India: Dalit women face violence and barriers to justice
Three reports by MRG’s partner organizations in India paint a disturbing picture of violence against Dalit women and their access to justice.
Research by the Navsarjan Trust shows that just 0.7 per cent of gender-based violence cases involving Dalit women result in a conviction, and around half of cases have stalled in the legal system. EVIDENCE, an organization that has been involved in more than 253 cases of violence against Dalit women since 2005, found that 70 per cent of incidences are committed as Dalit women tried to assert their rights and challenge discrimination.
Traditionally, Dalits fall outside India’s social hierarchy, or caste system, meaning they are seen as “untouchable”. Today they continue to be marginalized in different areas of life. Dalit women face discrimination and violence due to their caste and their gender. Violence is used against Dalit women to reinforce caste and gender norms.
These reports highlight the barriers to justice faced by Dalit women by examining data such as the number of cases registered with each police station, the nature of the crimes and the delays at various stages of the justice process. The report by the Navsarjan Trust also shows that pressure from Community Service Organizations helps progress cases through courts.
Download the three reports below.
Photo: Dalit women in south-east region of Tamil Nadu, India.