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

    Pentagon: Afghan Hospital Bombing Not a War Crime

    US Central Command's Joseph Votel says probe found tragedy was result of 'extraordinarily intense situation' that included multiple equipment failures

    US Minorities Link Guns with Other Social Ills

    New study finds reduction in gun violence could help lower America’s incarceration rate – the world’s highest - and improve relationships between police, citizens in minority communities

    US Millennials Beat Baby Boomers as Largest Living Generation

    America's young people are about to take over and here's what we can expect from them

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora