Sunday 1st December 2013

For immediate release

93% of Delhi voters: violence against women an election priority

A new Avaaz/Hindustan Times/MDRA opinion poll released today reveals that the vast majority of voters in Delhi want the new government to prioritize policy on violence against women, and are more likely to vote for candidates who commit to strong action on this issue. A series of specific actions have been outlined in a new 6-point “Womanifesto” issued this weekend.  

Ricken Patel, Avaaz Executive Director, said:
“With nearly all voters calling the protection of women an election issue, Sheila Dikshit is the first candidate to endorse the Womanifesto. Since this manifesto is the best way to cut the rhetoric and assure voters of meaningful action, the only question now is, what are Arvind Kejriwal and Harsh Vardhan waiting for?”

The poll shows that the desire to protect women is a powerful new force in Delhi politics, ahead of the December 4th vote. With a representative sample of 3,061 people across the Delhi state, the poll found:

  • 93% see violence against women as a priority in the upcoming Delhi elections.

  • 88% are more likely to vote for a politician who commits to strong action to stop violence against women, with 56% much more likely.

  • 91% are in favour of the new Delhi government prioritising a policy to tackle violence against women.

  • 94% are in favour of the new Delhi government launching a public education campaign to challenge the root causes of violence against women.

Additionally two questions were asked to 1441 women across Delhi. They show the tough reality that women face and the urgency of acting. These findings show that:

  • 60% of women feel unsafe in Delhi.

  • 69% of women feel they and their female relatives or friends restrict their travels in Delhi.

Since Friday thousands of people have contacted CM candidates via social media, email and other means to commit to a 6-point plan to tackle violence against women in Delhi. This “Womanifesto” is backed by over 50 prominent Indian civil society leaders, including eminent economist Devaki Jain; Kavita Krishnan of the national Bekhauf Azaadi campaign; Suneeta Dhar who runs Jagori; Professor Ayesha Kidwai who just won the Infosys prize; Karuna Nundy, Supreme Court advocate and Urvashi Butalia; the publisher and historian.

The Womanifesto sets out detailed objectives in 6 areas:

  1. Educate everyone: comprehensive, well-funded and long-term public education programmes to end the culture of gender based violence including.

  2. Make laws count: get each government agency to produce a detailed action plan to end violence against women, and adopt a Code of Conduct in the Vidhan Sabha.

  3. Responsive police: establish and enforce a public protocol for police response to crimes against women.  

  4. Faster, competent courts: establish more fast track courts for crimes of violence against women, and work to reform court procedures to address victims’ needs.  

  5. Support to survivors: fund and set up one-stop 24 hour crisis centres in hospitals to provide comprehensive services to women who are victims of violent crimes.

  6. Safe streets, safe city: ensure Delhi is safe to move around, day and night, by setting up night shelters, creches, and women’s toilets, and improving transport services.

The online campaign can be seen here:

- ENDS -

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Aldine Furio (in Europe) on +33 686 929 330, [email protected]
Shreya Ila Anasuya (in Delhi) on +91 858 794 0546, [email protected]  

People available for interviews include:
- Karuna Nundy, Supreme Court Advocate, [email protected]
- Kavita Krishnan of AIPWA, Bekhauf Azaadi campaign, [email protected]

To read the Womanifesto in its entirety, click here.

Avaaz is a 30-million-person global civic network that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people shape global decision-making. "Avaaz" means "voice" or "song" in many languages. Avaaz members live in every nation of the world - our movement is spread across 194 countries on 5 continents and operates in 16 languages with 800,000 members in India.