Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac's pre-election budget is soaked in women concern. Even employment generation, Isaac said, is for the sake of women. And a Kerala free of women atrocities is Isaac's other big promise to women.
"A massive campaign will begin during the 2021-22 fiscal for the creation of a Kerala free of atrocities against women," Isaac said. The objective: Reduce atrocities against women by 25 per cent in five years.
The strategy: Mapping of crimes against women in all local bodies in Kerala. The mapping is based on a pilot project conducted in North Mararikulam, within Isaac's constituency.
Mapping involves collection of 'crime data' from women within a local body. The questionnaire will have an exhaustive list of violations against women, from eve teasing to rape, including rape within marriage.
Along with the perpetrator and the kind of violation, the women will also be asked about the time and place of the violations. Isaac said the anonymity of the victims would be fully protected at any cost.
"On the basis of the crime mapping, projects for reducing atrocities against women should be compulsorily included in the women component plan (of the local body)," Isaac said.
During the LDF government under V S Achuthanandan there was a scheme for school children to confidentially reveal instances of sexual abuse. Three months after the scheme began in January 2011, at least 800 children had revealed they were abused. The subsequent UDF government did not carry forward the project.
When crime mapping was done for women in Mararikulam, 5,000 women had spoken of various kinds of violations done on them.
Isaac said special recognition will be given for local government institutions that undertakes the mapping. He earmarked an additional Rs 20 crore to Kudumbashree for the mapping project.
The two existing support mechanisms for women, Nirbhaya short stay homes and Snehitha gender helpdesks, are already functioning under Kudumbashree.