Tag Archives: India

Women sentenced to rape in india

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.

Indian Girls Raped and Murdered

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.

‘If You Can’t Prevent Rape, you enjoy it.’

The chief of India’s Central Bureau of Investigation Ranjit Sinha a few days ago made a statement in which he sought to make a comparison between rape and gambling.  He is quoted as saying “If you can’t prevent rape, you enjoy it.  He was attempting to make the point that if betting could not be made illegal then the government should make revenue by legalizing it.

Perhaps I am wrong but as far as my mind allows me to I see no similarities between gambling and rape.  Gambling is something you do of your own free will; rape is a violent criminal act  carried out against the will of the victim. It is  unfortunate that the head of a department which investigates rape cases should make such a statement.  Rape is not a joke it is a serious crime and must not be trivialized.

How can women have confidence of ever getting justice  in a system  which allows the head of the Bureau of investigation to make such a statement and still have his job!

 

5 Year-old Raped and Tortured in India

Last December the people of India were shocked and outraged when a young woman was brutally raped and tortured.  She later died as a result of her injuries.  Now only a few months later another brutal rape and tortured has shocked the nation once more.  This time the victim is only five years old.  
The little girl was moved from a local hospital to Swami Dayanand Hospital in New Delhi on Friday.  She is reported to be alert and stable.  According to doctors she was being given intravenous antibiotics to fight a blood infection and further operations will have to wait until the infection clears up.  “This is the first time I have seen such barbarism”, R. K. Bansal medical superintendent of the hospital said Friday in a televised interview.  “There were injuries to her lips, cheek, arms and anus area.  Her neck had bruise marks suggesting that attempts were made to strangle her.”  He said a bottle almost eight inches long and pieces of candle had been inserted into her private parts.
The five year old went missing on April 15 and was found two days later by neighbors who heard her crying in a locked room in the same New Delhi building where she lives with her family.  She was found alone having left for dead by her attackers.  Anger at the authorities grew after the parents of the girl said the police had failed to take their complaint seriously, failed to carry out an adequate search and then offered them  2000 rupees – about $37 – if they would keep quiet about the case.  On Friday a Television News Channel showed a police officer slapping a female protester in the face.
The police arrested a 22 year-old garment worker early Saturday morning in Bihar.  The suspect had an apartment in the same building as the girl.  He is accused of abducting, raping and torturing her.  The Times of India reported that he told the police he fled the apartment because he believe the girl had died.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed regrets about the incident.  On Saturday the president of The Indian National Congress Party, Sonia Gandhi released a statement saying “Action and not words are required to ensure that such incident never happens again”.  A second suspect was arrested on Monday.

Stop Abuse of Women

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.

Stop Abuse of Women

Bride Burning

Violence against women takes various forms, from Acid Throwing, Female Genital Mutilation, to Torture and Murder.  One of the most heinous of these crimes is Bride Burning.  It is practiced in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.  The crime is often staged to appear as an accident or suicide.  The victims are usually newly married women whose parents do not have the money to pay off the husband‘s dowry requirements.  The perpetrators are usually the husband’s family or the husband himself. 
Women in these countries do not get much support from their male counterpart.  The husband’s family will harass, threaten and sometimes kill the bride if her family cannot come up with the money or gifts .  With the new wife out-of-the-way , the husband is free to remarry and get a new dowry from his new bride.  In 2010 there were 8391 reported cases of dowry deaths in India alone.
In Pakistan although divorce is possible, it is claimed that some families decide instead to murder unwanted wives.  In most cases of bride burning the woman is doused with kerosene, the helpless defenseless woman is then set on fire and is burned alive.  The deaths are often reported as accidents.  In many cases the police are told the victim was killed by an exploding stove and there is no prosecution. They opt for burning because the chances of prosecution is less.
Bride burning is a wicked, barbaric act.  It is one of the most gruesome forms of human rights violation.

Stop Abuse of Women

Honor Killings

An honor killing is the killing of a member of a family or social group by other members who believe that the victim has brought dishonor upon the family or the community.  In countries such as India where there is little respect for the lives of women, a woman can be killed for simple things such as dressing in a manner which is deemed in appropriate, wanting to terminate or prevent an arranged marriage, desiring to marry by her own choice or engaging in sex outside of marriage.
Women’s rights activists say India’s police are not doing enough to tackle the problem of ‘honor killings’.  Many times the police do not take complaints by the victims seriously.  They do not provide protection for the victims and this boosts the morale of the culprits; they take the law into their own hands.
What is ironic is that simple things that women do are considered sins but the murdering of women is not.  Apparently in the eyes of these perpetrators killing is okay if the victim is a woman.
 The public beheading of a woman by his brother in Kolkata last December highlights the lack  of respect for the lives of women in India.  This incident on December 7, 2012, was another honor killing.  Nilofar Bibi 22, at the time of her death was only fourteen years old when she left home in an arranged marriage.  Bibi alleged that she was tortured by her in-laws and returned to her parents on November 28 but disappeared days later.
Her brother Mehtab Alam 29, found his sister living with an old boyfriend.  He stormed into the house and dragged Bibi into the street in broad daylight.  Passersby watched in horror as he cut off his sister’s head while saying  she had sinned  and had to be punished.  He left his sister’s body in a pool of blood on the road and calmly walked to the police station with her head in his hand to surrender himself.  He walked into the police station and placed the head of his sister and the butcher knife he used to decapitate her on a table in front of the police officer.
The sibling’s family expressed support for Alam saying they were proud he upheld their honor.
I am at a loss to understand what honor this young man upheld.  Honor is protecting and defending the women in your family.  Honor is defending and protecting your sister when the man who  should love and protect her is abusing her.  There is nothing honorable about killing a defenseless woman especially a member of your own family – your sister.  It is a shameful and dishonorable act which must be condemned.  There can be no honor in taking a human life.

