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Women safety in India: A matter of shame

By Nikita Nayar

India being declared as the world's most unsafe country for women and rape being declared as the fourth most common crime in the country ought to make our heads hang in shame. The 'rape culture' in India is only getting worse day after day. We protest, we march with candlelights and there was even pan-India outcry after 2012 Nirbhaya incident, but now six years later, have we become any better?

Women safety in India: A matter of shame

Since then, rape cases have inclined by 60% in which 40% accounts to child rape. We have taken part in various protests and campaigns including the #metoo campaign introduced by actress Alyssa Mirano and we have watched debates on television where parties are slamming each other and holding each other responsible for the tragedy. But we haven't progressed beyond this and that's a fact.

If rapes aren't sufficient enough, some girls are murdered as infants even before they get a chance to open their eyes and look around. Little girls who haven't even learnt to converse as yet are molested by men they trust, sometimes even close relatives. Women willing to work out of their homes are restricted by their families and if they surpass that then the companies reject their applications because apparently women are only meant for housework. Marital rapes are not even acknowledged as a crime. These are just a few things that prove that India is definitely not a place for women.

Despite this we are exposed to only one third of the rape cases in the country. Over and above, all of this, rape is also considered as a social stigma so then many women remain mum about it and refuse to file a case in fear of being ostracized after the world gets to know. It's not a surprise that women don't report rape considering that people refuse to accept them after their tragedy.

Girls are being trafficked and sent to prostitution at a young age and that becomes their life. While a portion of children are sent to beg, the rest of them are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation. Though there are a number of laws against the trafficking of young girls, none of these are implemented well which makes it easier for the offenders to commit the crime.

Several men in the country have stood in support of women throughout this turmoil. When the #metoo campaign broke out, several Indian men used the hashtag to apologize for all the misogyny and sexist jokes that they joined in for, for thinking men were superior to women, for using the word 'rape' without knowing how much it weighed and for being a part of a culture where women are objectified.

If each and every one of us knew and understood what it means to remain oppressed in the country we were born in and we respect wholesomely, if we respect and understand our differences, if laws were implemented on time, then maybe we wouldn't have had to face a situation wherein India is claimed to be the 'most unsafe country for women'.

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