Can Education make women less susceptible to crime?
As crime against women continues to rise nationally with total incidents of 3,09,456 in 2013, an increase of 26.7 percent over the year before, there is a need to investigate trends that could prospectively hinder crimes. Interestingly, research shows that states which have high female literacy recorded lower rates of crime against women. North eastern states, with the exception of Assam and Tripura, perform well on both fronts and have among the lowest crime rates against women in the country. Delhi is an anomaly because it has has reported the highest rate of crime against women at 146.8 during the year 2013 as compared to a crime rate of 53.4 at the national level despite having a female literacy rate of 80.8%. One of the factors strongly correlated to crime against women is the number of police officers per lakh population. While it cannot be identified as a causation it strongly correlates to women’s safety.
Create a gender sensitive force, bolstering confidence to report crimes against women. A gender sensitive force also has a sizeable female presence: the Cabinet recently reserved 33% quota for women in the police in all the Union Territories.
Improve female education and access to resources to build awareness in the structure. In Bihar, under the Mukhyamantri Balika Cycle Yojana, the government gives cheques to girl students after class VIII to buy a bicycle, promoting secondary education and reducing drop-out rates.
Ensure speedy justice by putting up fast-track courts to reduce pendency of cases. In 2013, more than 75% of all cases of crime against women were pending in courts. The government also approved the establishment of 660 Nirbhaya centres which will provide medical assistance, police assistance and legal aid to women who are victims of gender crime.