Women (3)

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  • Women in India now participate fully in areas such as education, sports, politics, media, art and culture, service sectors, science and technology, etc. Indira Gandhi, who served as Prime Minister of India for an aggregate period of fifteen years, is the world's longest serving woman Prime Minister. The Constitution of India guarantees to all Indian women equality (Article 14), no discrimination by the State (Article 15(1)), equality of opportunity (Article 16), and equal pay for equal work (Article 39(d)). In addition, it allows special provisions to be made by the State in favour of women and children (Article 15(3)), renounces practices derogatory to the dignity of women (Article 51(A) (e)), and also allows for provisions to be made by the State for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity relief. (Article 42).
  • The  Mathura rape case  was an incident in  India  wherein Mathura, a sixteen-year-old tribal girl, was allegedly raped by two policemen on the compound of Desai Ganj Police Station in Chandrapur  district of  Maharashtra . The incident led to changes in Indian law. The acquittal of policemen accused of raping a young girl Mathura in a police station led to country-wide protests in 1979-1980. The protests, widely covered by the national media, forced the Government to amend the Evidence Act, the Criminal Procedure Code, and the Indian Penal Code; and created a new offence, custodial rape.[28] Female activists also united over issues such as female infanticide, gender bias, women's health, and women's literacy.
  • According to a 1998 report by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the chief barriers to female education in India are inadequate school facilities (such as sanitary facilities), shortage of female teachers and gender bias in the curriculum (female characters being depicted as weak and helpless).
  • In urban India, women participate in the workforce in impressive numbers. For example, in the software industry 30% of the workforce is female. In the workplace women enjoy parity with their male counterparts in terms of wages and roles. In rural India in the agriculture and allied industrial sectors, females account for as much as 89.5% of the labour force. In overall farm production, women's average contribution is estimated at 55% to 66% of the total labour. According to a 1991 World Bank report, women accounted for 94% of total employment in dairy production in India. Women constitute 51% of the total employed in forest-based small-scale enterprises.
  • The Hindu personal laws of 1956 (applying to Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains) gave women rights to inheritances. However, sons had an independent share in the ancestral property, while the daughters' shares were based on the share received by their father. Hence, a father could effectively disinherit a daughter by renouncing his share of the ancestral property, but a son would continue to have a share in his own right. Additionally, married daughters, even those facing marital harassment, had no residential rights in the ancestral home. Thanks to amendment of the Hindu laws in 2005, women now have the same status as men. In 1986, the Supreme Court of India ruled that  Shah Bano , an elderly divorced Muslim woman, was eligible for maintenance money. However, the decision was vociferously opposed by fundamentalist Muslim leaders, who alleged that the court was interfering in their personal law. The  Union Government  subsequently passed the Muslim Women's (Protection of Rights Upon Divorce) Act.
  • A Thomas  Reuters  Foundation survey says that  India  is the fourth most dangerous place in the world for women to live in. Women belonging to any class, caste, creed or religion can be victims of this cruel form of violence and disfigurement, a premeditated crime intended to kill or maim permanently and act as a lesson to put a woman in her place. The number of acid attacks have been rising.
  • Child marriage  has been traditionally prevalent in India and continues to this day. Historically, child brides would live with their parents until they reached puberty. In the past, child widows were condemned to a life of great agony, shaved heads, living in isolation, and being shunned by society. Although child marriage was outlawed in 1860, it is still a common practice.
  • In India, the male-female sex ratio is skewed dramatically in favour of males, the chief reason being the high number of females who die before reaching adulthood. Tribal societies in India have a less skewed sex ratio than other  caste  groups. This is in spite of the fact that tribal communities have far lower income levels, lower literacy rates, and less adequate health facilities. Many experts suggest the higher number of males in India can be attributed to female infanticides and sex-selective abortions. In 1994 the Indian government passed a law forbidding women or their families from asking about the sex of the baby after an ultrasound scan (or any other test which would yield that information) and also expressly forbade doctors or any other persons from providing that information. However, in practice this law (like the law forbidding dowries) is widely ignored, and levels of abortion on female foetuses remain high and the sex ratio at birth keeps getting more skewed.
  • Domestic violence in India  is endemic and widespread predominantly against women. Around 70% of women in India are victims to domestic violence according to Renuka Chowdhury junior minister for women and child development. National Crime Records Bureau reveal that a crime against a women is committed every three minutes, a women is raped every 29 minutes, a dowry death occurs every 77 minutes and one case of cruelty committed by either the husband or relative of the victim.
  • Of the total number of crimes against women reported in 1990, half related to molestation and harassment in the workplace. In 1997, in a landmark judgement, the Supreme Court of India took a strong stand against sexual harassment of women in the workplace.
