IS INDIA SAFE FOR WOMEN
A prompt reply to this Question would definitely be “NO”. Because, how can we forget the Nirbhaya case, in which a young lady was brutally raped and murdered and her family had to wait for 8 long years for justice. How can we forget the recent Hyderabad case, wherein a veterinary doctor was raped and brutally murdered? How can we forget the regular headlines wherein a young girl child of around 5 years or an old woman of 80 years is raped? How can we ignore the news of acid attacks and even if we do ignore the news, can we really forget the pain each of these news causes?
India, officially the ‘Republic of India’ and with love – ‘Bharat’, has been the second-most populous country and the most populous democracy in the world. India, being a secular country, is a land of many religions and cultures. And, if you delve into each of these religions you will find many commonalities among the differences, one of them being respect for women.
Women in India are treated like goddesses. They are treated with reverence and admiration. There are even specific festivals wherein these goddesses are prayed to. Then how did we reach an era of rapes, assaults, acid attacks, human trafficking, child marriage, dowry deaths, and many other kinds of violence targeted at women?
India breeds on Patriarchy and even in this so-called educated era, patriarchy persists. If you look at statistics, most attacks against women take place at home. Most women are attacked or raped by the men they know. Yet, it’s of little surprise that most of these cases are suppressed within households.
Statistics exhibit that crimes against women contribute to about 10% of overall crimes. After the December 2012 Delhi gang-rape, reported crimes against women shot up, but they have toppled off again and declined slightly since 2014.
But again there is clear evidence of under-reporting. The recent nationally representative household survey shows less than 0.1% of women who were victims of sexual violence went to the police (partly because 87% of the crimes were perpetrated by their current or former partners).
So are crimes against women on the increase or is it because of a rise in reporting? Globally, many affluent countries have higher self-reported rates of sexual violence than India.
In India, too, evidence from a recent study indicates that strategies to improve reporting are probably working. Until India becomes a full-reporting country, rising rates of crime against women might be indicative of better reporting.
In an era where we need to work for the better of the third gender- transgender, we are still here, trying to make our country a safe place for women!
Is India Safe for Women- No
- Violence against women has been common from times unknown; however, the use of media & internet has led the news to be spread like a wildfire now, which was rare few decades back.
- Research of global experts by the Thomson Reuters Foundation published in 2018 suggested that India is perceived as the most dangerous country for women. India’s rise to the top place (it occupied fourth place in a similar survey in 2011) was driven by the perception about rising sexual violence in the country. This created a wide outrage on the Indian social media, stating the research concluded so based on opinions and not facts.
- But more than what a survey says, it is important to ask this question to ourselves. And rather than asking ‘Is India safe for Women?’ we should ask ‘Am I making India safe for Women?’ Each and every individual contributes to the mounting fear in each woman’s mind.
- All those times when you ignore a man eve-teasing or when you ignore your child’s distancing against a family member or even when you forget to check-up on a friend who was recently harassed, all these times we are making the situation worse, we are making India a place for terrorizing or dominating women.
- Recently, an image was viral on social media where a textbook states white-skinned woman is beautiful and a dark-skinned woman is called ugly. Is this what children are supposed to learn? Women will be safe only when they are considered equal and not considered as inferior or superior.
- Unfortunately, a lot of times, women themselves become a part of violence against other women. Women are not safe at their own home or with their own people.
- Irrespective of the country, every woman deserves freedom; freedom to walk out and come back home safely, freedom to work fearlessly at her workplace, freedom of not being judged and freedom to make her own choices and decisions.
- In the end, it is about making this country a better place to live in, rather than just a safe place.
“An incident is just the tip of the iceberg, a sign of much larger problem below the surface”- Don Brown.
And the 2012 Nirbhaya – Delhi gang-rape case was the tip of the iceberg for Indian women safety. It is time to delve deeper and consider the whole iceberg.
Is India safe for Women- Yes
Is India safe for female tourists?
Is India safe for solo female travellers?
- We refer to Earth/ Prithvi as ‘Mother Earth’. Indians also consider Fire and water as female entities.
- India is a land where Maa Durga and Mother Mary along with other female deities are worshipped with utmost belief.
- As a part of our culture, we all are brought up in close-knit communities and families. Morales and family values are embedded in our minds at a very young age and that is when we learn about the major roles women play in our lives. Let it be a mother, a sister, a wife or a friend- women are treated with respect and care in Indian societies.
- Unfortunately, crimes against women are not just committed by men; many women too, are a part of crime committed against them. And why is it so? Due to human emotions- anger, revenge, frustration, jealousy, dominance and so on takes a toll on the human mind and leads to crimes.
- India has changed the way it thinks. It has started taking issues like mental health seriously and so are they trying to tackle the women safety issues.
- Activists and the Government have started taking initiatives to ensure women safety. Technology has played a huge role in this. The utmost important part of women safety is education. Educating people about female infanticide, educating people about molestation and assaults, educating people about gender equality and child marriages; all this plays an important role in ensuring women safety and India has started leading the way already.
India has come a long way from patriarchy to Feminism. It still has a long way to go and achieve gender equality in the true sense and in ensuring women safety. But this long journey is not possible without you all. Five fingers together make a fist and a fist is always stronger than a single finger.
So let us start asking ‘Am I making India safe for women?’
Tips for such GD topics
- This is a controversial topic and hence can turn out into a debate. Ensure you keep your voice calm while you speak and avoid arguments.
- An obvious answer to this topic would be that India is not safe and why. However, if you go against the flow and prove that India is safe for women, using relevant content, then it would be a bonus and would make you noticeable in the GD.
- The thumb rule is to speak at the max four times in a GD, speaking less or more will land you in trouble. Remember, to keep the content precise and relevant. And, try to use statistics while speaking.
- Each of the above statements will be strong with the proper tone. Stressing on statistics, using voice modulation to emphasize important points helps you score better in the GD.
Author – Sneha Nair