NEW DELHI—Motivated by the UN secretary general Antonio Guterres’s call in April last year for a halt to “horrifying global surge in domestic violence” during the lockdown, Women’s Wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) is launching a 10-day ‘Strong Family, Strong Society’ nationwide campaign with a view to establishing peace within the family and the society across the country. The campaign will run between February 19 and 28, 2021.
Addressing mediapersons at the Press Club of India here on Wednesday, JIH Women’s Wing Co-Secretary Mrs. Rahmathunnisa said that lockdown owing to Covid-19 pandemic revealed that threat to women and girls was the largest at their homes where they should feel the safest. This is what compelled the UN secretary general to issue an appeal to take measures to stop violence against women.
She said that the domestic violence saw a dramatic increase in India as well during lockdown. Quoting National Commission for Women, JIH leader said that the domestic violence witnessed 10-year high record during the lockdown period in India. She said that the real figure could be much higher because hardly 7 per cent of incidents of the domestic violence were recorded because the majority of the victims avoided to go to authorities to seek help.
“This data is just the tip of the iceberg and cases of women subjected to verbal, physical, sexual and psychological violence and abuse is becoming extremely common”, she pointed out. “Along with corona pandemic, lockdown became a period of shadow pandemic, or the period of increased violence against women”, she pointed out.
Giving reasons for increasing incidents of domestic violence, she said that this was owing to weakening of the institution of family and people were leading life outside the family owing to a variety of reasons like capitalism etc. “But the worst effect of it was seen during lockdown. Lockdown became shadow pandemic along with corona pandemic”, she observed, adding that divorce rates increased several folds and domestic violence cases skyrocketed.
Stating that the speech of UN secretary general was the prime motivation behind launching this campaign, she claimed that “by securing the institution of family in a strong way and bringing peace within the family, we can establish peace around the world, peace in the society and we can ultimately strengthen the society”.
“So, family is the most natural and easiest way to fulfill you urge. However progressive you may be, however liberated you are, peoples’ natural urge whether it is physical, psychological and sexual, they are the same for every one and they will remain the same. And if there is no chance to give vent to you feeling and your natural urge within the family that will create problem in the society. This will increase live-in relationships, homosexuality and even abortion of unwanted pregnancy and it will lead to disastrous effect on society”, she elaborated.
“So, a strong family is a necessity for a healthy and vibrant society and that is why the current campaign”, she said.
In response to a question, she said that “the deterioration in moral values is not because of religion but because of abandoning it.
Giving details, Mrs Shaista Rafat, all India convener of the campaign, said: “We wish to reach out to both the Muslim community as well as the wider society. We have grass-root level programs as well as some state-level and national-level programs. We will be conducting corner meetings, family get-togethers, competitions, family quiz, and interfaith dialogues. Some of our programs will also be online in the form of international webinars, and daily online interactive sessions with experts. Letters will be sent to community leaders, Imams of mosques and various religious scholars to draw their attention towards this theme. We will also approach the women commission, educational institutions, family counsellors and lawyers as part of the campaign.”
While Mrs. Juveria Farheen welcomed the journalists, Dr (Mrs) Fatima Tanveer proposed a vote of thanks and appealed the mediapersons to support the campaign.