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Charter of demands released

By Our Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD, MARCH 8. Women's groups and networks, which organised a massive congregation of women from various parts of the State on the occasion of International Women's Day at Nizam College Grounds, released a charter of demands here on Monday.

Groups such as Asmitha, Oxfam, AP Mahila Samatha Society, Centre for World Solidarity and AP Women's Networks, which organised three workshops on domestic violence, Panchayati Raj and governance and trafficking, to bring into focus the atrocities and discrimination against women, released demands for their genuine empowerment.

The demands include compulsory primary education and protection to girls below 18 years of age and priority for them in planning and implementation of development schemes; rehabilitation and provision of alternative employment to those freed from prostitution, creating awareness about HIV, AIDS, sensitisation of the police and government officials, education and hostel facility to children of former prostitutes, strict enforcement of rescue and rehabilitation under the category of trafficking.

To counter domestic violence, the women's groups demanded setting up of family counselling centres and short stay homes in every revenue division, special minimum allowance for victims of domestic violence, setting up of separate cells for such victims in the regional, district level hospitals and affiliating them to the casualty ward, 24-hour Government run helplines in all city and district headquarters and mobile police stations at division level, strategy to prevent domestic violence against women in every development scheme, creation of women welfare board with representatives of women welfare department, hospitals and NGOs working for women's rights and direct access with revenue and police officials and right of stay at home for women fighting domestic violence.

The conference demanded 50 per cent of reservation for women in local bodies, ensuring respect to mahila sarpanches from panchayat members and officials, regular convening of grama sabha, and treating Dalit women sarpanches with respect, among other things.

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