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Has Living with #Fear Become Normal for #Women in #India?

February 3, 2014

A question our campaign frequently gets is: There is violence on women in all societies, so why should fingers be pointed only at India?

That is why we present to you below what women from the main metros of India say about the kind of fear they live with in their daily lives. Read and ask yourself: 

Is this normal? 

Is this how educated, professional women in London, New York, Singapore or even Beijing live? 

What does this say about the violence that women in India live with, tolerate and are often in denial of?

Sreemati Mukherjee (College Student):

From-Fear-to-Freedom-Crop-Pic-2Single women travelling after dusk should take more safety precautions.  With so many rape cases and incidents of molestations making headlines every other day, my parents get really worked up if I cross my deadline of 8 pm. They keep calling me up to find out if I am safe. To combat the given situation, my college has come up with an awareness programme for the safety of women and imposed dress codes for students. If we need to stay back late in college, our professors insist we go home in groups.

Tanya Choudhuri (Real Estate Agent):

Previously I used to come home by eight.  But now I have to come home early because my father…gets very worried if I am late.  The newspapers [are] full of news of women being harassed by biker gangs or raped by cab drivers.  He says it does not matter even if I am traveling with five women in our pool car, it does not matter as these gangs can easily overpower us and the police will look the other way. It does not matter if the Chief Minister is a woman. No politician has been sensitive to rape victims.

T.S. Ravikant (Executive at Multinational Company):

My daughter is five years old and I am desperately searching for a job abroad. India is no country for women.

Vidya (Engineering Student)

I avoided talking to him [the driver Read more…

Do #Women Complain Loudly Only to Cling to Destructive #Marriages?

January 29, 2014

sunanda and Shashi tharoorby Rita Banerji

The events that led up to Sunanda Pushkar’s death had India agog.  Twenty-four hours after this successful, wealthy businesswoman went hysterical on social media, accusing a Pakistani journalist of having an affair with her high profile politician husband, and gave a spate of interviews to newspapers and television channels on the same, she was found dead in a hotel room.

The post-mortem report said her death was “sudden and unnatural.” But what really happened to Sunanda Pushkar in her hotel room on the night of January 17? Did she commit suicide? Was she murdered? Or did she accidentally overdose on her medication? There are reports of people hearing angry arguments she had with her husband, that may have turned physical just before her death. What explains the bruising on her arms, wrist and neck? Pushkar’s 21-year-old son, from a previous marriage in which she was widowed,  insists that his mother was too strong woman to commit suicide, even as he absolves his step-father of any wrong doing.

For all the questions and inconsistencies that surround this case, the fact is we probably will never know what really happened. It will be just another mystery buried in Delhi’s dirty corridors of power where glamour, politics, business and media make for sordid bedfellows.

But the question to which we know the answer, and this is the question to focus on, is – Was Sunanda’s death needless? Could it have been avoided?  And the answer is Read more…

Top Posts in 2013 by the @50millionmissin on #Crimes Against #Women in #India

January 21, 2014

The 50 Million Missing Campaign’s Discussion Blog on female gendericide in India was viewed about 390,000 times in 2013.

The campaign’s  Blog on News and Crimes Reports against women was viewed about 15,000 times in 2013.

The busiest day of the year for our Discussion Blog was 24th May, 2013, with34,065 views. The most popular post that day was Is it A Crime to Menstruate?.

 These are the posts that got the most views on the Discussion Blog Read more…

Needy #Women and Dogs and Greedy #NGOs

January 16, 2014

Originally posted on REVOLUTIONS IN MY SPACE: A BLOG BY RITA BANERJI:

the dog lover_rita.banerjiFor all the disillusionment I feel about NGOs, Shikha Bhandari and people like her restitute my faith in human decency. 

Who is Shikha Bhandari? She is one of Kolkata’s unknown heroes.   Her husband works as a guard, and his meager income sustains his whole family.

