Stop Violence Against Women

Perhaps there is no end to the struggle and the hurdles for women. Women have been subjected to so many turmoil and struggle since ages. Basically the patriarchal framework of the Indian society is primarily responsible for projecting the women as inferior entity in the society. Indian society has been a male dominated society where the women have always been suppressed and criticized. And this inferior projection of women has given the liberty to the men, to object and reject them in many ways. Men in Indian society are brought up with the gender discrimination in their minds. They are taught that they are superior and women are inferior to them. Hence this mentality has given rise to many kinds to suppressions and violence against women in Indian society. Women are being harassed, molested and abused for a long time which has taken a severe form of Crime against women in the present time. Men have not left any single and small way to harass the women, women are raped, beaten, assaulted, rejected and abused and even murdered at homes, workplaces, and now even at the streets of the town. Their rights, freedom of expression have always been ceased by the men of the society. There is a bad Politicization of this issue for a long time. Not even a single day is peaceful and moreover safe for the women today. Every twenty minute there is a rape taking place; women are being harassed and sexually exploited by their boss/superiors. Even the girls are sexually assaulted at schools. The fundamental root cause of all these crimes against women is the ‘Male Domination’ in society. By committing violence against women, men try to project themselves as ‘God’. By using their physical power they try to show that they are above women in all the ways. They know, it is a trend of Indian society, no one has raised any voice against these crimes hence these crimes are accepted.

Since ages, women are conceived as servants, child bearer, sex servant, ‘daasi’ the most awkward tag which is all time famous in India among the most illiterate group/clan/community of people; is “aurat per ki juti hoti hai”! Every other state of India hosts the flag of Crime against Women. Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Jammu Kashmir, Delhi and Mumbai are the few states which represent the highest number of crime cases against women. Indian history has many glances of crime and violence against women. Whenever women have tried to raise their voices against the violence, the male dominance has always ceased them and in fact bashed their voices with stronger use of violence and aggression. A survey states that most of the women are raped, assaulted, harassed by their known person (men). They are sometimes their uncle, brothers, friends, relatives and horribly it is the father sometimes. Women are not at all safe in their own country and India comes at the fourth place as the most unsafe country for women. Andhra Pradesh and Delhi are the prime states of India to figure out the highest statistics of crime against women. A total of 76, 924 of crime incidences against women have been recorded from 2008-2010 in Andhra Pradesh among which 3,807 were Rape cases, 14,511 were cases of Molestation and 11,633 were the cases of  sexual harassment.

In Delhi, a total of 11, 102 incidents of crime against women have been recorded from 2008-2010 among which 1,214 were cases of Rape, 1,574 were cases of Molestation and 309 cases were recorded for Sexual harassment. Crime against women is by now a universal phenomenon   prevalent in the society and the nation. Women are being treated in an inhumane way, around 70% of the women face violence in their lives. There are many forms of violence against women which not only include the physical aspect but also social and economical aspect as well. Women are tortured and harassed in many ways which somewhere surely affect their overall health and personalities. Many women who are assaulted tend to feel weak and emotionally shattered in their lives. Their lives obviously do not reflect a healthy face. Violence against women not only affects the women personally but it certainly affects their families, surroundings and society. But this by now has become a very casual way of treating the women so; there are rarely any objections against this whole scenario. Violence against women is now emerging in a very horrendous way and day by day increasing and rising in numbers.

Following are the prime acts of Crime against women in India :

RAPE :  Rape is a forced act of sexual harassment which includes sexual intercourse by one or more person without the consent of the victim. Women are a long victim of this terrifying act. Delhi has the highest number of rape cases in the past two years but India as a whole is not safe at all for women in the present time. A rape is a murder of soul of a girl.  For a long time women are being raped by the most insane and inhumane men of the society who perceive women as a mere prey to satisfy their disgusting lust of few minutes. Society has digested this heinous crime very well, the police and the judiciary is not enough strict to make and follow any strong law that may deter the offender before committing any violence like this.

