Discrimination Against Dalit Women

by Jai Shankar Prasad
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Publisher: Centrum Press

Publication Date: June 30, 2017

ISBN: 9789388034715

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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In India, the Dalits constitute over 16.6 per cent with little less than half being women, which means that 97.9 million Dalit women face multiple forms of discrimination in this country alone. Violence against Dalit women reinforces caste norms wherein they are seen as available for all forms of violence, especially sexual violence. According to India’s National Commission for Women, "In the commission of offences against... [Dalit] women the [dominant caste] offenders try to establish their authority and humiliate the community by subjecting their women to indecent and inhuman treatment." Further, when they transgress caste norms such as those prescribing caste endogamy or untouchability practices, or assert their rights over resources or public spaces, violence is unleashed on them. Because of lower social attitude towards Dalit women and their economic dependence, they become victims of the high caste sexual violence, on a scale far greater than that of the non-dalit women. Their socio-economic vulnerability and lack of political voice when combined with being a woman and Dalit increase the incidence of violence on them. The large numbers of crimes against Dalit women go unreported, unregistered and not punished by the law. The situation of Dalit women needs special attention.