Feb 2023

Panel Discussion: ‘What Role Does Criminal Law Play in Combatting Violence Against Women?’

Thursday, 23 Feb 2023, 4:00 pm-Thursday, 23 Feb 2023, 6:00 pm

The Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy is delighted to invite you to the global launch of its new report on ‘Crimes Against Women’ on 23rd February from 4:00 PM IST. The launch will be followed by a Panel Discussion and a Q&A session.


Violence against women is on the rise. In India, while the rate of crime for all offences has marginally come down from 515 in 2000 to 445.9 in 2021, the rate of crime in cases of crimes against women increased from 14 in 2000 to 64.5 in 2021. 

Our research titled ‘Crimes Against Women’ finds that – passing criminal laws, introducing longer jail terms and the death penalty, reversing the burden of proof – is rooted in fundamental misconceptions about violence against women and does not serve to stop it. More worryingly, though, even where legislators call for fast-track courts, protection officers and similar special mechanisms, these are not put in place. In their pursuit of locating an ideal rape victim and ideal perpetrator, courts rely on stereotypes and rape myths.

To tailor and improve the legislative response, and find suitable ways to move ahead based on empirical evidence, the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy brings together a panel of experts from around the world. Together, they will explore: 

  • What have been areas of concern in combating violence against women, and how have their countries attempted to intervene in these areas?
  • What is the role of different kinds of legislation, and what lessons can we draw about efficacy?
  • Does law provide a toolbox for emancipation in this struggle, or does it only seek to protect? 


  • REEM ALSALEM, United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls,
  • DR. SHARON A. BONG, Professor of Gender Studies, School of Arts and Social Sciences, Monash University, Malaysia,
  • VITA G. HWENJERE, International Development Professional and Consultant, South Africa,


  • NEHA SINGHAL, Senior Resident Fellow and Team Lead, Criminal Justice, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy.