Sexual and reproductive health

National consultation on the role of the health sector in responding to violence against women

Consultation speaker
New Delhi, 19-20 March 2014

New Delhi, 19-20 March 2014 - The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MHFW), Government of India and WHO jointly hosted a “National consultation on the role of the health sector in responding to violence against women".

The multi-stakeholder consultation was used to launch and deliberate on the implementation of the National Guidelines on Medico-legal Care for Survivors/Victims of Sexual Violence. It brought together senior officials from national and State-level departments of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Home Affairs, national and international NGOs, medical professionals, UN agencies and bi-lateral donors.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare constituted an expert committee to develop the guidelines that were released at this meeting. The development and dissemination of these guidelines is an important milestone in India’s response to violence against women in the aftermath of the brutal rape and murder of a young woman on December 16, 2012, which brought worldwide attention to the problem of violence against women.

The national guidelines are based on WHO guidelines

The dissemination of the national guidelines was facilitated by WHO Country Office with technical support from the WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR). The objectives of workshop was to identify implementation strategies of the national guidelines. National stakeholders will move forward in sensitizing the health sector to these guidelines, build capacity of health care providers to provide gender-sensitive care and strengthen referrals and linkages to psychosocial and legal support to women who experience sexual violence.