NEW DELHI, Sept 21 - Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju said that women are the first and worst sufferers in conflict zones worldwide and in the disturbed areas whether in the North East or Jammu and Kashmir.
In contemporary conflicts, as much as 90 per cent of casualties are among civilians, most of whom are women and children, he added.
The Minister further cautioned against the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), saying that unimaginable stories of atrocities against women and their sufferings are emerging from the areas under their influence.
Rijiju was addressing representatives from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, the Philippines and Myanmar at the South Asian Women�s Peace and Security Conference here on Monday.
The Minister said that society must change its mindset towards improving women�s safety. The efforts of the Government, judiciary and police alone will not be sufficient to curb the menace. Gender bias and inequality are very grave in the country. �I cannot imagine such atrocities still happening to women in the 21st century,� he added.
Pointing out that registration of crimes against women has registered an alarming rise in recent years, Rijiju said tightening of the legal provisions and the mandatory registration of such crimes alone will not help. The fact is that such incidents are happening and there is no change in the situation on the ground, he said.
Mentioning that India is a signatory to various regional and global conventions on Women�s Equality, Rijiju said no country has such elaborate legal provisions as we have on the issue of Women�s Safety and Equality. India has a number of legal provisions for the protection of women, but the problem still lies in the mind-set of society. We need to come together and collectively resolve this issue, he said.
The Minister received from the organisers of the conference, Control Arms Foundation of India (CAFI), a draft memorandum on the issue of women and security in India and urging for a National Action Plan.