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street harassment in india

opening a newspaper on any given day in india can lead to severe pre-breakfast trauma, which only gets worse once stepping out into the streets. good morning male dominated public space, good morning to misogynistic society and hello street harassment!
being stared at, means that you are lucky, because there is no touching, groping or worse.
but anything is possible.
indian politicians failed brilliantly to actually address women´s safety concerns for a long time.
following the recent cruel incident in new delhi, national and international outrage was huge, and taken to the streets, especially in delhi.

lots of things happened since then -
some parts of the protest turned violent.
the victim, who was taken to a hospital in singapore, died.
the trial of the suspects is about to start.
a new law will be discussed. (although rape and murder are already illegal)

some parts of civil society see a momentum, which can be used to actually achieve change.
using the attention and awareness that was created by the cruelty of the incident, to achieve sustainable focus on the situation of women´s safety.

others say that changing laws is not the answer to deal with the misogynist attitude prevalent in india.gains from the protests will be short-lived. especially when realizing that this is not the first incident of this kind. Here, the rapes that india forgot.

apart from a broken justice system, lack of political will and enforcement, there are some politicians who do an outstanding job in sabotaging women´s rights work whenever possible, by trivializing and derailing actual debate on violence against women. unfortunately, female politicians of the national commission for women are part of the misogynist club as well.

it goes without saying that it did not take long after the incident, that the first really dumb and sexist comments were made.

here is a best of.

"RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has said rapes are mainly prevalent in urban India due to western influence and that such crimes do not happen in Bharat — rural areas."

"Vibha Rao, the chairperson of Chhattisgarh State Women Commission (!), doesn’t agree that her views are a case of ‘blaming the victim’ but is emphatic that women are “equally responsible” for the sexual offences committed against them."

and of course,the old time favorite:

"...women, influenced by western culture, send wrong signals through their dress and behaviour and men often take the cue from those signals."

as long as the victim-blaming approach prevails, there is no chance for change.
and as long as politicians are part of the problem instead of the solution....

thank you for nothing, again.

peace out.

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