women safety poster

Safety of women in India

Introduction

यत्र नार्यस्तु पूज्यन्ते रमन्ते तत्र देवता:। यत्रैतास्तु न पूज्यन्ते सर्वास्तत्राफला: क्रिया: i.e Where Women are honored, divinity blossoms there, and wherever women are dishonored, all action no matter how noble it may be, remains unfruitful

Parvati, Lakshmi, Kali, Saraswati are some of the few goddesses we worship here in India, but when it comes to women’s safety and security, we are far behind the world. 

Isn’t it strange to see such crimes against women in a country where women are given the status of goddesses?

In India boys are taught ladke rote Nahi (men’s don’t cry) instead of ladke rulate Nahi hai (men don’t make others cry )

if boys are taught the significance of goddesses and respecting women from their tender age instead of making them blindly follow the prayers, then things might turn out to be different

In India women have been given equal rights as men; also, Women are in respected positions in our country.

Their contribution to the growth and development of our country can’t be ignored, but the actual condition is contrary to what is there on the papers;

We see that they are getting exploited. Each day we read about horrific crimes being committed against women in our country, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

govt data shows that 99% cases of sexual assaults on women go unreported in our country, because of the stigma of society, and this is somewhat justified if we see it from the perspective of women because our community will start cursing the women who were just another victim, Women think twice before stepping out of their homes, in night

Statistics of Crime against women

major crimes against women
  • govt data shows that 99% of cases of sexual assaults on women go unreported in our country

According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) 2013 annual report, Rape is the fourth most common crime against women in India, a total of 24,923 rape cases were reported across India in 2012. Out of these, total reported cases, 24,470 rapes were committed by someone known to the victim, which constitutes a massive 98% of total reported cases.

crime aginst women 2012-2015

between 2012-2014 a total of 31,446 cases of crimes against women and girls were reported in our country capital, and less than a Hundred and Fifty were convicted

According to figures released by the National Crime Records Bureau, the total number of rape cases reported in India increased from 24,923 in 2012 to 34,651 cases in 2016. But government data shows that 91.6 % of rape cases go unreported, you can imagine this considerable number 

Rape accounts for about 12% of the total crimes committed against women. Our average rate of reported rape cases is about 6.3 per 100,000 of the population. And Sikkim and Delhi having rape rates of 30.3 and 22.5, respectively

Reported cases saw a massive jump of 26% in 2013, highest in the last 15 years, mainly in the states of Northern India, and all crimes against women saw an increase of 26% in 2016.

 In 2016, over 118,537 rape cases were pending at the courts. At the end of the year, the pending cases went up to 133,813, i.e. an increase of 12.5% for total crimes against women, pending cases saw an increase of 1,081,756 to 1,204,786

In a study, it was found that society with higher levels of income and associated benefits saw an increase in the reporting of rapes. It can also two sides firstly; these societies encourage women who have faced this crime to report it more openly. Secondly, this might be related to the violent sexual behavior state with higher sex ratios have, lower reported cases of rape. Likely because the actual number of cases is lower. Sex ratio also plays a significant role in crime against women

 It is seen that women are more likely to report crimes against them with higher literacy rates. GDP per capita and reported rapes also has a positive correlation

graph of female and male victims in india

The conviction rate for all crimes against women stands at a low of 19% across India compared with an average conviction rate of 47% for all crimes,a

gain Northeastern states have high conviction rates compared to the national average. But states like West Bengal, Gujarat, and Karnataka have rates of less than 5%

Conviction of convicts in the rape case has a rate of about 25% (study conducted in 2016)

With better levels of social and economic factors, and legal institutions tend to be correlated with higher levels of reported crime which is a good sign

India’s average rate of reporting crime is 6.3, but if we see that 99% of cases of sexual violence go unreported. Then India is among the nations with the highest levels of crimes against women.

 NCRB data shows that 67 women are sexually assaulted in India every day, and 109 children were sexually abused every day, which is just reported cases.

Women political participation in lawmaking

There was the contribution of Only 15 women out of a total of 299 members in drafting the constitution of the world’s largest democracy.

 India ranks 148th out of 193 countries in terms of representation of women in Parliament. even though women have held the posts of president and prime minister, as well as chief ministers of various Indian states.

  • As of 2013, in the Indian parliament, there is a representation of only 11% women in Lok Sabha or lower house and 10.6% in Rajya Sabha or upper house

  • The Women’s Reservation Bill is passed in the Parliament of India, proposes to reserve 33% of all seats for women in the Lok Sabha, and in all state legislative assemblies for women.

  • If lawmakers in the Indian parliament, have a similar presentation of both men and women, then we can see, strict laws, speedy trials, and end of this rape culture.

Is India ready to prioritize the safety of women?

  • women police personnel constitute a mere 8.98 percent of the police force across India

  • We only see strict decisions for sexual abuse, acid attacks, and rapes in our country when it becomes national news, and people start demanding rapid and severe justice.

  • Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code considers the forced sex in marriages as an offense only when the wife is below 15 years of age. And hence marital rape is not a criminal offense under the IPC. The victims have to resort to the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 (PWDVA).

  • Our judicial system has 9,703,482 of pending cases, a very significant number.

