Gender-Based Violence Against Women in India: An Overview of Current Challenges and Progress

Women in India

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Gender-Based Violence Against Women in India: An Overview of Current Challenges and Progress

India has long struggled with gender-based violence against women, including domestic violence, rape, and sexual harassment. Despite significant progress in recent years, these issues continue to be pervasive and affect millions of women across the country. This article provides an overview of the current challenges and progress related to gender-based violence against women in India, based on recent studies and reports.

Gender-Based Violence in India: An Overview

Gender-based violence in India is a complex issue that is influenced by various factors, including cultural norms, socioeconomic status, and inadequate law enforcement. According to a recent report by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), in 2020, there were over 100,000 cases of crimes against women, including rape, kidnapping, and sexual harassment. The number of reported cases has increased steadily over the years, indicating a growing awareness and willingness to report such crimes.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a prevalent form of gender-based violence against women in India. A study conducted by the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) in 2019-2020 found that over 30% of women aged 15-49 have experienced physical or sexual violence by their spouses. The study also found that only a small proportion of women reported the violence to the police or sought help from support services.

Rape and Sexual Assault

Rape and sexual assault are also significant challenges for women in India. The NCRB reported over 33,000 cases of rape in 2020, although the actual number is likely higher due to underreporting. Women from marginalized communities, such as Dalits and Adivasis, are disproportionately affected by sexual violence.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is another pervasive form of gender-based violence against women in India. A survey conducted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation in 2018 ranked India as the most dangerous country for women due to factors such as sexual violence and harassment.

Progress and Initiatives

Despite the significant challenges, there have been some efforts to address gender-based violence against women in India. In 2013, the government introduced new laws to strengthen punishments for sexual offenses and improve support services for survivors. In recent years, there has also been a growing awareness and mobilization around the issue, with campaigns such as the #MeToo movement gaining traction.

However, there is still much work to be done. Implementation of the laws and support services remains inadequate, and women from marginalized communities continue to face significant barriers in accessing justice and support. Moreover, cultural attitudes and beliefs that perpetuate gender-based violence against women need to be addressed through education and awareness-raising efforts.


Gender-based violence against women in India remains a pervasive issue that affects millions of women across the country. Although progress has been made in recent years, there is still much work to be done to address this issue effectively. It is crucial to continue to raise awareness, support survivors, and advocate for systemic changes to create a more just and equitable society for all.


National Crime Records Bureau. (2021). Crime in India 2020. Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. Retrieved from

International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) and ICF. (2020). National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5), India, 2019-20. Mumbai: IIPS. Retrieved from

Thomson Reuters Foundation. (2018). The World’s Most Dangerous Countries for Women. Retrieved from

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