JK Gujjar Women Are A Discriminated Lot: Survey

8 March 2009

Jammu: MORE THAN 1.4 million Gujjar women are facing gender discriminations in socio-political and government organisations of Jammu and Kashmir. Their presence in all the major institutions of the state, since 1947, is almost negligible said a recent survey conducted by Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation, a national organisation working on Indian tribes with special focus on Gujjars. Releasing the survey on the eve of International Women Day, Dr Javaid Rahi, national secretary of the Foundation said that early marriage system, illiteracy, extreme poverty, and nomadic way of life is the cause of Gujjar womenís suffering. They constitute more than 14 per cent of total population of J&K and reside in the most backward, hilly and border areas of state. The survey said that although the state government has provided 10 per cent reservation since 1991, to Gujjars under Scheduled Tribe category, it is surprising that the presence of women folk of this tribe in political and government affairs is almost zero. The survey, which covers the overall development of Gujjar women revealed that since 1947, no Gujjar woman has either been elected or nominated as member of State Legislative Assembly and Council or Parliament till date. The survey reveals that during last 62 years, only three women from this community have qualified Combined State Service Examination (KAS). No woman from Gujjar tribe has served as under secretary or above rank in JK Civil Secretariat since its establishment or even none of them has occupied the post of sub divisional magistrate or above in State administration, since 1947. In state J &K police department, the situation is worse as among 390 Dy SPs, 163 SP- SSPs, 2l DIGs and 19 IGs-ADGs, no Gujjar women has served even at the junior post of Dy SP for the last 62 years of Independence, the Survey revealedThe survey says that in the State judiciary there are 85 Munsifs, 56 Sub Judges 67 District and Session Judges and 14 High Court Judges while only one women from Gujjar community has served as Session Judge. The survey also focused on J&K Bank. There are 3352 officer ranking staff members from Probationary Officers-Managers to the Chairman of the Bank. No woman from Gujjar tribe has served as PO or above in this institution since its establishment. The survey further reveals that there are 303 teachers in University of Jammu and 364 in Kashmir University, including lecturers, readers and professors, but there is not a single woman teacher appointed-serving or retired in both the universities. During the survey, the most surprising revelation was that the only government department working for Gujjar affairs in the Civil Secretariat, ie, State Advisory Board for the Development of Gujjars and Bakerwals has 16 staff members from chairman to orderly and there is not a single Gujjar woman who has served this board since its establishment.