  • The victims were lured into coming to farm houses on the outskirts of the town at different times. They were sexually exploited and photographs with their being in compromising positions were shot by a gang of criminals. The girls were then blackmailed on the basis of these photographs and were forced to repeatedly visit the farm houses.
  • The victims, a 23-year old woman and a male friend, were on their way home on the night of 16 December 2012 after watching the film  Life of Pi  in Saket in South Delhi. They boarded a chartered bus at Munirka for Dwarka that was being driven by joyriders at about 9:30 pm (IST). There were only five others in the bus, including the driver. One of the men, a minor, had called for passengers telling them that it was going towards their destination. The woman's friend became suspicious when the bus deviated from its normal route and its doors were shut. When he objected, the group of six men already on board, including the driver, taunted the couple, asking what they were doing alone at such a late hour. When the woman's friend tried to intervene, he was beaten, gagged and knocked unconscious with an iron rod. The men then dragged the woman to the rear of the bus, beating her with the rod and raping her while the bus driver continued to drive. Medical reports later suggested that the woman suffered serious injuries to her abdomen, intestines and genitals due to the assault, and doctors say that the damage indicates that a blunt object (suspected to be the iron rod) may have been used for penetration. That rod was later described by police as being a rusted, L-shaped implement of the type used as a wheel jack handle. According to the  International Business Times , a police spokesman said that the minor was the most brutal attacker and had "sexually abused his victim twice and ripped out her intestines with his bare hands."According to police reports the woman attempted to fight off her assailants, biting three of the attackers and leaving bite marks on the accused men. After the beatings and rape ended, the attackers threw both the victims from the moving bus. Then the bus driver allegedly tried to drive the bus over the woman but she was pulled aside by her male friend. One of the perpetrators later cleaned the vehicle to remove evidence. Police impounded it the next day. The victims, partially clothed and unconscious, were found by a passerby on the road, at around 11 pm (IST). The passerby phoned the Delhi Police, who took the couple to Safdarjung Hospital, where the female victim was given emergency treatment and placed on mechanical ventilation. She was found with injury marks all over her body and only 5% of her intestines left inside of her abdomen. A doctor at the hospital later said that the "rod was inserted into her and it was pulled out with so much force that the act brought out her intestines also. That is probably the only thing that explains such severe damage to her intestines.”
  • It took 14 years after schoolgirl Hetal Parekh's rape and murder for the man held responsible, Dhananjoy Chatterjee, to be brought to justice. Part of the reason was that the government had apparently forgotten about the case for a decade. Hetal was raped and murdered on March 15, 1990; Dhananjoy was hanged at Alipore Central Jail on August 14, 2004. He remains the last murderer-rapist to be hanged in the country. He was a guard at Hetal's apartment in south Kolkata. Hetal's parents had gone out and left the keys with Dhananjoy, telling him to hand them over to Hetal when she returned from school. When she did, Dhananjoy followed her inside. "The girl choked to death while she was being raped," said a police officer who had been part of the team that investigated the case. A few months later, Hetal's father Nagar Das and his family shifted to Mumbai, unable to remain in a flat with such painful memories. The Alipore sessions court sentenced Dhananjoy to death in 1991. Over the next four years, Dhananjoy appealed successively in the Calcutta High Court and the Supreme Court, and filed mercy petitions with the governor and the President. All were rejected. On March 16, 1994, his lawyers moved the high court for a review. The court stayed the execution. The case went out of the government's focus until November 2003, when the law and justice department "chanced upon the case while going through some files" and wrote to the high court chief justice asking why the stay hadn't been vacated so long. The high court lifted the stay but Dhananjoy then filed another series of petitions. These too were rejected, paving the way for the execution. The death warrant was signed in January 2004. The next few months saw much debate and activism. Then chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee pleaded the death penalty be executed; his wife Meera joined rallies in Kolkata, as did hangman Nata Mallick. On the other side were intellectuals such as Mrinal Sen, Aparna Sen and Mahasweta Devi, who appealed to then President APJ Abdul Kalam for commuting the sentence to life. Dhananjoy's parents, wife and other villagers too campaigned for mercy.
  • Women (3)

    1. 1. Indira Gandhi, served as Prime Minister of India for an aggregate period of fifteen years, is the world's longest serving woman Prime Minister.
    2. 2. Feminist activism in India gained momentum in the late 1970s. One of the first national-level issues that brought women's groups together was the Mathura rape case.
    3. 3. Though it is gradually increasing, the female literacy rate in India is less than the male literacy rate. In urban India, girls are nearly on a par with boys in terms of education. However, in rural India girls continue to be less well-educated than boys.
    4. 4. Contrary to common perception, a large percentage of women in India work. However, there are far fewer women than men in the paid workforce.
    5. 5. In most Indian families, women do not own any property in their own names, and do not get a share of parental property. Due to weak enforcement of laws protecting them, women continue to have little access to land and property.
