Target: Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India
Goal: Put an end to the constant violence against women in India.
Recently, an American woman was gang-raped in India after visiting a Hindu temple. Her story has become another link in the chain of violence against women in India. Despite numerous stories in the media, protests done by both men and women all over India and new laws against rape, there is still a misogynistic mindset that has not changed.
The gender issues in India are deeply rooted, being a collectivist culture that places much emphasis on family, more so on male family members. Sons are to carry on the family name, and get married to bring more family members into the house, whereas daughters leave the house, and whose families are expected to pay dowries. Today it is illegal to pay dowries, but that still doesn’t stop the pressure being placed on lower caste families. There is still the belief that virginity makes a woman valuable, which leads her to be punished if she has been raped.
Public places are often frequented by men, where women regularly get harassed. Girls walking to and from school are teased by fellow male students, and they can’t trust rickshaw or taxi drivers to take them home. Women and girls are even more abused within the home by their husbands, fathers, brothers, cousins, etc. Reported child rape cases jumped from 2,113 cases in 2001 to 7,112 in 2011 in India. That is inexcusable.
India is home to a colorful culture and it is one of the first countries to have a female Prime Minister and has made huge gains in education. However, with the world knowing the treatment of the victims who dare to seek justice, a black stain has now sullied the country’s reputation. The high profile cases and the rapes of the female tourists are a wake up call to end the suffering before it gets worse.
Dear Mr. Manmohan Singh,
This epidemic of violence against women in India needs to stop. Now, with the recent attacks on female foreigners it is evident that the violence is getting out of control. While laws have been written and the people obviously want change, not much is happening. Women are still harassed in public places, girls are teased at school, parents are fearful, and even authorities do little to nothing.
All evidence points to deeply rooted misogyny hidden within the culture. India is home to magnificent culture and history, but the constant violence against women puts a black stain on the country’s reputation. Education and enforcement of the new anti-rape laws are essential to providing a safer place for Indian women. Women need to know that their country is there to support them, not punish them.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: ramesh_lalwani via Flickr