The world consists of 50% of women and there we talk about women empowerment. With half of the population being in control, women are not in minority then why is empowerment needed only for women?
Women not only in India but throughout the globe have been suppressed for ages. With time the conditions of women have changed but this fact is only partially true for countries like India. Here women are still considered below men despite challenging them in almost every field. Practices like honor killing, dowry, genital mutilation, rape, domestic violence, and child marriages are still a symbol of the ill condition of women in the nation.
In 2012, the horrific Nirbhaya rape case came to light which took the next 7 years to get Justice. And though the court announced hang till death sentence to all the convicts, not even one of them has been hanged so far.
Nirbhaya case was yet another day-to-day story of India, where rape is a common threat to a woman living in remote areas to modern high-tech cities. Every day almost 77 rape cases are reported in India, while hundreds go unreported. On the other hand, rapes by juveniles remained high in India with 3 minors being arrested for rape, assault, and attempted violence on women and girls each day.
An eight-year-old girl was raped by two minor boys in Shastri Park, Delhi.
An eight-year-old girl was allegedly raped on Monday by two minor boys, aged 12 and 10, in northeast Delhi’s Shastri Park area, police said on Tuesday, and added that the two suspects have been apprehended. The incident took place when the victim was playing outside her home and the two boys lured her to a vacant house nearby and raped her. Imagine the mindset of these two extremely young boys that propelled them to rape! The environment they grew up in, the peers they met, the education they received, and the way they were taught to see women are well projected and displayed. Gang-raping an eight-year-old girl was not okay and an inhuman act that needs punishment regardless of the age whatsoever. But with this, punished should be those who normalized assaulting women! Their parents, teachers, and friends should be held accountable for not raising their children right.
Consent is a big word for the people of India, as it restricts the boundaries of sexual intimacy. Lucky are those born in the 21st century, that they have legal reforms for consent and rape, but little luck had those before us.
Woman gang-raped, hair chopped and paraded with blackened face in Delhi.
In a horrific incident reported recently, a 20-year-old girl was allegedly kidnapped, garlanded with slippers, her face painted black before she was made to walk the streets of Delhi. A video of which has become viral, where the woman is being paraded amid a cheering crowd. The gruesome reality, in this case, was that even women too participated in the dehumanizing act against the victim. Who can understand a woman’s plight better than a woman? How can these ladies be brutally daring enough to shame another woman? All these incidents really describe the gruesome reality of our country where women too somehow are responsible for making themselves third-class citizens!
Why do men feel deserving of a woman’s body? Why do men feel that they have some unspoken or symbolic claims to women’s bodies? For centuries, we are raised in a world where the ones responsible for rape are women themselves. Either it was their short skirts, their smile, their lifestyle choices, or their job that propels others to rape them. And thus, it’s only the women who should be shamed and branded as impure! While in reality, the only thing that could have stopped a rape are the men who commit it.
All types of labels are inflicted upon the victim and the rapists after a rape that are dehumanizing in their connotations. Once someone has become a victim, he or she is seen as damaged, impure, dishonored, or even less than. Likewise, when a rapist is deemed as a rapist, they are labeled as monsters and inhuman. But how will we understand what lies in this society that themselves ignites violence if we refuse to recognize the humanity of those who commit it? But most importantly how can we address the biggest threat to our society when we too are a part of the problem?
Wanting to take revenge is a very human emotion especially when the suffering is greater, but being braver is an act of forgiveness, especially forgiving own selves. The search for understanding in such cases seems like an impossible quest, but finding solidarity in both victim-rapist is the only key to this battle of year-long violence.
The majority of sexual violence against women and men is often perpetrated by men. And yet they are the ones sorely underrepresented in discussions revolving around sexual violence. In such a situation, the ones affected by rape become woman and the one attributed to shame is also a woman. It’s high time that we shift this responsibility and encourage that the shame is not of victims and that there is hope after rape. The complexity of the perpetrator-survivor scale is that both of them are involved in a crime that dishonors only one, whereas the one who should be held accountable should be the one who had a choice to stop.
One key to this issue is the voices of those who have suffered from both ends. Unless and until we hear stories of victims around the world, we cannot find a solution to this global pandemic. Women too should come out of their shells to walk the path of acceptance, and that what has happened with them doesn’t make them less than anyone, if more- it only makes them braver.