JYOTSNA YAGNIK K. RATHOD
Department of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Laws, Saurashtra University, Rajkot 360 005, INDIA.
India has not declared any Reservation in plan of action at Beijing. It played leading role in drafting SAARC convention for trafficking. No reservation on Article 2 of CEDAW has also been claimed. The international labour organization standards in the Indian Labour Laws are taken care of. Indian Judiciary is too enlightened and has pronounced numerous judgments creating a neo-jurisprudence in favour of women empowerment. At 4th World Conference on women, India had committed itself for 6% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to be invested in education. Numerous laws have been reviewed and amended, five years’ plan emphasize on women empowerment, women’s health seems to be one of the prime consideration for government, dowry laws, cruelty concept, domestic violence Act are all a few glimpses of involvement and commitment of Indian Government to bring into reality the principles laid down in CEDAW, which all should fairly be placed on record as bright side of implementation of CEDAW in India.
The meaning of the discrimination has yet to be widened. At present, every act and omission which is meant to insult womanhood is not inclusive, the offences against women are yet not viewed seriously, the reservation in certain kind of employment wherein women are suitable and in a kind of employment where though women and men both are suitable but, still advisability or even need for making specific provisions for reservation for women has not yet picked up the shape, free and compulsory education has though been made a fundamental right the awakening in the common men is not achieved, childhood care and education is though made a directive principle of state policy it has not yet gained momentum, the budget allocation specially for women has yet not increased, the small text books are reviewed to remove gender bias but, the cultural stereotypes which are harming or acting against the dignity of women is not totally eliminated, the labour laws have not been amended to give special security and protection to women and that the percentage of self employed women have yet not increased, are all the illustrations which go to suggest that Article 1 which is meaning of discrimination has to be deep rooted in our laws. The making of laws, interpreting the laws and executing the laws will have to be done in a new perspective keeping in centre the object of elimination of discrimination against women. The present researcher is of the firm opinion that until the stereotype is totally evaporated from the mind of society at large nothing can be attained to or no goal can be achieved even if the concept of discrimination is widened. Therefore, what is much needed is awakening and sensitizing the society at large looking to the special socio cultural set up of India.
To eliminate the black side of implementation reservation in Local Bodies, treating fundamental duties as responsibility, affirmative action of the Constitution by providing gender equality and non discrimination as a fundamental right, sounds quite necessary, plan, policy, programs, fullest implementation of pre and post Beijing platform for women empowerment and development, district level committee to review, monitor and to take steps to counter violence against women, awareness generation camps in districts where offences against women are on rise are all the steps, strategies and more than mechanism which would reflect that Indian government is indeed serious and desirous to do lot many things for empowerment of women and for women’s development to result it into gender equity and equality.
The present researcher submits that we should be ready to make use of the strongest tool to establish women’s right, equality and gender justice. We must not underestimate the power of CEDAW and the neo-jurisprudence which has been given to the world to eliminate discrimination against women. Let us not loose sight of the fact that the CEDAW is MAGNA CARTA of all man kind and it is applicable to all the state and acceptable to all the nations and to every person for whom human right is a religion as the right flows from CEDAW does not know boundaries of nation and culture.
With these hopes and with the capacity CEDAW is having discrimination against women must now become yesterday. The gigantic impressive human rights treaties sweetly ringing within it equality among sexes should no more be a paper beauty. It should now surely and safely be stated that the days are not far when gender equity and equality will see complete daylight. The dawn has started. The tender sun rays have started coming out but then, the full fledged sun shine is necessary which women in this country have not seen for centuries together. It is to be remembered that we cannot forget as a developing nation that to achieve the goals of total CEDAW implementation we have to walk miles together before we sleep and that too unitedly : joint efforts of Government, Society, Non Governmental Organization, People, Religious Leaders, men and women of each component of society. Let the dawn lighten the world.