Safe and secure environment for women

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Nowadays, the safety of women has become a vital need in Myanmar. Amidst the legal measures against trafficking or intimidation of women, or sexual assaults on the persons of feminine gender, crimes against them never fade away. So serious attention on this matter has become a requisite.
A question on the ongoing program for handing down severe punishment on child rapists and reducing child rape cases was raised at a recent Pyithu Hluttaw (Lower House) session. The Deputy Minister for Home Affairs and a Union Supreme Court judge responded to the question.
Whether the victim is a juvenile or an adult, the root cause behind a sexual assault is usually alcohol and drugs or easy availability of pornography on the Internet. Most of the victims on their part are poor people with less knowledge or awareness.
We need greater efforts in exposing and curbing sex crimes and launching broader awareness programs. Not only wider media campaigns, but also the inclusive communal activities on the information about the tougher punishments given to sexual offenders in every case are also required in helping to alleviate the number of sex crimes in the country.
Sadly, despite the serious efforts of the relevant bodies, sexual assault against juveniles is on the rise. Yangon and Ayeyawady regions have the highest number of such inhuman crimes. The year 2016 witnessed 1100 recorded rape cases in which 671 were assaults against children. The number rose to 897 in 2017 during which 1405 sex crimes occurred. The country has recorded 533 sex crimes in which 360 were child victims up to April this year.
Women, especially young women and girls should be aware of the cunning methods of sex predators. They themselves must have knowledge of the root causes of the crime and avoid visiting unsafe places where they can fall prey to the predators. Parental and family protection for persons of feminine gender is also a must. Unfortunately, predators are not always the strangers, as in some cases they are from the close associates or relatives or in certain cases even the father himself is the offender. So, close maternal protection is the safest way for girls, particularly the children.
Here, we firmly believe that heightened awareness campaigns, stricter preventive measures against
possible root causes and harsher legal actions against offenders will help create a safe and secure environment for women.

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