Violence against Dalit women is born from intersectional discrimination – in terms of gender, poverty and caste – and becomes a social mechanism to maintain Dalit women’s subordination and reduce their capacity to participate in society or realise their rights.
In June 2016, Sisters For Change, in partnership with Karnataka Dalit Mahila Vedike (KDMV) published its first report on violence against Dalit women and girls based on project work and evidence gathering in Southern India (Karnataka). The report, Breaking down barriers to justice: Making the Indian criminal justice system work for Dalit women victims of violence, catalysed action by the Additional Director General of Police, Civil Rights Cell, to improve State implementation of the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocities Act and undertakings from the Principal Secretary, Social Welfare Department, Karnataka to improve monitoring of the implementation of the act with a special focus on women and girls.
In March 2018, Sisters For Change, in partnership with the National Dalit Movement for Justice (NDMJ) and Dalit Sthree Sakthi (DSS), published its second report, A Call for Justice. A Time for Change: Addressing caste and gender based violence against Dalit women and girls in India, which included evidence from across five States of India. Through in-depth legal case evidence and analysis of hundreds of cases of violence against Dalit women and girls, 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.
Sisters For Change, NDMJ and DSS are now working at the State, National and International level to advocate for renewed pressure on the Indian Government to take action to remedy these violations. Sisters For Change have sent our report findings and recommendations for action to the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women and the UN CEDAW Committee and continue to advocate for action with our partners in India.
Keep up to date with Sisters For Change activities by subscribing to our newsletter below, and following us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.