women’s safety


A DU student fights back to her molester, raising serious alarms in regards of women safety in public transportation.

 A twenty-three year old Delhi University student fights back to her molester, while on a bus ride home from Kapashera to Sangam Vihar. The victim grabbed the accused by the collar and waited till the police arrived and lodged a complaint against him. All of this happened with no support from the bus staff or the passengers aboard.

The accused, identified as Mukesh Kumar, 37, was standing beside her and made attempts to touch her. The woman describes how he started rubbing himself against her, while she was seated in reserved section for women. The man stood beside her, and started touching her inappropriately. The woman first ignored the action, and then retaliated by asking him to move away. To her dismay, the accused, unzipped his pants and started touching himself, trying to pull her towards him. The woman shook him off and then hit him with her sandal. Despite vain attempts to lure attention, the driver and the conductor paid no heed, until she forced the driver to stop the bus at Mehrauli. She stood up, grabbed the man by the collar and dragged him out of the bus. With the help of a passerby she was able to pin him down, until the police came and arrested him.

After conducting medical examinations, it was revealed that the accused was heavily drunk, as pointed out by the woman in her statement, claiming that he reeked of alcohol and kept threatening her. The accused is a resident of Molarband in Badarpur. He works in an event management company. A similar incident took place almost a month back when a nineteen year old Delhi University student jumped off a bus near South Extension, after being harassed by a man. The girl faced molestation seven times in the three months of reported abuse, every day, en route to her college.

A similar harassment case was registered under Vasant Vihar police earlier this year. A DU student posted a video online claiming the man sitting beside her was masturbating and trying to grope her, while her alarms were not given due. However, no arrest has been made so far, despite the police working upon it.

This incident was reported on route 717 of the Delhi Transport Corporation buses.

Many women do not feel comfortable travelling in buses, and harassment becomes a routine act in these buses due to lack of CCTV facilities and guards in the Delhi Buses. The DTC services in transport are one of the most used and efficient systems as it has routes all around the city, being an economical choice for its passengers.

The following row of incidents make us question women safety in public transportation and if the authorities are taken any serious action regarding it. As of the current state, public transport is very unsafe from women.

Feature Image Credits: alexanaderolin.com

Avnika Chhikara

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The United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is an occasion for international institutions and non-governmental organizations to raise awareness about violence against women. It has been observed on 25th November each year since 2000.

O 25th November , 1960, three sisters, Patria Mercedes Mirabal, María Argentina Minerva Mirabal and Antonia María Teresa Mirabal, were assassinated in the Dominican Republic, on the orders of the then Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo. The Mirabel sisters faced this only because they fought hard to end the dictatorship. Activists on women’s rights have since observed a day against violence on the anniversary of the deaths of these women, from 1981. 25th November was designated as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women by the UN General Assembly in 1999. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) lists various forms of violence against women: rape and sexual harassment, child marriage, wife-beating, prostitution, female genital cutting/mutilation, dowry-related violence, trafficking, sexual violence during wars, forced sterilisation, and bride kidnapping. Violence against women also takes many forms of psychological abuse, intimidation, and harassment.

However, long after the Beijing Declaration in 1995 and many years after the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women was embraced, some countries like Iran still don’t recognise feminist organisations, India denies armed conflict and caste, and everyone is disinclined to respect sexual rights for women, differences in sexual orientation, and gender identities.

Has violence against women become so run-of-the-mill in India that we have ceased to take note of it? Do we need anniversaries, like 16th December, to remind us of something that happens every day? Gender violence happens every day, everywhere in every form. Yet, we only take note when something horrific, like the gang rape in Delhi, happens, which reeks with barbarity. It mobilised people, who had never before been out on the streets, to shout that this culture of violence must end. That was five years ago. Today, that culture of violence remains ingrained still. It is terrifying to think that women will get beaten up on the pretext of being witches, and that girls, no matter how many years old, will be assaulted physically. It includes crimes that we don’t read about in the newspapers. Violence has been normalised in India and elsewhere, because it takes place behind closed doors where there are no eyes and no cameras.

Meanwhile, as women and historically suppressed communities have (just about) started to gain a toehold into the mainstream through political representation, ‘hyper chauvinism’ has reached newer heights, still. The increase in violence against women and minorities and attempts to criminalise alternate sexualities orientations and vehement moral policing and discourses on love-jihad‘ are all part of a backlash against discerned threats to male supremacy. What is to be done, then? Feminism is not a challenge to the men of the society; it is a challenge against patriarchy.

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, a global campaign spanning from 25th November through 10th December (UN Human Rights Day), is taking place this year against the backdrop of global outcry. Millions have marched as part of the #MeToo campaign and have exposed the sheer quantum of sexual harassment and other forms of violence that women everywhere suffer, each day. At the center of this year’s theme, “Leave No One Behind – End Violence against Women”, for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November), it is the imperative to support those who are particularly vulnerable, and to even reach out to the last woman. This November 25, break the silence on gender violence. Women need to thrive, not survive.


This post was aided by information from here and here.

Feature Image Credits: UN

Oorja Tapan

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The Delhi gang-rape shook the entire country urging people to question themselves on women safety and women empowerment in India. So let’s see how far have we really come along since then.

The horror of Nirbhaya rape case is still fresh in the minds of Indians. Shame, embarrassment and disgust is all one is reminded of when one thinks of the incident. This urged people to come out on the streets in anger and remorse protesting against sexual harassment. It highlighted the degree of danger women need to deal with and more importantly, the need to make the country a safer place for women.

It did have some immediate impacts:  the 2013 Criminal Law Amendment Act, also known as Nirbhaya Law introduced a minimum 20-year-sentence for gang-rape culprits and those who are found guilty could now be given a death penalty. This was a big step taken by the Indian government to ensure adequate punishment to such offenders. The government defined acid attack as a crime with a minimum sentence of 10 years that could be extended to life in the 2013 Amendment Act. Also, the government made acid attack a non-bailable offense with a provision to pay Rs. 3,50,000 to the victims within 15 days.

Taking a stance on sexual harassment, the 2013 Women at the Workplace Act has given protection against sexual harassment to all women in the workplace, including those informal industries and domestic workers. Also, stalking or voyeurism crimes are non-bailable which earlier were bailable. The introduction of new laws focusing on women safety and maximum punishment for offenders. These laws try to cover as many ways as possible to minimize the various possible risks and crimes towards women. However, these laws and the rigidity towards the issue seem to have made little impact. Statistical data show that rape cases in India moved up from 24,923 in 2012 to 34,651 in 2015. According to NCRB, conviction rates in Delhi went down from 49.25% in 2012 to 29.37% in 2015. However, Delhi Police released a stat showing that the conviction rate has increased 5.4% from 2012 to 2015.
The Modi government launched the ‘I Feel Safe’ app, a personal safety app which is accessible even without data connection. The app was launched in 2016. The app places automatic call to 100 and tracks the location of the person in distress within 30 seconds. As per a report by Quint, published in 2016, sexual assault cases in Delhi have tripled since 2012.

Even after so many years of debate, discussion, the ‘apparent’ progress, stats reveal that we are nowhere near achieving the goal of women safety. In fact, we are worse off. Highlighting the matter does not mean that the matter is being solved. It can never be solved until it is confined to change of laws and introduction of apps. There will be a difference only when there is a change in our mentality. Yes, such things take time but we need to first move in the right direction. After all, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Feature Image Credits: The Time Magazine


Karan Singhania
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