News / Asia

Indian Activists Say New Rape Law Falls Short

India Gang Rape Spurs Calls for Actioni
X
February 05, 2013 6:29 PM
Demonstrations continue in India, where some women say the government is not doing enough to protect women following the December 16 brutal gang rape in the capital. VOA's Aru Pande talks to residents and activists in New Delhi, who say an ordinance approved by the president on Sunday is far from adequate.
Aru Pande
— Demonstrations continue in India, where some women say the government is not doing enough to protect women following the December 16 brutal gang rape in the capital. Residents and activists in New Delhi, who say an ordinance approved by the president on Sunday is far from adequate.

Consider Purnima Rao, who has lived in New Delhi her entire life. She does not remember a time when she felt safe in the city, whether it was as a young girl or now as a 33-year-old filmmaker.

“You get stared at, you get abusive comments hurled at you, sexually abusive comments," Rao said. "If you get into any form of public transport and there are men around, they feel free to grope you, rub against you.  It’s there everywhere, it’s there in the workplace, and with the colleagues you are supposed to trust.”

Rao never spoke out about what she and many other women suffer on a daily basis. And she says her silence was part of the problem.
 
She has since been compelled to join the protests that have taken place almost daily in the Indian capital after a young student was beaten and gang-raped aboard a bus on December 16. The 23-year-old victim later died of severe internal injuries in a Singapore hospital.
 
Six suspects have been charged with rape and murder and a government-appointed panel has recommended measures to protect women against harassment and violence.
 
But women’s rights activist Saheba Farooqui says an ordinance approved Sunday by President Pranab Mukherjee on leaves out key recommendations by the commission - specifically, punishing those who commit marital rape and members of the Indian military who commit sexual assaults.

“We don't have any faith in the government because this is a typical type of government - to defuse the tensions, to defuse the pressures, just bring out some ordinance, bring out some commissions, bring out some other things.  I don't think so, we don’t think so, I don’t think they are ready to bring a comprehensive bill.”

The government says the legislative process is far from over and that key issues will be addressed.
 
Purnima Rao says she only hopes leaders will follow through on their promises.

“I would like to see more action, a more sensitive reaction to what the women of this country and really what the men are saying, really, they just want basic human rights, so that is my hope.”

A hope shared by many who know change will likely be a long and uphill battle.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: ajith from: India
February 06, 2013 4:43 AM
The article says that someone says “I would like to see more action, a more sensitive reaction to what the women of this country and really what the men are saying, really, they just want basic human rights, so that is my hope.”
This is the problem we live with. Someone is asking someone else to be specific without being specific herself...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid