The NSS Unit of National Law University and Judicial Academy, Assam in collaboration with the IQAC cell organized an event on the occasion of International Human Rights Day on 10th December. The event was graced by Prof. (Dr.) Priti Saxena, Director of the Centre of Post-Graduate Legal Studies at Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar Central University, Lucknow. She spoke on the theme – ‘Equality and empowerment through Human Rights’.
The special session began with a brief introduction of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). She emphasised on empowerment and equality in a social, cultural and legal aspect. “Empowerment is the expansion and the translation of one’s freedom and rights into action and that should be skilfully, knowledgeably, meaningfully and above all confidently exercised” she said.
She touched upon the preamble of the UDHR that begins with ‘Everyone and None’, implying that there is no room for any distinction or discrimination among humans and further drew a parallel between Article 1 of UDHR and Article 14 of Indian Constitution, where the idea of equality is upheld.
Further, she stressed upon various international conventions and declarations that strongly ensure human rights protection and emphasized on how creating statutes is only half the battle won. She emphasized on implementing these statutes by national efforts. She stated that the lack of awareness is the prime cause behind human rights violations.
She went on to cover the concept of gender equality and empowerment of girls through human rights and the mentioned how of Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is positively impacting the society at large.
Prof. Priti asserted the role of the state in protecting women by enhancing and adopting different positive measures to eliminate different kinds of discrimination, including those pertaining to marriage and within families. She stressed on the implementation of educational rights, improved marriage and maternity laws, reproductive rights, entrepreneurship measures, vocational training and workplace positivity.
She reflected optimism and emphasized that change is being observed. She mentioned certain improvements like the literacy rate for females, their contribution to the workforce and participation in the political arena. She also quoted several judgements like the Shah Bano judgment, the Vineeta Sharma case, Sabarimala judgment, and the recent Babita Puniya case, showcasing the change being brought into the justice system.
In conclusion, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. (Dr.) V. K. Ahuja, National Law University and Judicial Academy, Assam, and NSS Coordinator Prof. HR Nath expressed gratitude to Dr. Priti Saxena for her insightful analysis of distinct socio-legal aspects.