Since Delhi rose up against rape and sexual assault last December, over 1300 rape cases and thousands of molestation cases have been reported. But, despite a round of reforms, lakhs of assaults remain invisible to the police and the judicial eye, and Delhi’s women still do not have the freedom that is every person’s birthright.
With this election Delhi’s citizens are demanding more action to stop these crimes against women. Slogans and limited reform are not enough.
The following manifesto is a six point plan critical to protect the freedom and safety of Delhi’s women and girls. All candidates should commit to enforcing this plan within one year:
1. Educate everyone: We will develop and begin to deliver comprehensive, well-funded and long-term public education programmes to end the culture of gender based violence including: curricula for each level in schools and universities, teacher training programmes; SMS, radio and TV public service campaigns to challenge the mindsets behind violence against women; curricula in medical schools and law schools, and modules for professional training.
2. Make laws count: We will work to ensure each government agency produces a detailed action plan to implement the laws to end violence against women and foster their enforcement. This will include infrastructure, personnel, training and will specify the funds allotted for each intervention. We will also adopt a Code of Conduct to end misogynist language in the Vidhan Sabha.
3. Responsive police: We will work with the Central Government to establish and enforce a public protocol for police response to crimes against women. We will change service rules to recruit, promote and penalise based on gender attitudes and performance; recruit more police officers to more effectively patrol and protect (particularly women); and establish rape crisis response teams. Police personnel who breach the new procedures will be investigated and removed.
4. Faster, competent courts: We will establish more fast track courts for crimes of violence against women, increase the number of judges to 30 per 100,000 population and increase the related staff and infrastructure. We will work with the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court to seek reform of court procedures to address victims’ needs.
5. Support to survivors: We will adequately fund and set up one-stop 24 hour crisis centres in hospitals in each police district, to provide comprehensive services to women who are victims of violent crimes. Services will include police liaison, medical, legal and counselling services, links to voluntary shelters and compensation. One stop crisis centres will improve and merge current rape crisis cells and crisis intervention centres where appropriate.
6. Safe streets, safe city: We will ensure Delhi is safe to move around, day and night. We will include women’s safety guidelines in the City Development plan, Master Plans and Local Area plans, and conduct safety audits. We will set up accessible night shelters, creches, and women’s toilets, especially in the poorest areas. We will expand the DTC bus fleet to 25,000; run safe transit workshops with drivers’ associations and unions; increase metro and bus security services; and extend the Delhi metro’s hours of operation.
Devaki Jain, Economist and Padma Bhushan awardee, Delhi
Karuna Nundy, Advocate, Supreme Court of India, Delhi
Kavita Krishnan, AIPWA and Bekhauf Azaadi campaign, Delhi
Ayesha Kidwai, Professor, Centre for Linguistics, JNU, Delhi
Sehba Farooqui, Janwadi Mahila Samiti, Delhi
Janaki Nair, Professor , Centre for Historical Studies, JNU, Delhi
Suneeta Dhar, Jagori, Delhi
Urvashi Butalia, Founder, Zubaan; Padma Shri awardee, Delhi
Revati Laul, Journalist, Delhi
Shreya Ila Anasuya, Avaaz, Delhi
Nandini Rao, Delhi
Nilanjana Roy, Writer, Delhi
Lata Singh, Delhi
Anita Roy, Senior Editor, Zubaan, Delhi
Gautam Bhan, Urban planner and activist, Delhi
Prabha Nagaraja, TARSHI, Delhi
Jasmine, TARSHI, Delhi
Rachana Johri, Delhi
Soma K Parthasarathy, Advisor, Gender, Development and Livelihoods
Deepti Sharma, Saheli, Delhi
Akshara Ravishankar, Saheli, Delhi
Pramada Menon, Gurgaon, NCR
Helen Saldanha, Delhi
Neha Dixit, Journalist, Delhi
Anita Satyapal, Delhi
Prita Rani Jha, Delhi
Juhi Jain, Delhi
Sadhna Arya, Delhi
Lalita Ramdas, Delhi
Janaki Abraham, Assistant Professor of Sociology, JNU, Dlehi
Kiran Shaheen, Delhi
Abha Bhaiya, Delhi
Paromita Vohra, Writer and Filmmaker, Delhi
Aman Biradari, Delhi
Centre for Equity Studies, Delhi
Shuddhabrata Sengupta, Raqs Media Collective, Delhi
Monica Narula, Raqs Media Collective, Delhi
Jeebesh Bagchi, Raqs Media Collective, Delhi
Jeet Thayil, Writer, winner of DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, and the Hindu Literary Prize.
Lalita Ramdas, Delhi
Anita Ghai, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Jesus and Mary College, Delhi
Women Power Connect, Delhi
Madhu Mehra, Partners in Law and Development, Delhi
Sejal Dand, Anandi, Delhi
Abha Bhaiya, Delhi
Brinda Bose, Associate Professor, Department of English, Delhi University, Delhi
Purwa Bharadwaj, Delhi
Manjima Bhattacharjya, Sociologist, Delhi
Neelanjana Mukhia, Delhi
Parul Sethi, CWDS, Delhi
Khushboo Jain, University of Delhi, Delhi
Shraddha Chickerur, Researcher