New Delhi, Feb 18: Terming rise in cases of sexual violence against women as a “matter of shame”, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today hoped Parliament would “urgently” pass amendments to strengthening criminal laws in this regard.
“It is indeed a matter of shame that, notwithstanding the gains we have made, incidents of violence and sexual offences against women are on the increase,” he said at a function to confer the Indira Gandhi Prize on social worker Ela Bhatt.
The government had adopted a mix of legislative, institutional and procedural reforms to deal with increasing sexual crimes against women, Singh said.
“The recommendations of the Justice J S Verma Committee have resulted in the promulgation of an ordinance, amending and strengthening the criminal law to deal with sexual offences against women,” he said.
“It is our hope that Parliament will urgently pass the necessary legislation to enact a comprehensive law in this regard,” Singh said.
He said the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill, 2012 has been passed by the Lok Sabha and was awaiting passage in the Rajya Sabha.
The schemes aimed at giving restorative justice to victims of rape through financial assistance and support services, a national helpline for women and a ‘One Stop Crisis Centre' in 100 public hospitals under the aegis of the National Mission for Empowerment of Women were also under consideration of the government, the Prime Minister said.
“Our endeavor to create an environment of security in which women can pursue their dreams will be a continuous effort, pursued jointly with civil society organizations,” he said.