According to a UN study, home is the most dangerous place for women across the world. Around 87,000 women were killed around the world in the year 2017 and approximately 50,000 – or 58% – were killed in the hands of intimate partners or family members. This is equal to some six women being killed every hour by people, according to a new research published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Not just that, every day 21 dowry deaths are reported around the country, but the conviction rate remains as low as i.e. 34.7%. Further, according to Delhi Police, till March 15, 2018, 31 women died owing to dowry harassment. Time and again these statistics have been highlighted to curb the growing heinous crime in the country, however, a long-term solution has still not been ascertained. Now, this data seems to be merely numbers.
The notion, that such cases occur only in the rural areas is simply an escape from reality. In fact, as per the latest statistics, in a metropolitan city like Delhi, around 3,877 cases of cruelty by in-laws and husbands were registered in 2016. Till March 15, 2018, as many as 506 such cases were reported in the city itself. Historically, dowry means streedhan, which means a voluntary gift given by the bride’s family members as a token of love for herself. Now, this term has been moulded according to the needs of the people which is a disappointing picture of modernity.
The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, prohibits the request, payment or acceptance of a dowry ‘as consideration for marriage’, and dowry. However, a big loophole here lies in the improper investigation of a particular case, as per the experts. Pragnesh Parmar, Associate Professor, Forensic Medicine Department, says dowry is a burning issue in the country and it can be solved through an improvement of the educational status of females. It can be done by organising widespread educational cum awareness programs. The offender should be immediately punished in order to serve justice soon to the victims. All these steps will be helpful to tackle these social curses.