New Delhi: Supreme Court Judge P Sathasivam
on Wednesday said exploitation of women is a "reality" in India and
gender justice a "fragile myth", attributing the evil to
Justice Sathasivam said the discrimination against women
stems not from legislative insufficiency, but can be
attributed to the deep-rooted social values and ethics
involved in the establishment of Indian society.
"The fact is that women`s exploitation is a reality and
gender justice a fragile myth. Through law and policy women
have indeed over the years secured for themselves
entitlements, but so far they have not been able to defend
themselves from crimes committed against them of societal
prejudices," Justice Sathasivam said, addressing the 17th
Justice Sunanda Bhandare Memorial Lecture here.
"This negated the whole premise of gender justice. Unless
we recognise her rights-her basic human rights-gender justice
would only be lip-service with no tangible results," he said.
The SC judge said awakening of collective consciousness
is the need of the day and if women were to receive education
and become economically independent, the possibility of many
pernicious social evils dying a natural death may not be a
"Laws are not enough to combat the growing menace of
gender injustice. A wider social movement of education of
their rights is what is needed. Human rights for all must be
made the focal point in good governance.
"There can be no doubts about the inevitability of the
human rights regime as the foundation of a good value based
society. For human rights take a backward step, if gender
justice is not achieved," he said.
Though acknowledging that the government is formulating
women empowerment policies, he said it is not a one man-job,
the entire humanity will have to join hands to achieve the