New Delhi: Although significant strides have been made in India on articulating women rights, the country continues to witness high rates of violence against women, experts said on Tuesday, underlining the need to set "transformative but justified" goals to address these issues.
Women activists, NGOS, multi-level stakeholders, academics and government representatives participated in a two-day consultation on 'Strengthening women's voices in shaping post 2015 agenda', which began here today.
"We have reached a stage when I think the number of goals and targets do not matter but we need few transformative yet justified goals. We do not need more number of policies but a mechanism to ensure effective implementation. We need a road map for alienation of development with empowerment," academician and women activist Pam Rajput said.
Veena Kohil, president of All India Women's Conference (AIWC) said, "While the number of discriminatory laws have been removed and laws supporting gender equality have been introduced, majority of women continue to be in vulnerable situation. Similarly, laws have been put in place to address gender based violence, however, crime against women is on a rampant increase across India".
"While enrolment of girls in the primary level has significantly increased, there is a parallel increase in the dropout rates of girls at the secondary level. We need to look beyond these goals and set targets which are more realistic," she added.
Asserting that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have not yielded the desired results due to persistent gaps between ground reality and policies, the experts sought to propose a set of recommendations to the government in this regard.
"Unlike the MDGs, the UN has conducted the largest consultation programme in its history to gauge opinion on what the SDGs should include. After a series of global conversations including 13 Open Working Group Meetings attended by all its member countries, 17 Focus area and 169 targets have been finalised to be adopted by the UN during the General Assembly in September 2015," said Kalyani Raj from AIWC.
"However, due to the persistent gaps either between ground reality and policies or between policies and implementation, there is a strong need for intervention before the intergovernmental negotiations are finalised under the framework of SDG," she added.