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WOMEN AND CHILDREN: MORE VULNERABLE THAN BEFORE

By- Hetvi Manoj Gajjar, Student at KES’ Shri. Jayantilal H. Patel Law College

(Image Source: UNICEF.ORG)

Violence is a threat to everyone, but women and children are particularly prone to victimization. It is because they lack proper protection and their rights are often overlooked. Violence has become a grave concern for people at large with costs at multiple levels of society. Some people accept certain types of violence socially or legally which contributes a lot of risk and danger to women and children.

Violence dates back to the history of mankind. Several kinds of abuse against women have been described in the ancient epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. India is a patriarchal country, the violence against women and children committed typically by a man. In order to be considered violence against women and children, the act must be committed solely because the victim is female or child. Mostly these acts are committed by men as a result of the constant existence of gender inequalities present in the country.

Violence against women in India is more deep-rooted than it may seem, as many expressions of violence are not considered as crimes due to cultural values and beliefs. This shows gender inequality and systematic gender-based discrimination and these reasons contribute in placing India on 122nd rank in Gender Inequality Index with rating of 0.501 in year 2018. The effects of violence can remain with them for a lifetime, and might pass to the next generation. Research shows that children who have witnessed violence probably become victims or abusers.

Over the decade, research has documented the growth in such violence yet gaps in the data still remain. Victims of violence have fear of being treated unfairly and publicly disapproved or accused socially and thus they’re often are hesitant to report crimes.

The question that come to our mind is, are women and children in India today less safe than they were 10 years ago and where do we stand now, compared a decade ago?


Crimes against women almost doubled over the last decade. These crimes were as many as 378,277 in 2018 as compared to 203,804 in 2009. A crime against woman is committed every two minutes in India. The cases categorised as crimes against women include murder, rape, cruelty by husband or his relatives, dowry death, acid attack, suicide abetment, kidnapping and abduction among others. Crime Records Bureau data recorded a jump increase of 85.61% in crime.

Crimes against women almost doubled over the last decade. These crimes were as many as 378,277 in 2018 as compared to 203,804 in 2009. A crime against woman is committed every two minutes in India. The cases categorised as crimes against women include murder, rape, cruelty by husband or his relatives, dowry death, acid attack, suicide abetment, kidnapping and abduction among others. Crime Records Bureau data recorded a jump increase of 85.61% in crime.

Crimes against children increased almost six times over the last decade. These crimes were 141,764 in 2018 as compared to 24,201 in 2009. As many as 350 crimes are committed every day against children in the country. Crime Records Bureau data revealed a large number of increase in crimes against children over 2009-2018.


State-wise details of crime against women and children of 2018 as compared to 2009 as recorded by NCRB are here.

Women and children were more vulnerable to crime in 2018. While the overall crime rate in India decreased in 2018, the crime rate against women increased. When the overall crime rate dropped, the rate of crimes against women rose from 17.4 to 58.8 (2009 to 2018), and crime rate against children from 2.1 to 31.8 (2009 to 2018).

Crime rate is a better indicator since it takes the size of the population into account. Like, the state of Uttar Pradesh would always have a higher number of crimes likewise its rate of crime is low because of the high population. A higher crime rate may not always indicate poor law and order.

There were 3,78,277 cases of crimes against women in 2018, up by 85.61% from 203,804 in 2009. The highest number was in Uttar Pradesh (59,445) followed by Maharashtra (35,497) and West Bengal (30,394) whereas the highest rate of crime against women was in Assam (166) followed by Delhi (149). The majority of crimes against women were under ‘Cruelty by Husband or His Relatives’ (31.9%) followed by ‘Assault on Women with Intent to Outrage her Modesty’ (27.6%), ‘Kidnapping & Abduction of Women’ (22.5%) and ‘Rape’ (10.3%).

In terms of percentage, crime against children, major crime heads during 2018 were Kidnapping & Abduction (44.2%) and cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (34.7%) including child rape.

In India, there is Huge pendency & relatively very low conviction rate in crime against women and children. As per the latest record, in 2016, 18.9% was the lowest conviction rate of the decade rate of crimes against women.

Hence, preventing violence against women and children has become a topic of grave importance. Women and children have the right to live violence free and it depends on the protection of their human rights and a strong justicial system. Whilst trying to curb violence, it is important to consider the prime caucses of gender inequality and discrimination. There is proof that conveys that the inequality is substantial in various areas such as women's health, participation in the economy, education levels and representation in politics. There is a desperate need of well ordered and extensive approach that identifies and ensures that the welfare of the women and children is given upmost priority and they are given equal human rights. A culture of equality is to be prioritized for all genders through various reforms, awareness programmes, etc.

Thus, there are many laws and guidelines but those do not ensure complete protection of women and children. We should be careful and aware of the fact that women and children are at risk and in danger with gaps in the infrastructure, process and the system as well as people. We together as a nation need to commit to developing a culture of zero tolerance for violence against women and children.


#women #children #violenceagainstwomen

(Disclaimer- The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Child Rights Centre.)

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