India - Remarkable School Gives Dalit Girls of Lowest Caste New Hope
International Dalit Solidarity Network - IDSN
At the bottom of South Asia’s caste, class and gender hierarchies, are Dalit women.
Dalit Women - Photo: Guardian UK
They suffer multiple discrimination – as Dalits, as members of an impoverished underclass and as women. The endemic gender-and-caste discrimination that Dalit women face is the outcome of severely imbalanced social, economic and political power equations.
Violence and inhuman treatment, such as sexual assault, rape, and naked parading, serve as a social mechanism to maintain Dalit women’s subordinate position in society. They are targeted as a way of humiliating entire Dalit communities.
Sanctioned impunity on behalf of the offenders is a key problem. Police personnel often neglect or deny the Dalit women of their right to seek legal and judicial aid. In many cases, the judiciary fails to enforce the laws that protect Dalit women from discrimination. In the year 2006, the official conviction rate for Dalit atrocity cases in India was just 5.3% according to a report by the National Crimes Bureau entitled Crimes in India.
In November 2006, Dalit women gathered in the Hague and called on the United Nations, the European Union and the community of states to “raise the issues and concerns of Dalit women at all levels and to involve and introduce all necessary measures, and to support and secure the implementation of the recommendations of this Declaration with a sense of great urgency”.
Several UN human rights bodies such as CEDAW and CERD and have raised concerns about the human rights situation of Dalit women.
For all LINKS that follow, go FIRST to WEBSITE LINK, and then click to specific subsite: http://idsn.org/caste-discrimination/key-issues/dalit-women/
Country Information on Dalit Women
Specific forms of violations:
Read CEDAW's comments on Dalit women in it's report on India in 2007.
Dalit Women Speak Out - Violence against Dalit Women in India, An overview Report in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar,Tamil Nadu/Pondicherry and Uttar Pradesh by Aloysius Irudayam S.J. Jayshree P. Mangubhai and Joel G. Lee, National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, New Delhi, March 2006
Women in Ritual Slavery by Anti-Slavery International, 2007.
Hague Declaration on the Human Rights and Dignity of Dalit Women, 21 November 2006.
Unheard Voices - DALIT WOMEN - An alternative report for the 15th – 19th periodic report on India submitted by the Government of Republic of India for the 70th session of Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Geneva, Switzerland, Jan, 2007.
From Beijing 1995 to the Hague 2006 – The Transnational Activism of the Dalit Women’s Movement a paper presented at the Canadian Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Vancouver, British Columbia, June 2008, by Peter Smith.
Dalit Women’s Right to Political Participation in Rural Panchayati Raj - A study of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu by Jayshree Mangubhai, Aloysius Irudayam sj, and Emma Sydenham. Published by IDEAS, Justitia et Pax, Equalinrights (2009).