|Indian actress Aishwarya Rai is considered one of the most beautiful women in the world but she comes from a country "where women are treated badly," according to Trustlaw. (photo wikimedia commons)|
India's rape attacks against women in the past four months have caused the population to be in a state of uproar! The Parliament passed an Anti-rape Bill on Thursday March 21 amid protests from women's groups and International groups who are angry over the recent violence against women in India.
India's Rape Attacks Bring Stiffer Penalties!
The Parliament's action on the Anti-rape bill provides stiffer penalties, including the death penalty for severe cases, against offenders for rape and sexual harassment. The bill is also intended to make sweeping changes with the police and the judicial system, making them "more sensitive and have a quicker response" when a sex crime has occurred. The police and the judicial system have been widely criticized for being non-sympathetic against violence towards women.
Women's groups and activists admitted that the bill does not address all areas in order to be a "complete law to protect women" and it only scratched the surface on the subject of "gender equality" but it is a step in the right direction.
|(photo by entrenard)|
The highly-publicized rape attacks began on December 16, 2012 when a 23 year-old woman died in Delhi after being gang-raped by 6 drunken men. The victim later died in a Singapore Hospital weeks later.
The attack was followed by other well-publicized crimes against women:
- On January 14, 2013, a woman who boarded a bus at night was gang-raped by 7 men; one of them was the bus driver! She was later left by the roadside bleeding and she immediately alerted Police.
- In late January, a 14 year-old school girl was brutally gang-raped in rural India and placed on life-support.
- On March 15, 2013, a Swiss couple was on a 3-month camping trip in rural India when they were attacked while in their tent! The husband was tied to a tree while 5 Indian tribesmen raped his wife. Local Police are still looking for the assailants.
- On March 19, a British woman leaped from the 3rd story of her hotel room to escape an alleged "sexual attack" from the hotel owner, who tried to force his way into her room to give her massage.
The country has been "on-edge" since the attacks and one of its glamorous movie stars, Aishwarya Rai, voiced her anger over the situation of women in India.
The 39 year-old Bollywood actress told Asia One, "There should be definite laws for offenders. They should be punished immediately!"
India's Rape Attacks Must Stop Now!
International women's group Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) has written a formal letter to the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, to voice their anger on the brutal attacks and they wanted the Indian government to take immediate and decisive action against the violence towards women. In the letter, AWARE revealed the startling facts in which 90 percent of crimes in India were against women!
The problem not only involves adult women but young girls as well! Bhuwan Ribhu, a children's rights activist told The Guardian (UK) that "eighteen children are raped in a single day and hundreds of thousands of women are assaulted, groped, stalked and trafficked."
India's problem is complex and will take years for the country to change its attitudes towards women. The country has a notorious reputation for treating women badly and that fact was spotlighted by Trustlaw, a news division of Thomson Reuters, which ranked India as the worst G20 country to live in as a woman. There are annual reports of female fetuses being aborted and baby girls being killed after birth because of the country's obsession to have baby boys, who will eventually bring a family a rich dowry from the girl, he marries in the future. The tradition of the girl's family bringing money, goods, and an estate to the boy's family isn't stopping soon or at any time in the near future. The Indian government has refused to stop the practice.
Unfortunately, the lucky baby girls, who do survive and grow into an adult woman, face discrimination, violence, and neglect for the rest of their lives.
Although, the country's attitudes towards women will not change soon, the urgency to protect them is now and the madness behind India's rape attacks must stop immediately.