Stop Abuse of Women

Bangladesh Child Brides

Although child marriages is illegal there is an increase in the practice in some developing countries.  Bangladesh for instance has the fourth highest rates of child marriages in the world.  Young girls are married by the time they hit puberty and usually move in with their husbands right away.

Most child brides become mothers while they are still children themselves.  Because their bodies are not yet fully developed they are at risk for prolonged or obstructed labor which threatens both the life of the child and the mother.  

Like India one of the main reasons behind child marriages in Bangladesh is poverty and girls from poor families are more likely to become child brides.  The illegal dory system is also a contributor.  Younger brides often require smaller dowries so parents marry off their girls at a young to avoid paying a high dowry which most of them cannot afford.  

These girls are denied a proper education.  They suffer from poor health, give birth to children who are weak and malnourished and raise them in poverty.  Later on some of these same mothers will force their daughters into early marriage and the vicious cycle continues.

Some parents marry off their daughters because they feel they will be safe under the protection of their husbands.  However in many instances these girls are abused by their husbands, sexually,physically, and emotionally.  They also suffer at the hands of their in-laws.

 Rani is a child bride.  She was married at the age of fourteen to the man her mother arranged for her to marry.  “I could not go against my mother’s will,” Rani said.  “So I agreed to marry him without thinking of other options.”

 Rani was constantly beaten by her in-laws and husband . “They beat me for trivial matters,” says Rani.  ” If they think the dress I washed is not clean or the food I cooked is not tasty, they beat me.”

 “He beats me not only with his hands but he uses his belt to beat me,” she says of her husband.  ‘He used to say, “No matter how much you cry or ask for help from others, I will not stop beating you.”

Rani has attempted suicide.  She said, “Once I was so tired of his beatings. I felt so desperate.  I couldn’t take it anymore, I wanted to give away my life.  I tried to commit suicide by hanging myself.”  According to Rani her in-laws were actually pleased when they learned she was going to hang herself.  “I went inside my room and was preparing to hang myself. I screamed, ‘I am going to take away my life!’  My mother-in-law and my husband were relaxing outside the room,” Rani said. “They were listening to what I was saying but they did not try to save me, as I was a burden to them.”

The neighbors informed Rani’s mother about what was taking place.“Then my brother kicked open the door,” Rani says. “At that time, I had already hanged myself. My mother lost her senses when she saw me hanging from a rope. My brother took me on his lap and got me down from the rope. Then my brother took me to the hospital.”

It has been reported that 51 young brides in Bangladesh committed suicide due to mistreatment by their parents-in-law in just one month in 2004.

Stop Abuse of Women

Child Brides

Thank God for the fact that we live in a free society.  Thank God for the fact that we have the freedom to make our own decisions when it comes to relationships.  Thank God for the fact that our children are free; free to enjoy their childhood.  They are free to enjoy their teen years and do the things that children are meant to do.  How much people are aware that in many parts of the world little girls are not allowed this freedom.  Many are forced into adulthood the moment they hit puberty.

Child marriage is a big problem in some countries mainly in Asia and Sub Saharan Africa.  It is also prevalent in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Latin America.  Girls as young as five years old are wed to men, four, five, six or even seven times their age.  These little girls are robbed of their childhood, their rights as human being to have freedom of choice and their very dignity.

Although child marriage is illegal in India, the country accounts for about 40 percent of the world child marriages cases.  Every year millions of Indian girls forced into marriage.  Rajasthan is the center-point of India’s child marriages.  More than half the girls born there become child brides before the age of fifteen .  Poverty is one of the main reason. Many of India’s rural poor live on less than a dollar a day.  Poor families sell their children into marriages either to settle debts to make some money to alleviate their poverty.  Girls are viewed as burdens and marrying off a daughter means one less mouth to feed.  These little girls suffer mentally, physically, emotionally and educationally.

April and May are popular months for marriages in Rajasthan and villages hold thousand of ceremonies.  To evade the law the marriages are often performed in secret , usually late at night and outsiders are not allowed to attend them.  The bride will remain at home until puberty then she will go and live with her husband and while little girls in other societies are enjoying their childhood years she will be busy washing, cooking, cleaning the house and making babies.  Many of these girls will die giving birth.

Girls who marry between the ages of ten and fourteen are five times more likely to die during pregnancy or childbirth as against women in their twenty’s.

Stop Abuse of Women

Dowry Killings

Dowry is a payment of cash or gift from the family of the bride to the bridegroom’s family upon marriage.  The 1961 Dowry Prohibition Act, makes the payment of dowry illegal in India, but the practice continues, putting great financial strain on the bride’s family. The size of the dowry is usually seen as a reflection of wealth.  Because of the dowry system the birth of a girl is considered a curse and girls are considered as burdens.  This has given rise to growing cases of female foeticide.  Thousands of girls are killed never getting the chance to make it from their mother’s womb alive.

In 2010 there were 8391 reported cases of dowry deaths in India.  Women’s right groups estimate the annual dowry killing to be around 900 in Delhi alone.   A dowry killing occurs when a new bride is murdered by her husband or in-laws.  When the dowry is not considered sufficient the bride is often abused, harassed and made miserable.  This can get to the point where the husband or his family burn the bride alive.  They often do this by pouring kerosene on her and lighting it.  These killings are often reported as accidents or suicide.  Driven by greed the choice to kill the bride rather than return her to her parents ensures that the in-laws will not have to return the dowry.  The very sad part in all of the is that the bride is dead while the groom is free to take himself another bride.