India Activists Taking Action: Demand Justice for All Women!

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“We do not need protesters and activists fighting for us after we are raped or almost killed. We need them to fight for rights that make sure such cases never occur.”

The sensationalized news about Delhi gang rape has stirred the minds of many. Despite the anti-violence against women rallies worldwide to curb the same that ended just some days ago, a very shameful act was witnessed, a slap across every activist’s and feminist’s face.

This is the Indian capital we are talking about. The capital of a country which boasts that democracy is at its best and all is done to protect and back the rights and duties of citizens. We are referring to an emerging superpower where women are more educated, privileged, and independent than in most of South Asia. However, we are talking about a nation where the mindset still looks down on women, no matter how well developed they are.

DelhiProtest2The strong Indian media attracts the attention of all feminists, activists, protesters and well wishers of the victims to such cases. But should the media only limit its coverage to big cities?

Members of Praja Rajakiya Vedike (PRV), Students Islamic Organisation (SIO), Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum (KSMF), Eastern Fare Music Foundation (EFMF) and others protesting outside Bangalore Town Hall on Sunday, December 30 demanding justice for the 23-year-old student who died on 29 December. Photo Credit: Jim Ankan

In how many rural villages are women beaten, assaulted, tortured, and killed by men almost every single day? The fact is simple. The ‘emerging superpower’ and self-proclaimed-democracy does not protect the rights and value of a woman. Forget the media; such victimized women hardly even make it into the police crime records.

Talking about crime against women in Nepal it is a whole lot different. Either crimes at such a high level do not take place everyday or they are being ignored and unreported. Once or twice we hear stories like that of a girl being killed brutally for refusing a marriage proposal or one police AIG murdering his wife. Petty crimes like drugging and then robbing are a bit more common, and victims are mostly women.

The bottom line of all these instances pertains to the fact that a woman is always not safe irrespective of where she is or how she is dressed. Many a times it is assumed and believed that a woman provokes such crimes against herself by dressing or behaving inadequately. But that is not true. As a woman I can tell how a shadow of paranoia follows us all the way through empty lanes or even crowded public vehicles. No matter how brave one is, many encounters with men throughout the life span are uncomfortable. To be able to walk alone through an alley in the dead of night without for once being scared! That is not the reality, not just for me but for thousands of others. And this does not for once consider if you are wearing skimpy clothes or covered in a burqa. This is just how it is. And with constant instances and situations like these, the paranoia increases.

DelhiProtest1Why should it be that such cases enlighten us about the maltreatment of women? Laws should be enacted in such ways that a woman can freely walk everywhere at any time. We do not need protesters and activists fighting for us after we are raped or almost killed. We need them to fight for rights that make sure such cases never occur. Also it is not repression that is the solution of these issues. Laws have tried to repress men or women from doing such acts. Even India, where the aforementioned situation occurred, has laws to protect the victim. It is the culture that should be changed, the inferior ideology and mentality of people that should be wiped out and killed from the roots. One girl raped anywhere in the world is a stain to all women and on humanity. This denies all studies and reports that humans are better than animals.

We live in a society where we are taught not to get raped and not to fight against the crime. The aftermath for a victim is very sad. The media takes away all the light after the case becomes too old for them. All protesters and activists: go back home and look for other cases. The victim is left fighting alone; fighting to make another start, fighting to find a place back in the society, and fighting to protect other women from encountering and bearing such crimes.

  • So who is responsible?
  • Is it a crime to be born as a woman?

Let us not just talk about the Indian girl in the capital whose case is going to fast-track court, but of all other girls who may be the future victims of such crimes. It could be me, you, or our friends and family.

  • Will we be sidelined, neglected, and subjected to hate and sympathy throughout our lives?
  • Will we see the perpetrators roaming freely, trying to assault another faultless naïve woman?
  • Will everyone just always shut up about such crimes?
  • Where are the answers and the justice?

– Aditi Aryal, Nepal

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*The views and opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Peace X Peace.

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