FEMALE FOETICIDE : women and men both play a significant role for the society. Both complement each other and without any one of them the other is just incomplete. But this fact gets a least attention from the Indian society. there is a famous patriarchal trend prevalent in the Indian society where families primarily aspires for a son and the major roles of the family are always appointed to a boy only. And here the existence of a girl is in big crisis. Indian society doesn’t really understand the value of a girl/woman. Her roles are being taken as her duties. She almost devotes her whole life for her family but the family and the society perceive them all as her mere responsibilities and nothing unique. Female foeticide is such an inhumane act which ceases the existence of female. It is aborting the female fetus with a pre sex determination by ultrasound and scanning. Here not only the illiterate families and couples but literate couples also prefer to follow this act. Basically female foeticide is the result of the orthodox, traditional and customized mentalities and ideologies among Indian people. They think that bearing a girl child is like a burden on their life since much huge expenditure are attached with her brought up and even after that. Giving the girl; education and then getting her married demands heavy amount of money. At the time of marriage parents have to give heavy dowry to the family of the bride-groom. Hence the Indian families tend to think that it is better to abort the girl fetus at the very initial stage than to regret at the time of bearing her expenses. Female foeticide is now prevailing in every state of India and due to this the sex ratio is fluctuating at a faster pace. It is also giving rise to many other social problems like, girls trafficking, kidnappings, rapes, harassment and prostitution in the society.

EVE TEASING : Eve Teasing in simple terms denotes the teasing /harassment/molestation of a girl. Here Eve means a woman. Eve teasing is basically an act of harassing a girl/woman in public and most often claims the woman to be responsible to provoke the offender to implement such acts. These acts may include physical touch, passing obscene comments publically. These kinds of acts are mostly found around the schools and colleges where young girls are usually around. Eve teasing makes the girl feel very insecure. She feels afraid to move out alone anywhere. This is also violence against women. By committing such acts men are making the girls feel insecure. They try to trap their freedom. There is no dignity and decency in such things but still harassing the girl in public, gives an entertainment factor to the men. Some cases become really worse when the men not only pass comments but they follow the girls till their destination, they try to provoke the girl by passing sexually remarked comments and try to terrify them. This is an act which is entirely negligible by police and law makers. Even the police claim the girls to change their routes and clothing styles to avoid those offenders. Delhi, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have the highest ratio of eve teasing cases in India. There are some worst cases where the girl was found to be burnt with acid just because she did not entertain the boys who used to tease her while passing on the road. This is ridiculous to know that the girls have no security to even walk alone on the roads.

MOLESTATION :  Molestation refers to the undesired sexual behaviour by one person towards the other. This can also be referred as sexual abuse and also include the sexual abuse by an adult upon a child or any adult. Then that would be known as child abuse. Molestation refers to the unwanted touch, kissing, sexually aroused statement, exposure to pornography to a child. This act is very much prevalent with the girl child. Small girls’ everyday somewhere or other becomes a victim of molestation. They are abused and assaulted at homes, schools and at neighbourhoods. Most of the offenders are among the known person. Such offenders sometimes warned and torture the victims for not to disclose these incidences to anyone else in the family. Many a cases are seen where small young girls become pregnant without knowing what it means to become a mother. Molestation is a serious torture for a girl. A girl child is so small to understand the act and moreover she is unable to understand that whatever she is facing is whether right or wrong because the one who is committing that offense with her is elder than her. Molestation may turn into a rape if the molested person refuses to allow the offender to act in his desired way.

DOWRY DEATH : marriage is Indian society is not a small affair in Indian society. Marriage is basically a very huge and expensive affair for the parents of the girl. In this present time the more people are becoming westernized the more they are becoming customized. A huge dowry is gifted by the parents of the girl to the family of the groom. This includes expensive gifts, money, property, trousseaus. But the greed for the dowry is so much high in some families that they start torturing the girl to bring more dowries from her parents. They begin to harass the girl, beat her everyday and when the girl is not able to fulfil their unending demands for dowry they one murder the girl and most often they burn the girl and try to give the form of an accident to their crime. Numerous of cases are recorded for burning the bride even after few months of the marriage. And surprisingly in this heinous act even the women themselves are involved. The mother-in-law and sister-in-law are the ones in the family who support their son and husband in this awful act. The parents of the girls and the girls themselves are the only sufferer of this violence. Girls try their best to cooperate till their last breath but the greed of her second family doesn’t even get satisfied after her murder and they look for another marriage of their son and brother respectively.

GIRLS TRAFFICKING : trafficking of girls and women is increasing rapidly. Especially among the South and South East Asia. In India, because of poverty, sex discrimination, traditional and rigid customs families feel no shame and guilt in selling their girls to the pimps. Many a women and young girls are misguided by fake people. They are offered a fanciful job in aboard with a lavish life and once they cross the border of the country their passports are taken back and they are forced to work as prostitutes in brothels. Some girls are forced to work in bars. And here the innocent girls have no options; they cannot run away from those circumstances. Trafficking is prevalent because there is a kind of dirty lust increasing among people. Numerous of girls are being trafficked to other countries where the women are treated as sexual servant also. Western men find it influencing to possess girls as their sexual servants. They see those girls as a tool of entertainment. Those girls are beaten, forced and sexually harassed.

