I came across this news story recently and was appalled and disgusted that
Men in India have so little respect for the women there that they would
see rape as justifiable punishment.
The sisters were sentenced by elders of a village council to be raped
after their brother had an affair and ran off with a married woman.
For women in India rape is a part of their culture and rapes occur daily.
After much protest in India and the intervention of Amnesty International
the village council has since denied making the ruling.
The question still remains, how long will the Government of India
continue to allow women to be raped, abused and murdered without
doing anything to protect them.
This story is so heart wrenching and barbaric it makes you sick to the stomach. On Wednesday May 28, the bodies of two girls age fourteen and fifteen were found hanging from a tree hour after they went missing. The girls had gone into the field to relieve themselves because they had no toilet.
Reports say the father went to the local police station to report them missing but was ignored. Interestingly two police officers were among those arrested in connection with the deaths.
Autopsies carried out on the girls found evidence that they were raped and strangled before they were hung.
India is a place where no woman is safe. A rape occurs every 22 minutes and activists believe this number is low as many of the cases go unreported. Rape is tolerated and accepted as a part of the culture and the victims are often ostracized.
The women of India need outside intervention to pressure the government to do more to protect the women. They are helpless and defenseless because the very people employed to protect are themselves carrying out some of these atrocities.
Abuse of women is a form of human rights violation that affects women just about every where in the world. Ironically one of the thing which contributes to abuse is the lack of unity among women and the fact that in some societies women actually take part in abusing other women. In places such as India and Pakistan mother-in-laws and sister-in-laws often beat and torture a new bride if they are not satisfied with the dowry that the family receives. There is no unity among the sisterhood and they see nothing wrong with hurting one of their kind.
In countries where Female Genital Mutilation is practiced, it is often the women who carry out this gruesome operation. In the Cameroon and other places that practice breast ironing it is the women who hurt their daughters and inflict physical as well as psychological scars. Women disfigure and hurt their daughters in what they say is an attempt to protect them from rape and harassment by men. These women fail to grasp the understanding that what they are doing is just another form of abuse. It is a no win situation for many young girls; if the men don’t hurt them, their mothers will.
One of the biggest obstacle in eliminating abuse against women worldwide is the fact that in many countries women have been conditioned to accept abuse as a part of life. Women suffer abuse in forced marriages and do nothing to protect their daughters from experiencing the same fate. So the vicious cycle of abuse is allowed to continue. For many young girls there is no escape, no way out. There is no one to stand up for them and no one to protect them.
The change must start with women taking responsibility for protecting their daughters instead of hurting them. Women must unity in the fight for equal rights for women. Young girls must no longer be denied the right to an education and they should not be forced into child marriages for which they are not prepared physically, mentally or emotionally. Women must understand that abuse of any form is not acceptable.