Panchayat Jagratha Samithi role on Violence against Women and Children in Kerala
Keywords:Jagratha Samithi, violence against women, panchayat, gender policy, Kerala
The Indian state Kerala is renowned for its overall development in various indexes such as human development, equality and education. However, in terms of combating violence against women and girls, state policies do not fulfil their objectives. The total number of crimes against women in Kerala during 2007 was 9381, by the end of 2019, it had risen to 13925, and by October 2020, it was 10124. To prevent all forms of crimes against women, the state established a vigilant committee in 1997 under Kerala Women’s Commission’s supervision. This vigilant committee is known as Jagratha Samithi (in the Malayalam language) and works in every Local Self Government (Panchayat). Therefore, the object of this research is the Jagratha Samithi (JS). The study aims to identify the JS’s role and activities in a panchayat to prevent violence against women and children. The methodology of the research is based on a qualitative study with primary data collected from 40 elected female and male representatives from 35 panchayats from one district in Kerala. The study shows that Jagratha Samithi in a panchayat has a significant role in addressing crimes against women and girls. However, there is a lack of sufficient support from society on its mission.
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