VOILENCE BY INTIMATE PARTENER : this kind of violence is sometimes visible but not being considered as violence, actually. It is treated as natural. After marriage husband is supposed to be the most intimate partner of the woman. And Indian society makes a man so much liberal to treat his wife in any way he wants to. Here especially the physical aspect catches the greatest concern. Many husbands (men) force their wives to be in bed with them. For them the desire and choice of the woman hardly matters. All they are concerned with the satisfaction of their own lusts. He hardly bothers whether the woman wants to be intimate with him or not. For a moment his lusts overpowers the sentiments of his woman and this is in a way is like a rape only because the sexual intercourse is commenced without the consent of the wife. Then there are many tortures that the husband gives to his wife. He beats his wife, teases her, assaults and abuses her. He thinks this all as his Right! He thinks that his wife is his possession and he can do anything with her in any way. There are so many cases recorded where the wives are treated worst than animals, they are beaten, tortured and sexually abused without any valid reason. This also may be known as ‘Domestic Violence’. According to the survey the men who drink alcohol and take drugs they are quite violent towards their wives. They abuse their wives sexually, physically and emotionally. They give a negligible amount of money in the home and when the wife asks for money for livelihood they begin to beat the wife and abuse her for no appropriate reason.

HONOUR KILLING : when any family/ clan/group/community kills a boy or girl or both of them to save the pride of their group and family, then it is known as honour killing. The basic root cause lies in the rigid Caste System in the Indian society. Besides this there are other causes as well like when a boy or a girl gets married with the person of same Gotra which basically refers to descendants of common and regarded as siblings, one is just not being allowed to get married in the same Gotra. If the couple dares to do so they soon become the victim of the aggression of the rigid people. Then one is not allowed to get married with a person of other religion. Here the act of honour killing is not only limited to intra and inter Gotra and religious married but also doesn’t tolerate when any girl or boy steps out of the limits and dares to love the other person, there is no tolerance for extra marital affairs and for pre marriage sex among the community. These kinds of acts are taking place usually among rural areas where caste system and communalism are deeply rooted. But in precise there is no flexibility and tolerance towards a girl. She would have to lose her life but she won’t be granted any mercy.

TORTURE : torture is a very subtle kind of violence which takes place at many places with many women. Torture has many forms; it can be physical, mental, emotional, social and economical as well. A woman is being tortured in many ways. She is being suppressed, objected and rejected in many circumstances. Torture is actually the outcome when a woman shows her disinterest, raises her voice against something. At homes they are tortured by their husbands and parent-in-laws, at work place they are teased and taunted by superiors, even at schools girls are sometimes tortured by teachers. Sometimes people use emotional torture as a weapon to weaken the confidence of a girl/woman. They taunt her, tease her, and pass awful comments for her parents. This kind of mental torture is enough to ruin the self respect of the girl. Physical violence is at least visible but mental torture is the worst thing. It not only weakens the confidence but also deter her personality. She becomes a weak identity, her efficiency level reduces and this also affects her family life.

HARASSMENT AT WORKPLACE : women are although insecure at every place in the present time still they want to make their identities visible among the fast forward world. Women are getting educated and they want to utilize their education by option good career and professions for themselves. They move out of their homes to earn money and try to balance their daily life as well. There is so much of open competition girl/women have to face in daily working outside their homes. They have competitors and seniors around them who want to maintain their monopoly in the office. Especially having a male boss in the office is taking a real pain for a girl/woman. Sometimes women have to face a lot of argumentative atmosphere around. Male colleagues and seniors try to pull the female back and they do not really wish to see them flourish in same profession. There are many cases where all the male members at work follow groups and create a fuss for the female members. This often gives rise to politics in office. Sometimes the boss treats his female subordinates very differently. He sometimes tries to be over authoritative and abusive. In such an atmosphere it is actually really tough for the female to work regularly hence one day she chooses to leave the job and look for some other opportunities.

DOMESTIC SERVANT: in the urban cities now it is now like a basic necessity to have a servant at home for doing the home chores. Since the family members are working hence they need a person who can take care of the home in their absence and here they prefer to appoint some young child preferably a girl child who is obviously efficient in work since childhood. Poor families who cannot afford to earn much such people usually agree to leave their girl child at the owner’s home for 24hrs. Now most of the owner’s treatment for that girl servant is not really humane. There are so many cases where the girl servants are found to be abused and harassed severely. They were not given proper food but they had to do the work 24hrss. They could not rest a while and were not given good living conditions. On some worst cases the girl child was raped and molested several of times since she and her family was helpless and they could not raise any voice against this violence.

