NFIW condemns K’taka govt’s ‘proposal’ on gender neutral rape laws

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NFIW condemns K’taka govt’s ‘proposal’ on gender neutral rape laws

Bengaluru: The Karnataka unit of the National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) has strongly condemned the new criminal laws by an expert committee headed by state Law Minister H.K. Patil, particularly with regard to the laws related to rape.

Jyothi. A., president of the Karnataka state committee of the NFIW, stated on Saturday that Patil’s committee is said to have proposed that the rape laws should be made gender neutral.

“The NFIW, Karnataka state committee demands immediate withdrawal of the said proposal of the state expert committee. It also demands that rape laws and other legislations related to sexual offences should be gender sensitive and gender just. Further, the same should be implemented in letter and spirit,” Jyothi demanded.

In a society deep rooted in patriarchy and misogyny, talking of ‘gender neutral’ rape laws is an injustice to the women of the country as well as the Constitutional values. According to the National Crime Record Bureau data, the number of cases of sexual violence against women in India increased from 4.28 lakh in 2021 to 4.45 lakh in 2022 and about 86 rapes are reported on an average per day, Jyothi stated.

If these are reported numbers, the unreported ones go beyond count. “We have witnessed numerous heinous and crimes of sexual harassment in the recent past where justice has been a nightmare in spite of gender sensitive legislators being in place. Bilkis Bano’s case, Hathras case, Indian Wrestlers’ case and others are a few examples,” Jyothi emphasised.

In such a scenario, gender neutralisation of rape laws and other acts of sexual offences would dilute the laws and deny justice to the aggrieved women. On the other hand, the diluted gender-neutral legislation only places accusations against her. Therefore, NFIW reiterates that laws pertaining to sexual offences cannot be gender neutral in a patriarchal society, Jyothi underlined.


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