PRESS RELEASE
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March 8th is the International Women’s Day (IWD). It’s the day, when women’s struggles are remembered and their achievements are celebrated. Unfortunately, the women’s struggles still continue as thousands of innocent women are harassed, abused and even jailed every year in the name of executing laws meant for protecting women.
The patriarchal law enforcement system denied justice to women for a long time and today it participates in harassment of women in the name of implementing laws meant for protecting women. Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF) is conducting awareness campaigns in Bangalore, Delhi and Hyderabad to show the disastrous impact of draconian laws on innocent women.Every year 30,000 innocent women get jailed without evidence or investigation in dowry cases. Many of these women are elderly, many are pregnant and many have small kids in their arms. Thousands of unmarried young girls are also arrested and sent to jail. In the name of protecting women, the patriarchal society takes pride in arresting and jailing so many women without any evidence or investigation. Are these women a threat to society that they have to be arrested and bail has to be denied? Jailing of 30,000 women and girls in a year means one woman is jailed in every 20 minutes. Many more thousands of women live in the constant fear of getting dragged to police stations, getting arrested and jailed. Many of these women approach SIFF helplines for counseling as they have no where else to go.
It is often assumed that only men get victimized in false dowry cases. This is not true. The reality is that a woman is arrested in every 20 minutes. The real victims of dowry harassment never go to police and it’s the innocents who get jailed. Indian supreme court has warned about unleashing of “legal terrorism” if the arrest of innocents is not stopped. Often, elderly widowed women are abused and threatened by the male relatives of the estranged daughter-in-law so that she gives in to their demand of lacs of money and property.
Recently, a 92 year old woman was dragged to police station and the court, when a criminal case is filed against her. She was considered “guilty till proven innocent”. Another woman was arrested in a dowry case and is taken in train from Delhi to Lucknow along with her 6 month old kid. Is this empowerment of women? In another occasion, police reached to a school to arrest a class 9th school girl, who was listed as an accused in a dowry case. Is this what President calls about initiatives for “girl child” in India?
Recently, an auto-rickshaw driver attempted suicide in Bangalore after being abused and made to run around police stations. In his house there was one widowed mother, a widowed sister and widowed wife of his brother. He was the sole breadwinner of the family. Three widowed women and the children were dependents on him. By God’s grace he survived. If he had passed away, then who would have taken care of these innocent women and children? The patriarchal system has no right to harass a man, who is the only breadwinner in a family with women and children.
In spite of lofty claims made by minister for women and child welfare Renuka Chowdhury about women’s empowerment, it is a fact that she is completely silent about plight of thousands of women and children, who get jailed without trial in dowry cases every year. She has no answer to these atrocities committed by a patriarchal system, which finds it mandatory to jail women and children without bail even as criminals and molesters get bail at the drop of hat. The entire women’s movement in India is hijacked by a few fund chasing pawns of western agencies, which drive the agenda of women’s movement in India.
President of India, Pratibha Patil recently talked about “complete legal equality” for women. So, why Government is arresting innocent women and young girls without evidence or investigation? Women’s activists of SIFF will submit memorandums to President of India and Governor of Karnataka to stop arrest of women in dowry cases.
Stop Arresting Women in Dowry Cases demands SIFF and its Women’s Activists:
  1. STOP Arresting Women and girls in anti-dowry cases. Women can be arrested only when they are convicted after trial in a competent court. Arresting innocent women without any basis is simply an act of cowardice by a Government, which can not implement any law properly.
  2. Any police official arresting women in dowry cases must face disciplinary action.
  3. The DV act’s scope must be extended to include protection orders and restraining orders on male relatives of a daughter-in-law, who abuse and threaten the women of the family.

Women’s movement started with sincere women, who wanted to achieve gender equality. Today the women’s organizations are hijacked by fund chasing fringe elements, which campaign for biased draconian laws without considering its consequences on innocent women and children in families. The women activists of SIFF work hard to expose these motivated organizations, which betray women while collecting funds for women’s welfare.

SIFF Phone Numbers:

Bangalore: 98860 16438 , 98451 43724, 92434 73794

Delhi: 098106 11534

Hyderabad: 098664 81361

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