Status of women in India

This matter, this story, this recent rape has created great unrest in India. And rightly so. Protests, candle light rallies can be seen sprouting throughout India. And the masses are ablaze, angered and active. And I am perplexed. Because to be honest, Indian women, especially in New Delhi have been eve teased, groped and raped for awhile now. It's in the papers often and  everyday harrasment on the streets is common. The statistics are very high and shocking. Most women do not report abuse for fear of being publicly denounced and humiliated in society. And that’s where the problem lies! In society. Amongst us. In our minds. We all have been privy to some form or shape of abuse in Indian society. We watch as a man bleeds from an accident on a road, slow down, shake our heads………and then drive away. Even when terrorism hits our towns and cities we say that ‘life must move on.’ Because if most Indians were not immune to suffering like beggars and poverty, accident and crime….how could we go about our daily business of earning a living, working for our families. Yes. Believe me, this is the rhetoric you hear growing up in India. And in the same vein when a woman is abused it gets swept under the rug along with the dust bunnies of many others. But this incident will go down in history I hope. And I hope that the reason will be that the types of attitudes in society that allow such thoughts to become deeds and actions change. When families can be proud when they have a baby girl born in their home. When policemen and politicians don't think that the woman desreved rape because she wore a skirt or jeans. When an entire family, community, neigborhood will stand behind a woman who has been sexually assaulted rather than whisper behind her back and make her an outcast. That day will take time to come unfortunately. Yes the tides have shifted I agree. But it will take more than articles and press, videos and twitter campaigns to change the basic underlying bedrock of Indian society and where women have been placed in that hierarchy. Until then my prayers go out not just to this girl’s family but to all those women in India and around the world who have faced rape, abuse and sexual harassment. Because keep in mind. This is not a one off occurrence only in New Delhi but happends every day in some city or town all around the world. 

For now I have said enough. I don't feel like analyzing all the statistics and going over the reasons. I stand and weep for that nameless girl whose only crime was to be born a woman returning from a movie she saw with a friend. She died on the 28th of December 2012.  A day of rebirth some could say. To end on a slightly uplifting note, watch this. A short interview I took after the 2008 terrorist attack  in Mumbai, India as part of my earlier project The Taxi Takes on Terror. The simple and courageous voice of another young woman in India who’s trying to overcome gender determined limitations in her own way, as she drives a taxi.  

To get a woman driven taxi from Priyadarshini taxi service in Mumbai the numbers are +91-9820221107 or +91-9320845064. The landline numbers are +(91)-(22)-43333999 and +(91)-(22)-66608779. And in New Delhi, Cabs for Women can be contacted at 0861 777 778.

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