Despite this economic hardship, twice a day, every day, Shikha cooks a giant bucket of food – rice, vegetables and sometimes chicken or fish if there’s any to spare, and walks around her neighborhood and feeds the street dogs who live there.  She stops at certain spots and the dogs immediately come running to her. Then she puts our large steel plates on the pavements, and with a long ladle, puts generous amounts of food for the dogs and waits for them to have their fill.

She has been doing this for 30 years, ever since she married her husband Swapan Bhandari and moved to…

View original 942 more words

Radio #Discussion on #India’s Female #Gendercide on Jan 12/13

January 8, 2014

On January 13, 7am (Melbourne time) Lalitha Chelliah of 3CR Community Radio in Australia will interview The 50 Million Missing Campaign founder, Rita Banerji.   They will be discussing the cultural and social issues surrounding female gendercide and violence on women in India.

Hear it live on this website: http://www.3cr.org.au/girtbysea

Check  your dates and time zone below for the live broadcast :

Melbourne time: 7 a.m. / Jan 13

New Delhi : 1.30 a.m./ Jan 13

London: 8 p.m. / Jan 12

New York (U.S. East Coast): 3 pm/ Jan 12

If you miss it,   it will be posted at the above website 1/2 hour later) to listen to as well

And it will also be podcast within a week.

Is this the Journey or Is the Destination for #India’s #Women?

January 8, 2014

for ladies only busby Manzar Samii

Standing at the Chembur platform my two flat mates and I gravitate towards where all the other women are standing and assume that they know where the female car of the railway halts. Waiting for the train, we’re carefree, not anxious, not worried, but relaxed. This is partially because we are so excited to finally be in Mumbai, but primarily because we know that no men are pressing up against us in preparation for getting on the train and none await us with prying eyes and wandering hands in the packed train. Yes, we are relaxed and even as we are pushed and shoved into the slowly moving train, we’re still calm. Once we are in the women’s car our only concern is people watching and gazing out the open doors into the madness of Mumbai’s inner city.

After a few stops a transgender individual enters the car wearing a bright yellow sari and smiles to expose a set of missing front teeth. She proceeds to do a short dance and then touch us all on the head, perhaps to bless our woman-ness or supposed femininity but mainly to extract money from those amongst us who are superstitious of non-conformity. Cheerfully she makes her way through the car and eventually disappears into the male dominated general section of the train. She is the first person to call into the question the space we inhabit, this ‘female only’ car that relieves us and makes us Read more…

When India’s High Court Rules that Premarital #Sex for #Women is Immoral

January 4, 2014

virginitytestA 2013 survey by the India Today group and MDRA on the sexual habits and attitudes of men and women in India makes a surprising revelation.  It shows that despite the increasing prevalence of premarital sex among men and women, 77% of men say that they will not marry a woman who is not a virgin! In mass weddings organized by the state governments for poor families, the brides are forced to undergo virginity tests to qualify! In Jan 2014, the High Court in Delhi in a judgment ruled that when an adult woman has premarital sex, “she does so at her own peril…[and]She must understand that she is engaging in an act which not only is immoral but also against the tenets of every religion.”

In an article titled “Bride and Prejudice”  in the India Today magazine,  Rita Banerji examines the reasons why Indian men remain so fundamentally conservative, even among the educated sections.  She also argues why this fixation on women’s “virginities”  in its basic perception of women’s sexuality also is the cause of other forms of sexual constrictions and violence inflicted on women in India.
Read the article here : http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/india-today-group-mdra-2013-sex-survey-virginity-sexuality-marriage/1/328135.html

ABOUT THE WRITER

Rita Banerji is an author and gender activist, and the founder ofThe 50 Million Missing Campaign to end India’s female genocide.  Her book ‘Sex and Power: Defining History Shaping Societies, is a historical and social look at how the relationship between gender and power in India has led to the ongoing female gendercide.  Her website iswww.ritabanerji.com She blogs at Revolutions in my Space and tweets at@Rita_Banerji

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