Women and Violence ...
Women are increasingly being subjected to varied forms of violence – communal, ethnic, domestic, armed and even medical violence.
Sama has actively lobbied for acknowledgement of communal violence as a public health issue in different health forums. We assert that the rise in fundamentalism should be addressed as it affects the mental and physical health of the affected population. Whether religious, political, economic, scientific or cultural, fundamentalism is always political and flourishes in societies which negate the full diversity of the human race and which legitimate the use of violence to subordinate one group to another, or one person to another.
Gujarat was one such instance where we encountered public health crisis during the communal riots. In the aftermath of the Gujarat carnage, Sama and other organisations had strongly advocated for a bill to protect the rights of the marginalized communities, especially women, who faced sexual violence with severe implications for their health. Sama along with other activists and groups provided critical feedback to the Standing Committee constituted to look into the Communal Violence Bill. The standing committee has committed to look into the Bill and make changes based on the recommendations of the delegation.
Sama has been actively involved in bringing the case forward through various campaigns and press conferences against the complicity of the state and lack of effective redressal for the victims. Sama was a part of ‘The International Initiative for Justice in Gujarat' organized by women’s organizations and civil liberties groups in India, which brought together a panel of feminist jurists, activists, lawyers, writers and academics from all over the world after the Gujarat riots in 2002. A report Threatened Existence was an outcome of the initiative.