Saturday, August 10, 2013
Friday, March 8, 2013
As we step into the 96th year of celebrating the International Women’s Day, it’s not just the piece of history of the soviet women aspiring to win respect at their textile industries exactly a century ago , or how the day is commemorated in south east Asia today . It’s a point in time to stop and ponder over and think – ‘of how far we have come in realizing this dream ’.
I am no pessimist, but series of unfortunate events develop one question and the one which does not escape my mind is,” have we learnt to respect women?” Let me be more specific here. As a fellow citizen of 120 Crore people comprising 48 percent women, can ‘they’ all call us a nation of equality?
Traditionally, India has been a patriarchal society for over 5000 years of its civilization. We now come up with statements suggesting changes and development, sugarcoated with adjectives that run “women empowerment” and of how things have gotten better. Maybe-we are all missing the point here! Statistics that speak of a rape every twenty minutes is not only shameful and agonizing ,but spells of an unimaginative bear reed character the men have displayed ever since .
Yes, not all men would be potentially the ‘rotten fruit’, but the rest should stand up and be counted in supporting the cause. when I speak of supporting the cause –it ‘simply’ means respecting the views, priorities and making a conscious effort in motivating women around us . It isn’t very difficult. Start with your mother – the yoga academy she wants to join, our sister – the skirts she fancies to college, your wife – the job she wants to take, your friend – the man she wants to chase, your colleague – the project she wants to lead. And the men – stop your father if he tries to win terms, your friend if he’s agony to his girl friend, your neighbor if he’s violence to his wife. Stop making rapists at home. Before all those decisions and statements we men make, which do sound harsh, think not once but twice if it’s going to shred the wings or give them the phoenix’s .
There is definitely more to a country than statistics that speak of violence .And for women who do not find men around to support you , stand up for yourself for everything – for education , to compete , to vote, at the workplace , to own , to contraception, to non violence , to a life . It is about you, about the respect you deserve, and if it’s not being given – demand and fight.
And like Sridevi states in the film English Vinglish ,"mujhe pyaar ki zaroorat nahin hain , zaroorat hain toh izzat ki " .
UN theme for IWD 2013 : a promise is a promise : time for action to end violence against women
Author of the post: Mr. Shailesh Gaikwad (Client associate - BD team, Kondwa, Pune)
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Throughout our lives, as citizens our India, we have always been claiming our rights. We have luxuriously been enjoying the privileges of a democratic country that allows us to live a peaceful life securing and safeguarding our interests in the best of its form. Though very often, while voicing out our concerns regarding these rights, we tend to forget our fundamental duties as citizens towards this great nation.'Mohe Rang De...' was just a small step taken by iQuesters to make people realize these fundamental duties where various teams participated to perform a street play and reinforced the reason for celebrating Republic day!
Author of the post: Suraj Pathak (Sr. Executive - HR)
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Given below is an email sent by one of our members from qualified legal experts - Saumya Bhaumik (Women Rights Lawyer) & Tariq Abeed (Advocate, Supreme Court)
"Lets be safe by knowing your rights... as women, we are entitled to some rights by law that protect us, specially when we have been violated. Here are some that we should be aware of:
· Right to privacy while recording a statement: Under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code, a woman can record her statement before the district magistrate when the case is under trial, and no one else needs to be present. Alternatively, she can record the statement with only one police officer and woman constable in a convenient place that is not crowded and does not provide any possibility of the statement being overheard by a fourth person. The police have to, by law, protect the woman’s right to privacy. It’s important for the person to feel comfortable and not be under any kind of stress while narrating the incident.
· Time does not matter: The police cannot refuse to register an FIR even if a considerable period of time has elapsed since the incident took place. If the police tells you that they can’t lodge your FIR since you didn't report it earlier, do not concede. “Rape is a horrifying incident for any woman, so it’s natural for her to go into shock and not want to report it immediately. She may also fear for her safety and the reputation and dignity of her family. For this reason, the Supreme Court has ruled that the police must register an FIR even if there has been a gap between the report and the occurrence of the incident,” says Tariq Abeed, advocate, Supreme Court.
· Police cannot refuse: A victim can register her police complaint from any police station under the Zero FIR ruling by Supreme Court. “Sometimes, the police station under which the incident occurs refuses to register the victim’s complaint in order to keep clear of responsibility, and tries sending the victim to another police station. In such cases, she has the right to lodge an FIR at any police station in the city under the Zero FIR ruling. The senior officer will then direct the SHO of the police station concerned to lodge the FIR,” says Abeed. This is a Supreme Court ruling that not many women are aware of, so don’t let the SHO of a police station send you away saying it “doesn't come under his area”.
· No arrests after sunset: According to a Supreme Court ruling, a woman cannot be arrested after sunset and before sunrise. There are many cases of women being harassed by the police in the wee hours, but all this can be avoided if you exercise the right of being present in the police station only during daytime. “Even if there is a woman constable accompanying the officers, the police can’t arrest a woman at night. In case the woman has committed a serious crime, the police has to get it in writing from the magistrate explaining why the arrest is necessary during the night,” says Bhaumik.
· Women cannot be called to the Police Station: Women cannot be called to the police station for interrogation under Section 160 of the Criminal Procedure Code. This law provides Indian women the right of not being physically present at the police station for interrogation. “The police can interrogate a woman at her residence in the presence of a woman constable and family members or friends,” says Abeed. So the next time you’re called to the police station for queries or interrogation when you have faced any kind of harassment, quote this guideline of the Supreme Court to exercise your right and remind the cops about it.
· The doctor cannot decide: A case of rape can’t be dismissed even if the doctor says rape had not taken place. A victim of rape needs to be medically examined as per Section 164 A of the Criminal Procedure Code, and only the report can act as proof. “A woman has the right to have a copy of the medical report from the doctor. Rape is a crime, not a medical condition. It is a legal term and not a diagnosis to be made by the medical officer treating the victim. The only statement that can be made by the medical officer is that there is evidence of recent sexual activity. Whether the rape has occurred or not is a legal conclusion and the doctor can’t decide on this,” explains Bhaumik.
· Protect your identity: Under no circumstances can the identity of a rape victim be revealed. Neither the police nor media can make known the name of the victim in public. Section 228-A of the Indian Penal Code makes the disclosure of a victim’s identity a punishable offense. Printing or publishing the name or any matter which may make known the identity of a woman against whom an offence has been committed is punishable. This is done to prevent social victimization or ostracism of the victim of a sexual offence. Even while a judgment is in progress at the high court or a lower court, the name of the victim is not indicated, she is only described as ‘victim’ in the judgement.
· Employers must protect: It is the duty of every employer to create a Sexual Harassment Complaints Committee within the organisation for redressal of such complaints. According to a guideline issued by the Supreme Court, it is mandatory for all firms, public and private, to set up these committees to resolve matters of sexual harassment. It is also necessary that the committee be headed by a woman and includes 50 per cent women as members. Also, one of the members should be from a women’s welfare group.