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  • Allahabad: National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Girija Vyas has called upon women to be more aware of their rights so they can raise their voice against injustice and atrocities. In an informal talk with reporters here last evening, Dr Vyas said despite all efforts and laws formulated for this purpose, the incidents of victimization of women have not come down. ]

    She cited the number of cases registered with the NCW over the past few years and said the figures were alarming. The Commission had received 6,451 cases of dowry victimization in 2001 which had risen to 6,540 this year. The cases of sexual exploitation of women have also seen an alarming increase.

    These reflected badly on the civil society and the NCW had written to the states, asking them to take harder steps.Dr Vyas said 85 per cent women living in rural areas were still unaware of their rights and the Commission had launched a ''chalo gaon'' (to the villages) programme to increase awareness.She enumerated five things necessary for women's empowerment -- stringent laws, active cooperation of administration, affirmative role of women organizations including the state Women Commissions and the role of media and civil society. She also suggested a change in the Dowry Act and said registration of all marriages was essential to curb dowry-related crimes.

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