Ten facts about domestic violence that should chill you

Caption: Representational image Image Credit: Unsplash

1. Gender-based violence begins before birth with pre-natal sex selection and abortion and continues through child and forced marriage, honour killing, sexual violence, sexual harassment at work, cyber crimes, and domestic violence.

2. Worldwide, 45,000 women and girls – five an hour – were killed by an intimate partner or family member in 2021.

3. Over half, or 56% of all female homicides globally are committed by their own family members. For men, it’s 11%.

4. Karnataka records the highest incidence of spousal violence in India with 44% of married women reporting physical and sexual violence, according to the National Family Health Survey-5 for 2019-20. This marks a steep increase from 20.6% over five years.

5. Only seven states and union territories report less than 10% incidence of spousal violence with Lakshadweep the least at 1.3%, Nagaland at 6.4% and Himachal Pradesh at 8.3%.

6. India is among 36 nations that still does not recognise marital rape as a criminal offence.

7. Over three in four women in three states—84% in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and 77% in Karnataka–believe a husband is justified in beating his wife for a variety of transgressions including neglecting the children or an improperly cooked meal.

8. Just 14% of women who are subjected to physical or sexual violence seek help.

9. Spousal violence cuts across class, caste and community, though rural women are more vulnerable (34.3%) than urban women (25.9%). Dalit and Adivasi women are disproportionately affected by gender-based violence within and outside their communities.

10. Domestic violence is not just a human rights issue, but a public health and economic issue with studies reporting links between violence and low birth weight in new-born babies. The World Bank suggests that the cost of violence against women could be as high as 3.7% of a country’s GDP.

Also read: The signs of relationship abuse and how to help

If you are the victim of domestic violence, please reach out for help. You can call:
Women’s Helpline 181
Jagori (Delhi) 011-26692700, 8800996640
Shakti Shalini (Delhi) 011-24373737 (Monday to Friday, 11 am-6 pm)
Sneha (Mumbai) 9833052684


Only 38, or 4.75% of 799 candidates contesting the first phase of the Gujarat Assembly polls are women. The BJP has fielded 17 women, the Congress 14 and AAP only seven.

Source: Election Commission

Rest in power

Image Source: Twitter

If you grew up in India during the glory days of Doordarshan, as I did, then Tabussum of the single name and Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan, India’s first talk show, would have been a weekly highlight.

Long before the era of celebrities being interviewed by other celebrities and, needless to say, long before inter-faith marriages were politicised and criminalised, there was Tabassum Govil (yes, that was her full name), always chatty, always smiling, a rose tucked behind her hair, lighting up grainy TV screens for close to two decades.

The daughter of freedom fighters, Ayodhyanath Sachdev and Asghari Begum, Baby Tabassum career coincided with India’s independence when in 1947, aged just three, she acted in Nargis. She would, through her life, continue to fox attempts to define her as she played various roles as actor, director, editor of Grihalaxmi and even the author of 10 joke books in Urdu.

Tabassum died of a cardiac arrest in hospital on November 18.


The artist known as Smish Designs has created a series of three illustrations that celebrate the sacrifices made by mothers and grandmothers for their daughters to progress. “By being fiercely resilient women of their times, they harnessed the glory of their era into raising capable young girls and women of today,” she tweeted.

Credit: @SmishDesigns

In gratitude

On National Constitution Day on November 26, remembering the 15 women members of the 299-member of the Constituent Assembly.

Credit: Centre for Civil Society


Marriage equality: the next frontier

Four years after it decriminalised same-sex relationships between consenting adults, the Supreme Court has admitted a new petition seeking recognition of same-sex marriage. The apex court has sought the Centre’s response on a clutch of petitions demanding legal recognition to same-sex marriages under the Special Marriage Act.

Filed by two men who live in Hyderabad, the petition is the tenth such filed in various courts that demand equality of marriage rights guaranteed by the Constitution

Jama Masjid flip flop

Image Credit: Amal KS/ Hindustan Times

First, their presence in one of India’s largest mosques was banned. Then, Jama Masjid’s Shahi Imam, Syed Ahmed Bukhari clarified that women and girls who wanted to pray could enter. Finally, following a social media uproar and intervention by Delhi’s lieutenant governor, the Jama Masjid administration lifted the ban on girls and women unaccompanied by men with a warning that the mosque was not meant for women to “meet their boyfriends, propose or make videos”. Left unanswered was the question: why was the restriction applicable only to one gender?

And the good news…

For years, economists and policy-makers have worried about India’s abysmal female labour force participation rate, attributing it to reasons from social norms to the burden of domestic work. Now, for the first time a newly set up foundation, Udaiti aims to work with employers to find solutions that can work in increasing women’s employment.

Speaking at the launch, economist and professor Ashwini Deshpande said the project will “focus on demand-side issues that thwart women’s entry and growth in paid work.” To do this, it will take a three-pronged approach of inform, investigate and intervene. Udaiti is a collaboration with Centre for Economic Data and Analysis, Ashoka University,


In Colorado, a 22-year-old gunman opened fire inside an LGBTQI nightclub, killing five people and wounding more than 17 others before being subdued by a decorated army veteran, reports Reuters. The shooting brought back horrific memories of the 2016 massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando where a gunman killed 49 people and wounded 53 others.

The United Nations, passed a resolution asking for an independent fact-finding probe into human rights abuses in Iran with 25 member states voting in favour, 16, including India, abstaining from voting and six against the vote.

In Afghanistan, following at least two incidents of public lashing including of women, a team of UN-appointed experts said the Taliban treatment of women and girls may amount to a crime against humanity and should be investigated and prosecuted under international law, reports AP.

In Buenos Aires, Hebe de Bonafini who, spurred by the disappearance of her sons during Argentina’s brutal military dictatorship of the 1970s rallied women to build the human rights protest movement, Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, died aged 93. Read about her here and here.

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That’s it for this week. Do you have a tip or information on gender-related developments that you’d like to share? Write to me at: namita.bhandare@gmail.com.
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