By Saloni Modi and Nandini Rao
With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increase in count of women’s presence in every aspect of life, we could think that women have gained true equality. Rather, the facts are contrasting.
The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women’s education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men. However, great improvements have been made. Undoubtedly, there has been a significant change in both women’s and society’s thoughts about women’s equality. But the complexity of patriarchy are deep-rooted in our society.
We have chauvinist males running our countries, businesses and making laws that are biased. For instance, women in Saudi are not issued driving licenses. Women are till date objectified.
Around 120 million girls worldwide (slightly more than 1 in 10) have experienced forced intercourse or other forced sexual acts at some point in their lives. By far the most common perpetrators of sexual violence against girls are current or former husbands, partners or boyfriends.
In 2012, a study conducted in New Delhi found that 92 per cent of women reported having experienced some form of sexual violence in public spaces in their lifetime, and 88 per cent of women reported having experienced some form of verbal sexual harassment (including unwelcome comments of a sexual nature, whistling, leering or making obscene gestures) in their lifetime.
On February 17, 2017, a famous actor from South Indian film industry was allegedly molested inside her moving car while she was heading for Kochi from her home. This heinous event had seven men involved and out of which two men were her close associates. As being a part of tinsel town, stars are believed to share affable companionship with their make-up artists, hair stylists, drivers, body guards and fashion designers hence involvement of the drivers took everyone by surprise.
The Nirbhaya case has not been forgotten yet, when Delhi’s gang rape generated a nationwide outrage and stirred a billion people. The moment was described as one that would change Delhi’s attitude towards women’s safety. With time things change but India’s capital, Delhi, does not seem to have changed much. Four years since then, the number of rapes have only increased and situation has only worsened.
Massive protests at India gate and across the country in 2012 sparked off gender sensitization classes for 40,792 for Delhi cops till date and launched operation Nirbheek, in which police visited girls from more than 500 schools to speak to them about safety. Over 1.83 lakh girls were also trained in self-defense. But stories of sexual assault and rape continues to haunt Delhi. We have failed to label India as a women safe country.
Each one of us should question ourselves as to why such brutality is soaring. Why people of this country are shunning the rape victims? Indian government must take necessary steps to make India a rape free nation, immediately. China and India both have a surplus men, but only one country has an out of control rape epidemic and that is India.
The reason why country has failed to eradicate rape culture is a sheer negligence.
According to Amnesty International reports, authorities have not effectively implemented new laws on crimes against women. The majority of rape cases still go unreported. Currently the problem, instead of abating, has become worse. In India a women is reportedly raped after every 15 minutes. We often hear our Indian politicians complaining about the kind of dresses women wear, hence blaming women’s clothing for the raging rape in the country is so flimsy. All these have led to diminution of the social position of the women in India.
Women coming from all background are facing the deep rooted rape culture in India. Let us all pledge to contribute our bit in the best possible way to get nation rid of devils (rapists) and lets leave no stone unturned to make the nation women friendly. We the citizen of India need to bring the much required change and law makers should ponder upon this scariest subject and strict law should be introduced to eradicate the demons living in the country and walking fearlessly and shamelessly.
We must strive to make India the safest country for women, globally, only then we will become eligible to call our nation a proud nation.