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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

Maharashtra: govt plans Mahila Din to address issues

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, January 18, 2013
First Published: 01:23 IST(18/1/2013) | Last Updated: 01:26 IST(18/1/2013)

Soon, any woman may walk into Mantralaya once a month to voice her complaints that have not been addressed by the government authorities concerned.

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Maharashtra chief secretary JK Banthia has proposed to hold a Mahila Din (a women’s complaint day) on the lines of Lokshahi Din (an open forum to address citizens’ problems) that is held on the first Monday of every month at Mantralaya.

The move will help women facing issues such as sexual harassment at work or home, property disputes, or not being able to lodge a police complaint.

At a function on gender-based violence, organised by the women and child welfare department on Thursday, Banthia said Mahila Din would be an open forum for women to express the problems they face, especially those that have not been addressed.

“There is a major increase in cases of crime against women in our society. A specific day can be set aside where women can come and put forth their issues. The day should be observed at all levels up to the talukas. The officials from revenue, health, and police should be present so that the problems are explained directly and can be addressed accordingly,” said Banthia.

The chief secretary pointed out that the government must ensure there are women officials present on the occasion so that the complainants will find it easy to communicate their problems.

Banthia said the issues related to sexual harassment were not restricted to rural areas or slums. “They are present among the educated, working and affluent class. It's time the society changed the way it treats its women. There needs to be a change in mindset,” he said.

Also present at the function were Medha Gadgil, principal secretary, home, Ujwal Uke, principal secretary, woman and child, and Shomita Biswas, member of the women’s commission.


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