  • The conviction rate for all crimes against women stands at a low of 19% across India compared with an average conviction rate of 47% for all crimes

  • 2017 Unnao rape case – former BJP member Kuldeep Singh Sengar who is now convicted of the rape of a 17-year-old girl .using his political power, he killed the victim’s father, his elder brother, died in custody. In July 2019, a truck rammed into a car, the Unnao rape survivor who was traveling in with some family members and her lawyer. Two of her aunts died (plz edit this and form a proper sentence)

Miscellaneous 

Madhumita Pandey, a researcher, interviewed 122 rapists.  One of a convict sentenced for raping a 5-year-old and had served five years expressed his guilt by saying that now that the girl carries the stigma of rape [and hence she  is no more a virgin  and wouldn’t find an appropriate husband; he would repent for his actions by marrying her when he is going to be released,” this is the guilt which he is having 

In the same study, when she interviewed Nirbhaya gangrape convict Mukesh Singh, he said that if Jyoti and her male friend had not tried to fight them back, they would not have beaten them so severely. He described the incident as an “accident” and stated that women who went out at night are themselves responsible if they molesters get attracted.

 She interviewed 65 convicted murderers in the same jail. To find out what they think, She found that their attitudes were notably different. And that they regret what they have done 

Government initiative 

On 14 November 2012, Ministry of Women and Child Development, introduced The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) 2012, to protect the children from offenses like sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and pornography. It was formed with a view of a child-friendly system for trial of the suspects.

Before 3 February 2013, Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code states that a man has committed rape only if he has done sexual intercourse with a woman without her will.

But, The Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2013 Act has expressly recognized individual acts as offenses under the same section 375. These new offenses like  sexual harassment, acid attack, voyeurism, stalking have now been included into the Indian Penal Code

In February 2017, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare unveiled resource material relating to health issues as a part of a national adolescent peer-education plan called Saathiya. Among other subjects, the article discusses relationships and consent.

The government, in 2018, launched the National Database on Sexual Offenders (NDSO). The database has entries of criminals convicted under charges of rape, gang rape, POCSO, sexual assault, and eve-teasing. The NCRB manages it. it is accessible only to the law enforcement agencies for investigation and monitoring purpose

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has also conceptualized several initiatives to promote the safety of women in their living spaces, working spaces, and public spaces. These are-

A. panic button

The panic button must have an emergency response mechanism from the local police. And an SOS message would alert the specified family members. 

On smartphones, the power button (which is a dedicated panic button) when pressed three times quickly.

Dialing 112 from any phone.

In the case of feature phones, a long press of the touch key 5 or 9.

Using 112 India Mobile App, which is available in the play store and app store

 B. SCIM portal under Safe City Project

The Government has identified eight cities for implementation of the Safe City project.

The eight major cities which have been chosen are Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, and Mumbai.

The projects include the creation of ground assets & resources and mindset safety of women. Some of the main features of the safe city project include:

Identification of sensitive hot spots in each city,

Installation of CCTV surveillance covering the whole hot spot.

Automated number plate reading machines to be installed in susceptible areas.

Intensive patrolling in vulnerable areas and the identified hot spots.

Improving street lighting and comfort station facilities for ladies.

Others like fixing women’s help desks in police stations, augmentation of girl’s support centers, etc.

C. DNA Analysis Facilities in States

Because of the complaints of delay in cases of sexual assault investigations, it was proposed that dedicated DNA analysis facilities should be created in the forensic science laboratories on a mission mode.

Timely testing of DNA samples from the crime scene is the quickest process of obtaining forensic evidence in cases of sexual assault on women.

exclusive DNA analysis facilities have been sanctioned for the forensic science laboratories located at Chennai, Madurai, Agra, Lucknow, Mumbai, and Kolkata. 

four states –, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Arunachal Pradesh – have introduced the death penalty of criminals for rapes of minors (below 12 years of age).

The Central government is also looking forward to amending the POCSO Act and to introduce the death penalty for raping minors (aged below 12 years).

Conclusion

 “It is better to light a candle of reform than to curse the darkness of crime.”

Women safety is a broader topic, and we can find its root in our patriarchal society system it’s not an alien topic to discuss, its an issue which needs more considerable attention, it’s about how the mind is transformed from the tender age 

The patriarchal society system in India is the main reason for a crime against women, where women are always treated as inferior to men because children learn from what they see from early childhood. Parents should talk to their children about sexual-education, the right touch, and bad touch, openly with their child and not in a hush-hush manner 

Instead of teaching our daughters not to wear tight clothes, be extra attentive, don’t go outside and god knows what else, we should teach them to stand for themselves and our sons not to abuse and disrespect any women 

The movies we make depict a significant portion of our thinking as a society; The Bollywood actress has lost their strength and space to the hero. The heroes took center stage, and the heroines remain more of a glamour component. We should make more movies like “mardaani” and “mary kom.”

We must include some our boys to respect women and do not think of them as weak, or vulnerable at the same time we should teach girls to stand for themselves, There is a dire need for including sex education in our textbooks. 

the government should make strict laws, quick response teams, speedy trial, dedicated team of police and counselors for the safety of women

If any woman is sexually assaulted or raped, she lives in constant fear throughout her whole life, and always thinks herself as the reason for these acts. Instead, it’s the assaulter who should live in continual fear and should feel that he will be held accountable, and he will not be spared at any cost. 

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