In a significant move towards empowering women and challenging the patriarchal system, the Union administration is set to establish women-only courts, known as Nari Adalats, at the village level. These courts will serve as an alternative forum for resolving conflicts related to domestic violence, property rights, and other issues affecting women. The Nari Adalat program aims to create women collectives, raise awareness about women’s legal rights, and provide training to individuals who will be instrumental in addressing women’s grievances. While these courts do not possess legal standing, they play a crucial role in promoting gender equality and providing a platform for conflict resolution, counselling, and awareness-raising.
The Nari Adalat program is designed to address the grievances of women at the Gram Panchayat level, offering them an alternative means of resolving disputes. The program encompasses several key components: 1. Women Collectives; 2. Awareness-Building; 3. Training; 4. Composition of Women Collectives; 5. Awareness and Education; 6. Non-Legal Status.
The Nari Adalats will include individuals known as Nyaya Sakhis or legal friends. These individuals will be proposed or selected by the gram panchayat. From among the Nyaya Sakhis, a chief legal friend, known as Mukhya Nyaya Sakhi, will be chosen to lead the Nari Adalat for a period of six months.
The Nari Adalat program will be launched on a pilot basis in 50 villages each in Assam and Jammu and Kashmir. The Ministry of Women and Child Development, under the Sambal sub-scheme of Mission Shakti, will oversee the program. Collaboration with the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, the Ministry of Rural Development, and the Common Service Centres run by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology will be crucial for the successful implementation of the initiative.
The establishment of Nari Adalats brings the following advantages to society: 1. Accessible and Localized Resolution; 2. Women’s Empowerment; 3. Alternative Dispute Settlement; 4. Strengthening of Women’s Collectives; 5. Advocacy and Awareness-Building; and 6. Complementary to Legal System.
The Nari Adalat program represents a significant step towards empowering women, promoting gender equality, and offering an alternative means of conflict resolution. By establishing women-only courts at the village level, the program aims to address women’s grievances, raise awareness about their rights, and provide localized platforms for resolving disputes. As this program is launched on a pilot basis, it is expected to provide valuable insights and serve as a blueprint for expanding this initiative nationally. With collaborations between various ministries and a focus on women’s safety, security, and empowerment, the Nari Adalat program is poised to make a positive impact on the lives of women across India.