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

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter 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.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid