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Symposium on Feminist Foreign Policy and Strategies to Curb Violence Against Women in Maharashtra

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In a recent symposium organized by the Maharashtra Legislature under the aegis of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, speakers from various countries and government officials emphasized the importance of feminist foreign policy and strategies to combat violence against women. Here are the key highlights from the event:

Inaugural Address by Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar:** Speaker Narwekar highlighted the need for the upliftment of women and the improvement of gender equality in India. He commended the initiatives taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership in this regard.

Insights from Deputy Chairperson Dr. Neelam Gorhe:** Dr. Gorhe emphasized that the G20 New Delhi Declaration has incorporated significant points related to feminist foreign policy and the prevention of violence against women. She stressed the importance of transparent procedures and accountability in implementing various initiatives, particularly in addressing trafficking issues.

Three-Pronged Approach Proposed by Dr. Gorhe:** Dr. Gorhe suggested a three-pronged approach to implement feminist foreign policy, including local-level initiatives supported by the state and central governments, strengthening community systems, and establishing facilitating and coordination cells within the Women and Child Development Department.

Role of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs):** Participants stressed the importance of involving NGOs in the effective implementation of feminist foreign policy and initiatives aimed at empowering women and reducing violence against them.

Consul Generals’ Perspectives:** Representatives from several countries, including Mexico, Australia, Germany, Canada, Japan, France, the Netherlands, and Russia, shared their experiences and initiatives to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in their respective countries.

Australia’s Gender Equality Fund:** Australia highlighted its Gender Equality Fund, which drives innovative gender equality initiatives and engages in gender equality issues in international forums.

France’s Empowerment Initiatives:** France’s flagship programs empowered underprivileged women in Maharashtra to become first responders to domestic violence cases, equipping them with skills and knowledge to prevent and respond to gender-based violence.

Canada’s Commitment:** Canada stressed the importance of eliminating violence against women for a peaceful, prosperous, and inclusive world.

Japan’s Cultural Perspective:** Japan emphasized that violence against women is not just a social issue but also a cultural one, requiring a holistic approach to address it.

Netherlands’ Sports Program:** The Netherlands is implementing a project in Rajasthan to develop skills and leadership qualities among women through sports training.

France’s Global Advocacy:** France actively promotes the universal adoption of the Istanbul Convention and defends women’s rights globally, especially in challenging environments like Iran and Afghanistan.

Initiatives by Stree Adhar Kendra:** The Stree Adhar Kendra trustee highlighted various initiatives to support women victims of domestic violence and called for international cooperation in assisting women in distress abroad.

Mumbai Police Initiatives:** The Mumbai Police Commissioner discussed training initiatives for women police personnel and the establishment of welcome desks and Nirbhaya squads in police stations to support women complainants.

Russian Consulate’s Proposal:** The Russian Consulate advocated for women’s access to higher education and proposed the establishment of the International Council for Women and Children Rights.

Maharashtra’s Efforts:** The Maharashtra Women and Child Commissioner acknowledged the high incidence of violence against women in the state but highlighted various measures, including equal property rights, counseling centers, and protection officers, aimed at empowering women and reducing crime and violence against them.

In conclusion, the symposium underscored the importance of collaborative efforts, both nationally and internationally, to promote gender equality, empower women, and combat violence against them. Participants recognized the need for a holistic approach and committed to taking further steps to achieve these goals.


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