    6. 6. In India, acid attacks on womenwho dared to refuse a man's proposal of marriage or asked for a divorce are a form of revenge. Acid is cheap, easily available, and the quickest way to destroy a woman's life.
    7. 7. Sonali, who was an NCC cadet, has been left disfigured for life. Sonali had become completely blind and partially deaf after the acid attack by three youths in 2003 causing serious injury to her face. Since then, she has been campaigning for justice and also met the chief minister requesting for a suitable job.
    8. 8. A 1997 reportclaimed that each year at least 5,000 women in India die dowry- related deaths, and at least a dozen die each day in 'kitchen fires' thought to be intentional. The term for this is "bride burning" and is criticized within India itself.
    9. 9. According to UNICEF’s “State of the World’s Children-2009” report, 47% of India's women aged 20–24 were married before the legal age of 18, rising to 56% in rural areas.
    10. 10. Ultrasound scans often reveal the sex of the baby, allowing pregnant women to decide to abort female foetuses and try again later for a male child. This practice is usually considered the main reason for the change in the ratio of male to female children being born.
    11. 11. Violence against women is most often committed by someone known, usually a husband or boyfriend, It is estimated that 1 in 3 women have been or will be the victim of violence by an intimate partner – beaten, raped, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused.
    12. 12. The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act was passed in 1956. However many cases of trafficking of young girls and women have been reported.These women are either forced into prostitution, domestic work or child labour.
    13. 13.  Brides are being bought in Madhya Pradesh - sometimes in exchange for a buffalo and some cash.  In districts like Ashoknagar and Guna, where men far outnumber women probably due to female foeticide, desperate grooms are turning to human traffickers to find a wife. It's no problem if they don't have deep pockets -- the 'matchmaker' kindly accepts a buffalo as part payment. 
    14. 14. Many activists blame the rising incidents of sexual harassment against women on the influence of "Western culture".
    15. 15.  This occurred in Ajmer town in Rajasthan state. It came to light in 1992. It was the biggest sex scandal to have been seen in India till then.  The girls were allegedly sexually exploited by a group of about 18 blackmailers.  Over 100 schoolgirls were blackmailed on the basis of their photographs in compromising positions, officials said.
    16. 16.  The Suryanelli rape case concerns a 16-year-old Indian girl who was sexually harassed and assaulted for around 40 days by several men in 1996.  The girl, originally a resident of the Suryanelli village of the Kerala state, was enticed, blackmailed and threatened into eloping with her lover, who disappeared during the journey. Subsequently, she was befriended by a woman, who along with a lawyer, promised to take her to her aunt's place in Kottayam. The lawyer took her to a lodge, where he raped her. The duo then took her to a number of places across Kerala and Tamil Nadu, where she was raped by several men in January 1996.  40 people were accused of being involved in the incident, and these included some well-known and well-placed individuals.
    17. 17.  Scarlett Keeling, a 15-year-old, was beaten and raped in February 2008 before being left to die on a Goan beach popular with tourists for its beach bars. No one has been convicted for the crime.  She can finally be buried after the body was cleared for release by the Devon coroner four years after her death. Scarlett Keeling standing on the Anjuna beach in Goa, a few days before her death on 18 Feb 2008.
    18. 18.  A 23-year-old female physiotherapy intern was beaten and gang raped in a bus in which she was travelling with her male companion.  The only other passengers on the bus were five men and the bus driver, all of whom raped the woman.  The woman died from her injuries thirteen days later while undergoing emergency treatment in Singapore. Protesters at India Gate in Delhi demanding government action after the gang rape
    19. 19. Dhananjoy Chatterjee was a security guard who was executed by hanging on August 14, 2004 for the rape and murder of 14-year-old Hetal Parekh on March 5, 1990 at her apartment residence in Bhowanipur. It was the country's first execution since 1995. The death penalty is rarely carried out in India. It is usually reserved for particularly gruesome or politically sensitive cases. Dhananjoy Chatterjee, the rapist and murderer of a 14-year-old girl, and the killer was hanged to death on August 14, 2004 at the Alipore Central Jail in Kolkata after 14 years.
    20. 20. The main UN theme ‘A promise is a promise: End violence against women’ rings hollow in this country where the girl child’s life is terminated even when she is a mere foetus inside her mother’s womb. If she somehow manages to escape that she will be abandoned somewhere. Even if she lives, at every single moment she is treated differently – she’s fed less than her brothers, has less access to medical care, is made to do the majority of the work and given less or no education. All her life a girl is told that her life belongs to another – her father, husband or son. And that’s not even accounting for horrific incidents like rape, acid attacks, honour killings and other forms of sexual harassment  that stalk every woman in India. Survey after survey reveals that India is one of the worst place for women be it because of sexual violence and various other gender inequalities.

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