Network :Promoting Networking of Women Organizations
Duration : 2004 onwards
Supported By : Women Power Connect (WPC)

This year involved further expansion and strengthening of the WPC, Bihar (State Level Network on Women Issues). Altogether 67 members have joined the network for promoting the activities for women empowerment. The organization has made efforts on various sensitive issues, i.e., prohibition of child marriage, Child trafficking, violence against women, Gender Gap, Policies & Laws for women and Gender Budgeting.

Analysis of different act related to the gender issues has been done and the shortcomings have been identified. Based on this advocacy formats have been made at National as well as state level.

The shortcomings of the Acts as identified by WPC are:

  • Pre Conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act
  • Persisting gender discrimination, declining child sex ratio and high rates of sex selective abortions.
  • The Act is more focused on technology and medical professionals and does not critically analyze socio cultural patriarchal biases which are directly linked to the declining child sex ratio.
  • Lack of training and awareness about the law.
  • No budgetary allocation for training and awareness of the Act for the service providers.
  • Lack of monitoring & supervision of inspections of genetic clinics and centers.
  • No proper maintenance of records by clinics.
  • Inability of the law to reach the mobile clinics and other sex selection test centers.
  • Overall low rate of the implementation process of the Act.
  • Protection of Women against Domestic Violence Act
  • Majority of the states have assigned the duty of a Protection Officer as an additional charge to existing officers who already have other full time commitments.
  • A common obstacle faced in the effective implementation of the law is inadequate infrastructural provisions and absence of proper service providers to the aggrieved.
  • There is a lack of training and awareness amongst the various stakeholders as they are often unaware of their duties.
  • Lack of proper monitoring and evaluation of the Act
  • Prohibition of Child Marriage Act
  • Several contradictions exist in the law for instance, the PCMA prohibits child marriages, but the Indian Penal Code exempts a husband from the charge of the rape of his wife if she is above 15 years of age.
  • The Act merely gives a girl child the option to end her marriage after the age of 15 years; it does not invalidate marriages that have occurred between people under a certain age.
  • This Act seemingly is discriminatory as it continues to stipulate different ages for boys and girls to get married.
  • The Act discusses punishment of the guardians of the child involved in the child marriage, without considering the issue of dependency of the child on them.
  • Deterrent measures in the form of punishment for officials partially being responsible for this practice are not present in the present Act.
  • The Act does not address registration of marriages.

On the basis of the above shortcomings and recommendations, the organization is undertaking advocacy initiatives for implementation of the acts properly and achieves the targeted results.