Dowry-related Female Homicide Highest In India, Says UN Study
Women bear the greatest burden on Intimate partner violence, says a study released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. It found that out of the total of 87,000 female homicide cases worldwide in 2017, 50,300 — or 58 percent — were committed by the victims’ intimate partners or family members.
The report also found that the largest number of women killed worldwide by intimate partner violence or family members in 2017 was in Asia (20,000), followed by Africa (19,000), America (8,000), Europe (3,000) and Oceania (300).
“This amounts to some six women killed every hour by people they know,” the Vienna-based body said. “Women continue to pay the highest price as a result of gender inequality, discrimination and negative stereotypes,” said the UNODC chief, Yury Fedotov.
“They are also the most likely to be killed by intimate partners and family… making the home the most dangerous place for a woman,” he said. “The fact that women continue to be affected by this type of violence to a greater degree than men is indicative of an imbalance in power relations between women and men inside the domestic sphere.”
KEY FINDINGS FROM INDIA
Specific to India, the femicide or killing women because of the various issues relating to their gender, happens a considerable amount in Dowry-related killings among other types of intimate partner and family violence. It quoted the data from the National Crime Record Bureau which indicates that female dowry deaths account to 40-50% of all female homicide recorded annually in the country.
The study states that female homicide in India also comprises of a high percentage of killing women accused of sorcery and witchcraft among other countries of Asia.
The study states that female homicide in India also comprises of a high percentage of killing women accused of sorcery and witchcraft among other countries of Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands. It says that while the data is not sex disaggregated, it is likely that women account for a larger share of victims.
It highlights the fact that across the world, people use traditions and religious values to justify harmful practices like Female Genital Mutilation, son preference, child marriage, etc. which lead to violence against women. Female infanticide also constitutes a huge part in sex-selective homicide and it happens because people attribute less worth to girl child than boys.
UNODC believes combating violence has seen “no tangible progress despite legislation and programmes developed to eradicate violence against women.” The report, “highlights the need for effective crime prevention and criminal justice responses to violence against women,” the UNODC said. It also emphasised the need for measures to boost safety and empower potential victims while holding their abusers accountable.