Kashmiri women ‘biggest victims of sexual violence in the world’

Leslie Carol Botha: No woman in the world should be a victim of sexual violence. If these atrocities happen to one woman – they happen to all of us. Never forget that.

Voice for Kashmiri women’s rights raised in Delhi

TwoCircles.net
By TCN Staff Reporter,
July  27, 2012

New Delhi: It was not a daily event. Perhaps one in years. About half a dozen women organizations from the mainland gathered at the Constitution Club here on Thursday to highlight the violation of Kashmiri women’s rights and their plight in every sense of the word going on in Jammu and Kashmir for decades.

While there are thousands and thousands of widows and half-widows (whose husbands are missing) neither state nor central government has conducted any survey to gather the actual data, said the group and condemned the governments for their negligence.

Due to militarization of the state, every day women are becoming widows in Jammu and Kashmir. There are a large number of half-widows also, but none are getting benefits from the government, said Jyotsna Chatterjee, Director, Joint Women’s Program while speaking at the “Public Meeting on Democratic Rights for Kashmiri women.”

“We don’t know the actual situation of women in Kashmir. We don’t know what are their problems,” said Chatterjee and along with government she also criticized women rights groups in mainland for not raising the issues of Kashmiri women.

Addressing the gathering, Sehba Farooqui of All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) said it is in the interest of democracy that we should highlight the plight of Kashmiri women. “We will bring their issue in the national agenda. Kashmir is not just for militancy, there are large-scale violations of human rights which we should highlight,” Farooqui said at the program which was presided over by CPM leader Brinda Karat.

At the end of the program, the organizers which included Centre for Policy Analysis, AIDWA, ANHAD, Joint Women’s Programme, NFIW, Rashtriya Dalit Mahila Andolan and YWCA, passed a resolution consisting several demands including demilitarization and judicial commission.

“Women of Jammu and Kashmir have paid a hard price for the decades of conflict and strife. Although the state government has not undertaken a study of their present status, independent data collected by international and national women’s organizations show Kashmiri women to be the biggest victims of sexual violence in the world,” they said in the statement.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.