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Family a place of inequality and violence for women : UN

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The recently published report by United Nations over “Families in a Changing World” states, due to the set of norms and the ‘Family Values’, it is observed that families bringing conflict, violence and inequality to women.

25th Jun, the report published by UN which says, the supporters of the “family values” has always ignorant of the women’s voice and their rights and keep putting effort to roll back achievement made by women in decades.

“Concerted efforts to roll back the achievements of many decades of work for gender equality, by those who deny women the right to make their own decisions, have recently been cloaked in the rhetoric of ‘family values’. In reality, the proponents of these views have not only sought to undermine women’s rights, but have simultaneously adopted policies that erode the conditions that enable families and their members to thrive.”

The report said South India and South-Eastern Asia has less rigid system for women and freedom of public mobility to women is at a greater extent.

“A somewhat different and less rigid set of gender relations characterizes the kinship systems in South India and South-Eastern Asia. Here too households are organized on the basis of conjugal bonds, but a greater degree of public mobility is allowed for women.”

In the report page 83, also talks about the Dowry system in Western Asia, Europe, Eastern Asia where bride’s family make payment to groom’s family and stated as:

“dowry remains widespread in Southern Asia despite long-standing feminist campaigns and legislation prohibiting the practice in, for example, both Bangladesh and India.”

It also states that the Dowry system is “the main problem women face” and it causes violence on women if they failed to satisfy the husband demand.

“Dowry practices can fuel violence against women when, for instance, the bride’s family fails to pay the dowry in full or the gifts are deemed unsatisfactory. Husbands are the most common perpetrators and mothers-in-law are often implicated”

The report states that, for the affordable payment, parents may opt to marry their daughter at an early age.

“Where dowry is practised, families may marry their daughters off at a young age to keep the payments affordable; in contexts of bridewealth, families may rely on payments from a daughter’s marriage to support younger siblings. At the same time, marriage can be seen as a way to protect girls’ chastity and purity”

The report also states that marriage in some countries revokes the women’s right and women has to follow their husband in almost 19 countries.

“marriage contracts have entailed a forfeiture of women’s individual rights, and in some countries this is still the situation today. in 19 countries and territories (out of 189 with data), the law explicitly requires women to obey their husbands.”

The report also given some light towards the “Caring Families, Caring Societies”, mentioned as:

“Families are key sites for the provision and receipt of care, and they are also sources of love and affection through which people are nurtured and develop a sense of belonging. It is within families that the young and old, the healthy and frail, develop the human capabilities that undergird vibrant economies and inclusive societies.”

The report also discussed the three human rights principles, particularly for the family:

  • equality and non-discrimination,
  • the right to live a life free of violence, and
  • the best interest of the child.

Referring the CEDAW, it said that “family relations must be read in light of this principle”.

The report states that, punishment and protection from violence is state responsibility, including the violence within the family particularly the women, children, pl aged person, and person with disabilities.

In the report page 29 it also given some light on Patriarchal system as:

“Patriarchy, however, is not only a legal matter. It is also maintained through day-to-day practices and lived realities. Even when women enjoy legal equality, their rights can be violated in practice. When such violation of rights happens systematically, it reveals the persistence of unequal power relations, structural impediments and discriminatory social norms.”

In the report at page no 35, also referred the Convention on the Rights (CRC) which is based on the principle of “the best interest of the child is paramount consideration”. It referred the principle as a dynamic concept and also said that “children should not separated from any parents without their will“.

“Children should not be separated from their parents against their will and should maintain personal contact with them, unless there is evidence of abuse or neglect of the child. From both case law of domestic courts and human rights monitoring bodies it is clear that in cases involving the care and custody of minors, the determination of the child’s best interests cannot be based on speculation, assumptions or stereotypes regarding the parents’ circumstances or on traditional concepts of the family. The assessment must be based on specific parental behaviours and their impact on the child’s well-being.”

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