I was spending some time today reading through the report of the Justice Verma Committee formed in the aftermath of the Delhi gang rape, to suggest amendments to criminal laws dealing with crime against women in India.
The committee has suggested a range of reforms dealing with all kinds of sexual crimes against women. It is not that the report is immediately going to alter the effectiveness of policing, crime investigation or court trials in India. However, what is particularly heartening is that the committee has not looked at crime against women purely through a lens of ‘protection’ of women. That lens looks at public spaces as a male prerogative, and woman as a fragile creature that needs to be kept away for her own benefit.
Instead, the committee has looked at crime against women through a lens of autonomy, which says that all women have a right to bodily integrity, in [...]
So one person “gets raped”, gets thrown out and undergoes a trauma that about 50 people undergo in India every day. And suddenly every rape case from every corner of the country makes it to the headlines. And then start the opinions and sermons.
How dare the girl walk around after 10 pm, she deserved it, she invited it. Of course, how stupid of us not to realize that the safest way to remain safe is stay indoors after dark. Although I am not sure how this piece of advice would have helped the lady who was molested in daylight in a moving car, by a person known to her, and dumped near Kalkaji.
Call them chaotic, disorganized, hysterical, confused, or even violent – I have nothing but respect and empathy for the brave women and men who have gathered in our capital to protest government apathy toward women’s safety. I have been waiting for this day to dawn for a very long time: since the day I was followed home by a group of men as an 11-year-old.
Sexual harassment, whether verbal or physical, is designed to do one thing very well: strip the victim of power. Not a single hand was laid on me that long ago summer day but as long as I live, I will remember my feelings of rage, powerlessness and fear. Over the years I have learned to fight back, to assert my personhood in the face of those who would reduce me to nothing more than an “item” but in doing so, I have learned other things too.
Madhu Arora works as a content specialist with a leading multinational IT firm. She is an advocate of gender equality in both her personal and professional life, and currently walks the tightrope between full time motherhood, the idiosyncrasies of family life in India, and a demanding career. She blogs at Madhu Arora and her twitter handle is @aroramadhu
As the victim of the gruesome gang rape incident in Delhi battles for precious life, we, a nation of armchair activists, are busy getting outraged. We complain about the lax law and order situation, we lament ‘ki kuch nahin ho sakta’, we offer what we think are perfect solutions to the situation if only someone would implement them. But no one will; and women will continue to be molested, raped and maimed.
Because the truth is that change begins at home. Our home. You and me are as much a part of this society, as were those girl’s rapists. [...]
What do you do when a state witnesses over 15 rape cases in a month and you are incompetent and cannot do anything about it? You support innovative problem solving techniques that suggests one marries girls off at an “agreeable age” to avoid such incidents. If you cannot protect the women of your country from monsters outside you just subject them to “licensed-rape” at the tender age of 16 in the name of marriage. Welcome to India.
I think we should make amendments in the constitution so that freedom of speech does not include freedom of absurdity. Three days ago a 3 year old girl was raped in the district of Sambalpur. I suggest pregnant women start filling out matrimony forms for their children right now to avoid such incidents.
This week, here are some links regarding abuse of women – violent, sexual and social.
We look to law enforcement and the courts to carry out justice and help victims of abuse. But what do you do when the judge handling your case says it’s your “duty to suffer violence” at the hands of your husband?
This woman’s harrowing experience on public transportation is extremely scary, despite the fact that she was never physically touched. It goes to show that sexual harassment has so many forms.
When the recent court judgement sentencing Gujarat BJP MLA Mayaben Kodnani (among others) to life imprisonment made the headlines, I was visiting my parents, and one of the first things my mother and I both felt was, “But how could a woman be so heartless?”
Implicit in this question was the assumption that women are more compassionate towards their fellow-humans and less prone to violence. Our horror was also partly due to the fact that Mayaben was a practising gynaecologist, someone involved with the bringing forth of life – how was she able to participate so easily in the taking of it?
…..you know the family of the men who are accused for the Assam incident?
Yesterday morning, I was suffering from severe cramps in the stomach, and I was wondering why has God been giving me so much pain, when I suddenly thought about that innocent girl who wanted to enjoy the evening out with her friends…
I first read about the Assam incident (note how I call it incident) and I didn’t want to read about it further. I didn’t watch the video. I didn’t have the guts, I am ashamed to admit. It just left such a dirty taste in my mouth, that I didn’t want to accept reality.
The brutal murder of a bright young female lawyer in Mumbai recently made headlines and had every news channel detailing how the gruesome act of intended lust and violence was carried out.
Pallavi Purkayastha, 25 years old and a promising legal professional was killed by Sajjad Ahmed Mohgal, security guard at the residence towers of the said victim. As the crime was unfolded and reconstructed by the authorities, here is what I gathered.
I can see that now there is an epidemic of criminal assaults on women in the name of Indian ‘culture’ or just for the ‘fun’ of it. There also is an equally viral epidemic of blame-the-victim disease.
In case we forget what our culture is all about, actor and local MLA Chiranjeet Chatterjee blamed “skirt size” for incidents of sexual harassment. He was reacting to the sexual assault on a girl in Barasat, West Bengal. He said, “Women are to blame for this to some extent. Their skirt size and dress are changing. Why? Must be for the entertainment of men, to earn their appreciation. People call it ‘teasing’ when someone uses a bad word instead of appreciating.”
He joins leading lights such as Pramod Muthalik, whose goons of the Sri Ram Sene had assaulted girls in a pub in Mangalore in early 2009. Muthalik had praised the incident, saying, “Whoever has [...]