GIRL CHILD PROSTITUTION : prostitution means to sell the sexual service like sexual intercourse and oral sex in exchange of money. Women who sell sexual services are called prostitutes. But there is a prostitution which is forced on the young girl child. Young innocent girls are being kidnapped and then sold to the pimps or brothels. It is easy to misguide and mislead the young girls they are truly innocent and in fact sometimes they are kidnapped with force and when they become conscious it is actually very late for them. There are around 40% of the prostitutes who are young girls when they were kidnapped and brought to the brothels. In many rural areas such cases are witnessed. People who migrate to urban cities and belong to poor background, they often bring their girls child with them and intentionally sell them to the pimps. Sometimes some people bring the daughter of their relatives after convincing them that they would help the girl to get some work in city but they sell the girl in greed of alluring money. Girl prostitution is like a trap from which it is very difficult to make an escape.

It is really a shame for the nation that it cannot provide a healthy and a safe atmosphere to its women citizens. Being a woman seems like a curse today! Women can’t walk, talk, sit, and roam around freely in their society and nation. Women are afraid to be alone today. They cannot trust anyone today that who is watching them and waiting to harass, molest, abuse and even rape them. Every day is a struggle for them. They tolerate all the abuses, bear all the harassment still they are devoted towards their families and society. There is not even a single day in the history of mankind when women were on strike! Women never ran away from their responsibilities and work. Even after getting brutally beaten a woman prepares food for her family and kids, that husband who abuses her, assault her still she takes care of that savage. So, now isn’t it a duty of the SOCIETY and the PEOPLE to do something to change the pathetic picture of women in the present society? Are we all humans or insensitive beings? Someone is deliriously showing her devotion and care for the welfare of the society and we are behaving like dumb and blinds! We are letting the insane people to continue the violence against women! Why aren’t we joining our hands together to stop those hands that beat the women and abuse them? This is certainly the time to bring the change for women at large and this task can only be done, collectively.

Following are the responsibilities that the society, citizens and women themselves need to fulfill in order to bring the change and to stop the crime/Violence against women in India :

STRICT IMPLEMENTATION OF LAW

Law in the country serves as a disciplining agent and that which systemize the social framework. Law states the definition of Right and wrong in the society therefore whenever there is a wrong act committed, law gives a systematic framework to re-discipline that thing and deter the offender from not to repeat that mistake again in society. In India the law is all perfect but its implementation; is very poor. Even though there are needs to amend some law to bring little more strictness in the punishment but still there are already many rules and regulations which are not properly implemented. The offenders are first of all not penalised and punished in the right disciplined way.  Crime against women are increasing just and just because the implementation of the law/ punishment is extremely bad in India. Offenders are not at all afraid of the punishments rather they are even more dared to commit the crimes. They know they won’t be handled with strictness and with the bribe of some alluring money they would be released soon. There is a desperate need to follow strictness and discipline in the judicial laws. Once the strictness is there the offender would be scared of committing the crime. And here in women’s concern there must be a disciplined framework of law that provides full protection, security, and accountability to the victim. Police should become responsible and accountable to the victim. It is the duty of the police to provide security thereby police should fulfil its duty honestly. Making the country and society safer is their responsibility. Just because there is not strictness in implementing the law, women do not believe in complaining about the crimes and just because of it the culprits feel carefree hence the crime remains as it is without any change. If the rules for rapes trafficking, teasing, molestation and other harassments would be followed properly then there would surely be a downfall in such crimes in future.

SOCIETY AND THE PEOPLE NEED TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE ROLES OF WOMEN

This is the high time, that the society must understand the loopholes of its functioning and ethos it has been following since ages. Society is a dynamic entity and for its own survival, it has to accept the need for a change and rather implement it for its further growth. But still there is an integral part of its framework where it has neither realized the need for a change nor tried to implement any of it. Women need to be given respect and full freedom which they truly deserve. But until the society doesn’t feel the need to change its philosophies and mindsets then no crime, no violence can be reduced and removed from the same. Society must acknowledge the value of women in its functioning; roles of women are as significant as the roles of the males. Society and its people especially the youth has a big role to play in this task. When the society and the people would respect the role of the women then the offenders would not easily dare to commit crimes against them. Because in such a condition the society and the people would stand by the women. Violence against women takes place because women are already treated as inferior and worthless. Hence any kind of violence against women is easily accepted in the society and it hardly bothers anyone. But if the society acknowledges the women as also important for its survival and growth then paying sincere concern, respect and dignified lives to the women would become the top agenda of the society. it is only the people who composite the society hence it is up to the people now to be enlightened and to acknowledge the place of women in society.

