Dalit Women Rise for Justice: Status Report 2021


The report was published by All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch (AIDMAM) in 2021. It presents a review of the status of Dalit women in India and their struggles in accessing justice.

The report sheds light on the rising instances of violence against Dalit women and highlights the gaps in legal and judicial mechanisms in the country. It analyses data collected from both primary and secondary sources. It discusses cases where AIDMAM has intervened for penal and pecuniary justice across six states, namely, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh. The report also analyses government data from between 2014-2020 on violence against Dalit women.

This 128-page document is divided into five chapters: Status of Dalit Women in India (Chapter 1); AIDMAM’s Interventions to Address Caste and Gender Based Violence (Chapter 2); National Legal Mechanism to Address Caste and Gender Based Violence (Chapter 3); International Framework to Address Caste and Gender Based Violence (Chapter 4); Recommendations (Chapter 5).


  1. The Constitution of India was framed keeping in mind the marginalized status of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and thus upholds the rights and interests of these sections. The Right to Equality, the report states, is a fundamental right which prohibits discrimination of any kind and guarantees equality of opportunities to all.

  2. Dalit women form eight per cent of the entire population in the country, as per Census of 2011. The literacy rate among Dalit women in India is 56 per cent compared to the national average of 74 per cent. They also fare poorly with respect to dominant caste women in all indicators of mortality and nutrition.

  3. The report states that Dalit girls’ enrolment levels at the secondary and higher secondary education level is 73 per cent, which is lower than the 95 per cent enrolment levels among dominant caste girls.

  4. Of the total 543 seats in the Lok Sabha, Dalit women MPs occupy only 12 seats.

  5. Atrocities against Dalit girls and women account for 15 per cent of the total crimes registered under the SCs & STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act according to data by National Crime Records Bureau from 2014-2019.

  6. Out of the 81 cases studied in the report, 32 per cent of the cases pertain to Dalit minor girls. Of the 55 cases pertaining to Dalit women, 65 per cent pertain to physical assault, 16 per cent constitute instances of sexual violence and 5 per cent relate to murder.

  7. The analysis of funds released for the SCs & STs Prevention of Atrocities Act is important while discussing Dalit women’s access to justice as the act is a powerful tool providing preventive, pecuniary and penal mechanisms. The funds allocated show an increase of about two and a half times over the period from 2016-17 and 2020-21. However, the year-on-year allocation of these are at a declining rate.

  8. The report suggests measures like rehabilitation focusing on violence survivors’ self-sufficiency through targeted schemes. It also recommends establishment of special courts with improved infrastructure in every district to ensure the timely hearing of cases under the SCs & STs Prevention of Atrocities Act.

  9. It also recommends mapping areas prone to gender and caste-based violence, setting up protection and awareness cells and monitoring standard operating procedures for police and judiciary to ensure uniformity in application and interpretation of law.

    Focus and Factoids by Meera Keshav.

    PARI Library's health archive project is part of an initiative supported by the Azim Premji University to develop a free-access repository of health-related reports relevant to rural India.


All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch


All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch