Sub: Announcing candle light protest by AIMPF on eve of International Women’s Day.
All India Mother-in-Law Protection Forum (AIMPF) is the first ever social forum created to protect the rights and interests of the mother-in-law. It is a non-funded non-profit organization which is creating awareness about the problems faced by mothers-in-law and also fights against their de-facto villainous projection in the socio-legal arena. It can be reached at http://www.aimpf.org. This forum was created on 6th September 2009 in Bangalore and very soon grew into Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Nagpur, Lucknow, Chhattisgarh, Guwahati, etc. with more than 1000 members.
On March 7th 2010, on the eve of International Women’s Day 2010, AIMPF, is conducting a candle light protest from 6 PM to 7: 30 PM on M G Road in front of Gandhi Statue. This protest is being held to create awareness about the plight of mothers-in-law who are abused by not only their daughters-in-law and their parents but also by the society, judiciary, and the laws. AIMPF also opposes the enactment of iVAWA – International Violence against Women Act – in India. It will further spread male hatred and pamper family breaking women at the expense of devout and sincere women who take a pride in taking care of their family members rather than dragging them to court for vexatious and baseless litigations.
Why on the eve of International Women’s Day?
- Feminists and women organizations have campaigned so much negatively against the image of mothers and sisters of men that they are feeling completely alienated as women and do not feel enthusiastic to celebrate International Women’s Day and hence this protest against unwarranted alienation on the eve of International Women’s Day.
- On International Women’s Day, feminists mostly talk about “young wives” and completely ignore “old mothers” but because a mother comes before a wife, hence this protest is also being done on the eve of International Women’s Day.
Background of the protest
The mothers-in-law could not bear the harassment any further and said, “Enough is enough“. They have formed this forum to campaign against:
- The stereotyping of mothers-in-law as evil and blood thirsty by media and popular culture. This violates the civil liberties and the constitutional provisions of right to liberty and right to life.
- It has been scientifically and also statistically established fact that mothers-in-law are unnecessarily maligned and subjected to judgmental attitudes by society.
- National Family Health Survey (NFHS) (http://www.nfhsindia.org Vol-1 Page 500) has conclusively established that a woman in the age group of 15-49 years of age faces 8 times more violence from her own mother compared to mother-in-law. 13.7% women have faced violence from their own mother as compared to 1.7% women who have faced from their mothers-in-law.
- Recent Research has shown that “daughters-in-law are programmed to hate mothers-in-law”. This is one of the most important causes of the stereotyping of mothers-in-law in society.
- In the four years period (2004-2007) 123,000 innocent women have been arrested under Section 498A without trial or investigation on complaint by their son’s/brother’s wife.
Unaddressed Problems faced by mothers-in-law
In this over-zealous activity of tarnishing the social image of the Mother-In-Law; the society conveniently forgot their issues and contributions. The mothers-in-law in India face severe abuse and yet these women do not get social support they deserve in conditions like:
- Severe physical and mental harassment at the hands of their daughters-in-law.
- Physical harassment can be in form of physical kicking or throwing objects or beating with a belt.
- Mental harassment includes taunts, comments and not allowing husband to have any relation with mother-in-law.
- Name calling and usage of vulgar language on her.
- Throwing her out of her own house and forcibly occupying the house.
- Daughter-in-law refusing to allow mother-in-law to meet or even speak to her son.
- Insults, abuses and threats by police to mothers-in-law.
- Kicking mother-in-law out of house feigning torture and maligning her reputation.
- Driving mothers-in-law to death.
Rather than the mother of the woman, it’s the mother-in-law who gives her son to her daughter-in-law and her property as well and at the end of the day, it is the mother-in-law facing the brunt of the fallacy. She is the one who is held responsible in case the marriage does not work and the blame is conveniently passed on to the mum-in-law.
National Family Health Survey’s third report (available at http://www.nfhsindia.org) has some interesting statistics to share. It was a survey done on 30000 women from different parts of India and social strata. It says that in the age range of 15-49, it is the mother of the woman who does more violence on her rather than her mother-in-law.
Typically in the age range of 15-49 the woman will mostly stay with her mother-in-law and at least away from her mother most of the time, even then the mother does more violence on the woman compared to the mother-in-law and yet it is the mother-in-law who is projected as a villain. One can only imagine the plight of those women who bear sons and get them married.
Today the young women have got a lot of privileges like more and more women attending schools and colleges, more women graduating with degrees and diplomas, and more women entering varied professions and earning their livelihood. Women are competing with men in academic, corporate, service, bureaucratic, political and other careers. Women now own property and wealth of their own. But at the same time, the price of this “Over-pamperment of young women” is being paid by old women who are continuously being neglected and harassed due to adverse attitude towards them. Today on the eve of International Women’s Day, AIMPF, on behalf of the old women urges the society and the Govt. to listen to their woes.
AIMPF had also sent an official letter containing request of appointment to the Women and Child Development Ministry. The ministry confirmed receiving the request by giving a call to the Coordinator of AIMPF in Bangalore, however, neither did he give the appointment nor called after that. When the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development – enacted to look into the problems faced by women, is not ready to listen to them, what more can be said about the plight of these old women who are now forced to come to streets and voice their concerns in their dusky days.
Demands of AIMPF
Today, on the eve of International Women’s Day, by way of this candle light protest, AIMPF also puts forth its demands to the Government:-
- Stop stereotyping mothers-in-law.
- A change of attitude in the judiciary, the National Commission for Women, etc. to accept complaints from Mothers-in-law with the same spirit with which they accept complaints from daughters-in-law.
- Stop the de-facto defamation of mothers-in-law and give them their due rights of a dignified and peaceful old age.
- Stop abuse of old women in by police and by judiciary.
- Protect the rights and interest of the Mother-in-law especially when it comes to property matters. Property belonging to mother-in-law should not be given to daughter-in-law under any kind of force, coercion or unwillingness of the mother-in-law.
- Immediately stop misuse of Section 498A, Domestic Violence Act and punish people who file false cases.
- Make Section 498A bailable and non-cognizable.
- Make the Domestic Violence Act Gender Neutral and allow women to be Respondents as well.
- Stop granting luxurious maintenances and alimonies prima-facie to earning and capable women.
10. Allow grandparents to spend time with their grandchildren irrespective of spousal differences between the parents of the child.
Thanks and Regards
All India Mother-in-Law Protection Forum, Bangalore