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Odisha women earn earn 'thrice less than men': Campaign against gender violence

By Our Representative

In an campaign organised by several women’s collectives and civil society, as many as 20,000 activists participated in a mass pledge taken across Odisha “help end gender based violence in the society”. The mass pledge was organised by the women’s collective Mahila Shramajeebee Mancha, Odisha Shramajeebee Mancha and Atmashakti Trust.
Part of the event celebrate the day of the United Nations (UN) Convention of Elimination of Domestic Violence against Women, which fell on November 16, the mass pledge took place both at the state as well as the district levels. Activists at the Master Canteen Square in Bhubaneshwar held placards with messages to end violence against women.
“We took the pledge to draw attention to this issue that pervades our society. It is a problem that we come across each and every day around us," said Shanti Bhoi, President of the Mahila Shramajeebee Mancha, Odisha.
Part of the the UN’s 16 days of activism campaign against Gender Based Violence, Ruchi Kashyap, Executive Trustee of Atmashakti Trust said, “We took the vow to never be a silent bystander and to be strong allies in raising our voices against violences that women are being victimised to.”
The campaign comes amidst the Odisha government claiming to have taken several steps to curb violence against women such as launching a WhatsApp number for reporting cases of domestic violence during the Covid-19 lockdown. Another step was the state women and child development department issuing a helpline number 181 to address issues related to violence against women.
However, said the organisers, Odisha has achieved “shady variance of claiming the third place in the country as far as crime against women is concerned, as per the latest report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).”
They quoted the the NCRB report as stating that for every one lakh population in Odisha, 91.3 crimes are committed against women, while the conviction rate stands at negligible 8.3 per cent. Similarly, cyber crimes against women has also increased by nearly 76 per cent in the state in 2019 as compared to 2018, the latest data show.
Also, according to the Odisha government’s Economic Survey report 2018-19, women earn nearly three times less than men in the state, “which is a worrying trend”, a civil society communique said. “Women are still not considered a skilled workforce. Therefore, to end violence against women, there is a need for leadership and political participation, said the members of the outfits.”

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