On International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25, experts suggest that gender sensitisation should begin at grass root level to put an end to the various forms of violence inflicted on women
Catch them young
K Santhakumari, advocate and president of Tamil Nadu Federation of Women Lawyers points out that the issue of violence has only been increasing despite several measures. “After the Nirbhaya gang rape case in 2012, several measures were taken towards curbing violence. However, we have seen an increase in such cases. Many cases in family courts and divorce proceedings are related to domestic violence. The root cause for this is the patriarchal mindset. The older generation will not change. We have to work on the young minds,” she says. Centre for Women’s Development and Research has been working with adolescent boys from across slums to change their attitude towards girls. “These boys tell us they think it is natural to look at women as sex objects. We try to change that. Many of them take active part in household chores and even stand up against abusive fathers now,” says K.R.Renuka, Executive Director of the organisation.
Respect for women begins at home
In recent times, a number of campaigns against gender violence have gone viral. Boys Don’t Cry, a film featuring actress Madhuri Dixit, aimed to put an end to the notion that it is unmanly on a man’s part to cry and emphasised that boys should rather be taught at home that it was wrong on their part to make girls cry. And, a recent 1-minute commercial on sexual harassment shows a mother’s advice to her son about sexual harassment.