Men need to change to stop violence against women: Meira Kumar


New Delhi : Calling for a change in the mindset of men to stop physical and sexual violence against women, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar Thursday said about 76 percent of women were victims of both forms of abuse.

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Inaugurating a regional seminar for Asian parliaments on “Preventing and Responding to Violence against Women” here, Meira Kumar said the Asian region had always been at the forefront in ensuring equality in leadership.

“Nevertheless, violence and discrimination against women are a stark reality in Asia, which has often been justified by tradition,” she said.

“Despite the presence of 45 women presiding officers in parliaments across the world and two-thirds of countries having enacted laws against domestic violence, up to 76 percent women have been victims of either physical or sexual violence,” she said.

Emphasising the imperative for an attitudinal and mindset changes in men, she favoured empowering women educationally and strengthening institutional mechanisms to ensure decisive action and effective implementation of relevant laws.

Reiterating India’s commitment to eliminating violence against women, she also called upon parliamentarians to work together and make continuous international efforts for women’s empowerment.

Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) President Theo-Ben Gurirab recalled that Sep 15 was observed as the International Day of Democracy.

He stressed that “the achievement of democracy presupposes a genuine partnership between men and women in the conduct of the affairs of society in which they work in equality, drawing mutual enrichment from their differences,” which constitute a key point of the universal declaration on democracy adopted by the IPU.