in the world. That, in and of itself, is a huge accomplishment. The issue is, it’s very hard to collect this data.”

Even as women’s groups continue to push for laws that criminalize violence — marital rape is still permitted in many countries — new types of attacks have emerged, some of them online, including rape threats on Twitter.

Where there are laws on the books — 125 countries criminalize domestic violence today, up from 89 in 2006, according to Equality Now, which tracks laws that affect women’s rights — they are not reliably enforced.

The economic impact is huge. One recent study found that domestic violence against women and children costs the global economy $8 trillion.

“Overall, as you look at the world, there have been no large victories in eradicating violence against women,” said Valerie M. Hudson, a professor of international affairs at Texas A & M University who has developed world maps that chart the status of women.

In some cases, the laws on the books are the problem, women’s rights advocates say. In some countries, like Nigeria, the law permits a man to beat his wife under certain circumstances. But even when laws are technically adequate, victims often do not feel comfortable going to law enforcement, or they are unable to pay the bribes required to file a police report.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the executive director of the United Nations agency for gender equity and women’s empowerment — known as UN Women — said that for the laws to mean anything, governments around the world have to persuade their police officers, judges and medical personnel to take violence against women seriously.

“I am disappointed, I have to be honest,” she said about the stubborn hold of violence against women. “More than asking for more laws to be passed, I’m asking for implementation.”

Yasmeen Hassan, the executive director of Equality Now, said governments needed to be reminded that they committed to making their laws fair for women. Cultural differences cannot be an excuse, she said. “It’s always a cop-out for governments to not do what they signed up to do,” she said.

The new round of global development targets that governments around the world will have to agree to later this year, known as Sustainable Development Goals, includes a separate requirement for women’s equal rights, including how they protect their female citizens from violence.

The latest United Nations report draws attention to the rise of “extremism and conservatism,” and without naming any countries or groups, it argues that what they share is a “resistance to women’s human rights.” The assaults and abductions by the Islamic State have brought new urgency to the issue.

Dr. Hudson, the academic, said the persistence of violence in so many forms is in part because it can establish domination against women of all kinds, for a broad range of personal and political purposes. A husband can just as easily beat his wife if she is a high school dropout or a college graduate. An entire territory can be claimed if fighters rape the local women — or take them as sex slaves, as is the case of the Islamic State.

“I think violence against women is so darn useful,” she said. “That’s why it’ll be so hard to eradicate.”

Violence can start before birth. Sex-selective abortions have been reduced in some countries, as in South Korea, but are higher than ever in other places, like India, and are going up sharply in places like Armenia.

Harassment is commonplace. In the United States, 83 percent of girls aged 12 to 16 said they had experienced some form of harassment in public schools. In New Delhi, a 2010 study found that two out of three women said they were harassed more than twice in the last year alone.

Violence against women is often unreported. For instance, a study conducted in the 28 countries of the European Union found that only 14 percent of women reported their most serious episode of domestic violence to the police.

“Violence against women has epidemic proportions, and is present in every single country around the world,” said Lydia Alpizar, executive director of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development, a global feminist group. “Yet it is still not a real priority for most governments.”

At Monday’s gathering, member governments adopted a nonbinding declaration vowing to abide by the promises made at the 1995 Beijing conference, which included language on reproductive rights, and pledged to work for women’s equal rights by 2030. Women’s groups called it “bland” and said much more needed to be done.

Perhaps the biggest change in 20 years, say those who attended the Beijing conference, is that the subject is now front and center in public discussion.

“There is actually a great deal more attention being paid today to violence against women,” said Charlotte Bunch, a feminist scholar who attended the Beijing conference. “The truth is, it’s a complex issue that isn’t solved easily.”

Continue reading the main story
Correction: March 17, 2015

An article last Tuesday about a United Nations analysis that showed an “alarmingly high” level of violence against women and girls worldwide understated the cost of domestic violence against women and children as calculated by a separate study. It is $8 trillion, not $4 trillion. (Violence against women alone costs $4 trillion, the study said).

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