Gender based violence in East India

Societies that discriminate on the basis of gender pay a significant price in terms of higher poverty,lower quality of life, slower economic growth, and weaker governance (Elizabeth King, 2001).

India’s rugged north-east( which consists of the seven states of Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and the Himalayan state of Sikkim) and eastren parts ( Jharkhand , Orissa , West Bengal, Sikkin) of India  has seen a rise in crimes against women over the past decade. In 2014, the National Crime Records Bureau reported that six of the north-east states have witnessed an accelerated increase in crimes against women. These crimes ranged from rape and kidnapping through to dowry death and domestic cruelty.

The region is multiethnic with heterogeneous cultural background and is different from mainstream homogeneous culture. Moreover in the last few decades insurgency has been the part and parcel of the life of the people of the region. Heavy militancy in the area, lack of access to economic opportunity and education has left many women vulnerable to becoming severely affected by trafficking, violence or systemic abuse.

The fear of not being believed, being stigmatized, being blamed, dread of revisiting the ordeal during interrogations are some reasons as to why so many incidents of crimes against women go unreported in a patriarchal society. The victim is the one who is left disgraced while the guilty perpetrator is offered impunity. These crimes reflect deep rooted gender inequalities that persist in India.

Studies show the high prevalence of all forms of violence against women across all socio-economic settings in eastern zone of India. Giving property right, access to employment and educational opportunity to women thus might not change the picture. A revolutionary change in the social and cultural values and behavioural pattern is necessary to foster the process of achieving gender equality. As soon as women feel that they have the capability to operate the society at the same term as men then achieving gender equality would not remain as a distant dream.

To combat the rising violence, sustainable solutions are needed to ensure protection of women from the East. Hackathon against Gender Based Violence is one such initiative that has brought together technologists and activists to creatively think of solutions.

In India the issues of gender based violence are influenced not only by individuals but have deep cultural issues attached to them. Hence, while building solutions one needs to think through these cultural issues. This event would act as an enabler to think about solutions around the local issues of gender based violence, involving discussions and learning opportunities along with building technology.

The aim of this event would be to create an environment for building sustainable solutions to Gender Based Violence. In doing so we also make sure the following are achieved in the process:

  •  To include the best practices of humanitarian technology building in the solutions
  •  To encourage creativity and new approaches to solving a persistent problem
  •  To encourage more women to participate in the solution building
  •  To build sustainable solutions through this event