A glance at the Indian media reveals the range of abuse suffered by the
nation's women on a daily basis. Many surveys have come out with reports
of India being a worst place for females, a poll of 370 gender
specialists around the world voted India as the worst place to be a
woman out of all the G20 countries. It stung – especially as Saudi
Arabia was at the second-worst. The incidents of Rape are increasing day
by day. Delhi has become a crime city where at least one girl is raped
at every day on the average. Women are not
safe anywhere, until the thinking toward women doesn't change, unless
the respect towards women doesn't come. 'Natural urge' does not 'force'
anyone to harass, assault, intimidate and abuse a woman. Lack of respect
and impunity under the law, and ridiculous, outmoded and idiotic
attitudes, allow it to happen.
Though there are laws that protect women's rights, but we are all
well-aware of the efficiency of Indian's judicial system. The girl along
with her family will be left to suffer for all throughout their lives.
It's purely about the vacuum in the law, lack of security at leisure
spots, lack of gender justice, lack of fear of the law, police and
judicial apathy and the complete lack of awareness that men and women
have the right to enjoy exactly the same kind of leisure activities."
Much of the debate has focused on reinforcing legislation. It is
noteworthy that the national conviction rate in rape cases brought to
court is lower than 25%. This ‘crime against woman ‘situation cannot be
improved in a short duration; due to various cultural, economic and
social factors, like the ingrained patriarchal mind-set, the economic
dependency, increasing alcohol consumption, wave of migrant labourers in
big cities, the clash of cultural values due to the media and internet
explosion especially during last decade. I really believe that
institutions in India do not offer enough support for women who want to
report on crimes. Not only we are guided by weak laws, and women are not
given enough support in their family to come out and talk about it.
When I raised a question (about the safety of women in India with
reference to a survey) to the minister of women and child welfare Smt
Krishna Teerath in the recently concluded session of Parliament, I
received a very normal, theoretical and tricky reply that all is well
and taken care of, and the reality was that during the entire session,
the newspapers were carrying reports of sexual assault incidents against
women in the country.
Does the Minister and the Prime minister realize that issues such as
rape, dowry-related deaths and female infanticide have rarely entered
mainstream political discourse?
It took a thousands of people screaming and protesting for our Prime
Minister (father of three daughters) to realize this?
really be done
parties, corporates and media companies should essentially declare their
There is an
urgent need to inject feminist consciousness with diverse stakeholders
at the national and local levels through advocacy, perspective-building
and supporting struggles against human rights violations of women.
The safety of
women can be only ensured through strong partnerships between civil
society organisations, governments, urban local authorities and
should be sensitized to support women’s struggles against all forms of
violence ensuring access to safety, dignity, justice and rights.
training standards for policemen to sensitise and professionalize them,
starting with the Delhi Police and other metros to be followed
Professionalize and empower the National Commission for Women and
immediate removal of inefficient and ineffective members from the panel.
The commission should maintain a record about what happens to rape cases
from prevention to investigation to conviction.
number of policemen are permanently on VIP duty or serve as orderlies to
senior officers. This must change. Why should the common man feel unsafe
at the cost of politicians’ security?
better than policing for “crime against women” I feel the change will be
more enduring if it’s inculcated from bottom up. Social moral values are
imbibed at an early age. It’s very tough to change social values after a
I make a strong request to the Prime Minister that Let the year 2013 be
observed as the Year for Women's Safety in India.
I look forward to the President, Parliament, Judiciary, Prime minister
and all other stake holders’ activeness in addressing this serious issue
as the first step towards
honouring the brutal and terrible death of the unknown Young Citizen.
T N Seema is a Member of Indian Parliament (Rajyasabha) and National
Vice-President of All India Democratic Women's Association]