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The Impact Of Law Reform On Gender Rights – IMPRI Impact And Policy Research Institute

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The Impact of Law Reform on Gender Rights

Session Report
Prasangana Paul

IMPRI Centre for Human Dignity and Development, Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi conducted an Online National Winter School Program, a One-Month Immersive Online Law and Public Policy Awareness Certificate Training Course and Internship Program in November-December 2023.This Course, spread over a month, introduced the participants to the overarching theme of the UN, Activism against Gender-Based Violence, fostering Human Rights Principle. It initiated dialogue on the fundamental and core values of promoting Human Rights and Ending Gender-Based Violence.

On the 1st  Day our speaker, Adv Dr Flavia Agnes, Professor, Department of Economics, M.D. Shah College for Women, Mumbai, started the inaugural session by talking about The Impact of Law Reform on Gender Rights

The inaugural session, led by the distinguished speaker, Adv Dr. Flavia Agnes, Professor in the Department of Economics at M.D. Shah College for Women, Mumbai, centered around the profound topic of “The Impact of Law Reform on Gender Rights.”

The session, complemented by Dr. Agnes’s riveting exploration, significantly enhanced the discourse on gender rights. Dr. Agnes traced the historical roots of the gender rights movement back to the 1980 anti-rape movement, evolving into a broader crusade against the oppression of women. Emphasizing the transformative role of law in achieving gender justice, she highlighted the women’s movement’s unwavering advocacy for legal reforms. The discussion delved into criminal law, with Dr. Agnes shedding light on its stagnation until pivotal changes in 1984 and 1986. This added perspective reinforced the narrative, spotlighting the movement’s persistent efforts and the dynamic evolution of the legal landscape, underlining the ongoing struggle for gender equality.

Emphasising Gender Rights

The thematic focus extended to encompass a range of critical issues, including dowry violence, rape, domestic violence, and human trafficking. Dr. Agnes stressed the correlation between robust legal frameworks and societal attitudes, pointing to the need for ongoing reforms to curb violence against women effectively. The session unfolded against the backdrop of the historical context of gender-related laws, mapping key milestones and paradigm shifts. Dr. Agnes underscored the intersectionality of gender rights with other social categories like caste, class, and religion, emphasizing the necessity of acknowledging these intersections in legal frameworks for a comprehensive approach to address systemic inequalities.

Acknowledging persistent challenges in the existing legal landscape, the discussion candidly addressed issues such as slow implementation, lack of awareness, and the imperative for continued advocacy. The interactive session witnessed an engaged audience actively participating, posing thoughtful questions, and engaging in dynamic dialogue with Dr. Agnes. The Q&A segment enriched the discourse by bringing forth diverse perspectives and insights from attendees with varied professional backgrounds.

Dr. Agnes further delved into the contentious issue of whether sex work is a choice, emphasizing its debatable nature and calling for a paradigm shift in the judiciary’s attitude. This robust exchange not only shed light on the complexities of the legal framework but also underscored the pressing need for ongoing collaborative efforts to overcome challenges and foster a more equitable legal landscape.

As the session drew to a close, Dr. Agnes steered the conversation towards a forward-looking discussion on potential future directions for gender rights and legal reforms. Encouraging active engagement in shaping policies and advocating for change, she emphasized the need for fostering a more inclusive legal landscape. The session report encapsulates a comprehensive exploration of the multifaceted dimensions of the impact of law reform on gender rights, with Dr. Agnes serving as a guiding force in illuminating the historical context, contemporary challenges, and the path forward in the ongoing quest for gender justice.

Read more event reports of IMPRI here:

Women’s Movement in India: Historical Evolution and Achievements

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IMPRI, a startup research think tank, is a platform for pro-active, independent, non-partisan and policy-based research. It contributes to debates and deliberations for action-based solutions to a host of strategic issues. IMPRI is committed to democracy, mobilization and community building.

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