While the country continues to clamour for tougher gender laws and protests over the death of the 23-year-old girl who was gang-raped in Delhi, the Indian government, while participating in the universal period review (UPR) meeting of the United Nations, rejected 23 women-related recommendations.
The UPR, which comes under the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), is a unique process held every four years to review the human rights records of all UN member states. The process which began in May, ended in October 2012.
Ranging from the enactment of reforms to the establishment of plans to eliminate violence and empower women, the UPR had made a total of 45 such wmen-related recommendations.
Miloon Kothari, a former UN special rapporteur and convener of working group on human rights in India and the UN, said that while India adopted passive and diluted recommendations, it shied away from committing on specific recommendations.
On the issue of violence against women, an inter-ministerial delegation led by Goolam E Vahanvati, attorney general of India, rejected recommendations related to the enactment of reforms to address sexual violence, including honour crimes, child marriages, female feticide and to remedy limitations in the definition of rape and medico-forensic procedures.
It also rejected the implementation of a national human rights plan to cover access to education and health, including aspects of sexual and reproductive health. The government even rejected the UN push to consider expediting the process to pass the women reservation bill.