From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/31/world/asia/rape-incites-women-to-fight-culture-in-india.html
By HEATHER TIMMONS and SRUTHI GOTTIPATI Published: December 30, 2012
DELHI — Neha Kaul Mehra says she was only 7 years old the first time
she was sexually harassed. She was walking to a dance class in an
affluent neighborhood of New Delhi when a man confronted her and began
The police patrolled a New Delhi rally on Sunday after the cremation of a woman whose rape prompted widespread protests.
episode was far from the last. Years of verbal and physical sexual
affronts left Ms. Mehra, now 29, filled with what she described as
Last week, she and thousands of Indian women like
her poured that anger into public demonstrations, reacting to news of
the gang rape of another young woman who had moved to the city from a
small village, with a new life in front of her.
That woman, a
23-year-old physiotherapy student, died Saturday from internal injuries
inflicted with a metal rod during the rape, which took place on a bus
two weeks ago.
In her story and its brutal ending, many women in the world’s largest democracy say they see themselves.
girl could have been any one of us,” said Sangeetha Saini, 44, who took
her two teenage daughters to a candle-filled demonstration on Sunday in
Delhi. Women in India
“face harassment in public spaces, streets, on buses,” she said. “We
can only tackle this by becoming Durga,” she added, referring to the
female Hindu god who slays a demon.
Indian women have made impressive gains in recent years:
maternal mortality rates have dropped, literacy rates and education
levels have risen, and millions of women have joined the professional
classes. But the women at the heart of the protest movement say it was
born of their outraged realization that no matter how accomplished they
become, or how hard they work, women here will never fully take part in
the promise of a new and more prosperous India unless something
fundamental about the culture changes.
Indeed, many women in India say they are still subject to regular harassment and assault
during the day and are fearful of leaving their homes alone after dark.
Now they are demanding that the government, and a police force that
they say offers women little or no protection, do something about it.
Continue reading at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/31/world/asia/rape-incites-women-to-fight-culture-in-india.html
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