A call for Justice. A time for change.

A call for Justice. A time for change.

Delhi, India: Sisters For Change launched its new report, A call for justice. A time for change. Addressing caste and gender-based violence against Dalit women and girls in India at the Constitution Club of India in Delhi on 26 February 2018.

This report assesses State authority responses to violence against Dalit women and girls in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. It comes at a timely moment, given the current social context of increasing inter-caste violence across the country, stronger mobilisation of Dalit communities in protest of continuing caste discrimination and the recent Supreme Court judgement (20 March 2018) banning immediate arrest of a person accused of insulting or injuring a Scheduled Caste (Dalit) / Scheduled Tribe (Adivasi) member as mandated under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

This report has been produced by Sisters For Change (SFC), the National Dalit Movement for Justice (NDMJ) and Dalit Sthree Sakthi (DSS), three independent NGOs that use law as a tool for social change and as a means to hold state authorities to account. Though in-depth legal case evidence and analysis of hundreds of cases of violence against Dalit women and girls that we have supported and monitored between 2016-2018, the findings in this report highlight the multiple obstacles that Dalit women face to access justice and persistent and systemic violations of Dalit women’s human rights, including their fundamental rights to equal protection of the law.

Dalit women, autonomous and empowered agents of change, have a long history of challenging these violations of their rights and mobilising to speak truth to power on a collective basis. We hope that this report will add to this momentum and as three national and international civil society organisations working for the empowerment of Dalit women, we call on the Government of India and the Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to adopt the 6 recommendations we have made to improve national and state authority responses to discrimination and violence against Dalit women and girls, ensure the effective implementation of The Scheduled Castes and Schedules Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 (as amended) and remedy the failures in the criminal justice system that violate the rights of Dalit women and impede their progress towards equality.

Sisters For Change
National Dalit Movement for Justice
Dalit Sthree Sakthi

February 2018

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