WOMEN EMPOWERNMENT

women should now be made empowered in the present scenario. Government should take serious steps to empower the women who are helpless, poor, widowed and victims of crimes. Why should a girl/woman feel hopeless after being harassed? She deserves to live a long life and here she needs to be introduced with many possibilities in her life which may provide her social, physical and economical security. There should be provisions for granting some occupation to the widowed and unemployed women. This would relax them and encourage them to opt for this dignified job rather opting for prostitution to earn the livelihood for family. The NGO’s who are working for helpless and victim women should spread their reach to every minute area. There must be an honesty and dedication from the government and NGO’s side to serve the women with best possible opportunities. Economical security can raise the confidence in a woman, she feels independent and free. Government should organize regular surveys to know the number of women in each area and regions, who need to be employed in work and given support. It is very simple to understand that if the women would be given healthy atmosphere, physical, social and economical security then there is least chance for opting for awful activates willingly.

ROLE OF PARENTING

parents are the best teachers for the child. And in family parents are very much responsible to build up the mindset of a child. Parents first of all should be very expressive while teaching the role of a girl in the family. Where there is a son and a daughter both, parents should never follow any kind of gender discrimination between both of them. Family is the foremost place from where the mentality of the child builds up. Therefore a boy should be taught to respect the girl, not only his own sister or mother but every girl and woman outside the home. Girls should be taught to be free but not to be dumb. They should be taught to be confident and bold in the society and boys should be taught to be compassionate towards women. Parents should teach their children to become good human beings who understand the value of each other and try to work together for a better living.

WOMEN SHOULD STAND FOR THEMSELVES

woman should realize the importance of her feminine features. Her care, devotion, compassion, tolerance power, wisdom are not her weaknesses rather they altogether make her bold and confident. Women should be alert and aware for her Rights and Freedom. Wherever she feels being harassed and abused she should raise her voice without fear. Time is changing gradually. If one woman would dare to come in front then many other victim women like her would join her soon. Why to cease the life after becoming the victim? After harassment, the girl/woman shuts her mouth and feels ashamed to disclose her tragedy with anyone. But here only she should not sit quietly she should raise her voice, take the help of Media and Youth and must ask for punishment for the offender. Since ages women are tolerating all the violence but now they should put a full stop to all those violence. A revolution needs only one spark and then it becomes huge similarly one woman needs come in front and she would have many hand to join with her.

Crimes against women are associated with the menial mentality of the society and the people. The day when the society would start respecting the role of the women that day onwards the status of the women would begin to get better. It is a matter of collective conscience! Society and people must have to think collectively to stop the crimes against women. In this task each and every person including the woman herself need to be alert, conscious and aware for the eradication of crimes from the society. Every single form of harassment, assault and violence is caused by deeply rooted Male Domination in the society. Males alone cannot do any wonders hence their domination should not be entertained now. By getting violent and abusive they are definitely showing disregard to another most important member of the society i.e. woman. Woman also has full rights and freedom like the Man. So why to allow man to show his authoritativeness and giving him liberty to hurt the dignity of women? Enough of male dominance now! Now woman aspires for a country where she can be just HERSELF and she desires for a family, society, friends and relatives with whom she feels Safe and Secured.

image source: maitriindia

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  1. A very much relevant article for the present Indian social context. Jyotsna Gandhi , a novelist looks into the social maladies and anatomises the social evils with constructive and concrete suggestions for the betterment of India. The dignity of a woman is to be protected and preserved through proper enforcement of law. But will law be able to do everything? Shylock in The Merchant of Venice of Shakespeare was faithful to the law and wanted to follow it letter by letter. He wanted a pound of flesh. Law finally betrayed him. He could not take flesh without spilling the blood which was not mentioned in the law. He wanted to kill a Christian by taking help of the law. So he failed to get law by his side. Similarly, in India there are many loopholes of law and the lacunae are well used by the evil doers to destroy the social and moral fabric of the country. The writer has rightly blames the menial mentality of the people which she held responsible for the crimes against women. The article is perceptive not only because Jyotsna Gandhi pointed out the drawbacks and shortcomings, she also advances positive suggestions for encountering the evil. Kudos to the writer for her thoughts which deserve a second attention..

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