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Indian Women Protest Menstrual Taboos With #HappyToBleed Campaign

November 26, 2015

An Indian college student, Nikita Azad, started an online campaign ‘Happy to Bleed,‘ to protest against extreme cultural taboos that menstruating girls and women are subject to in India. She launched the campaign after a temple announced that women would be allowed to enter only after the invention of a machine to detect whether or not they are having their periods! Many young women have supported this campaign by posting photos of themselves with menstrual pads or tampons and signs with the hashtag #HappyToBleed. Some Hindu temples in India have notices displayed prohibiting menstruating women. Of course there is no way to tell whether or not a woman is menstruating, and many Hindu women voluntarily don’t enter when they are menstruating. A few years ago, a prominent actress was arrested and taken to court, because she confessed to someone that she had on one instance entered a temple while she was menstruating. Read that post here

16-yr-old School Girl Gang Raped and Murdered in West Bengaland Murdered: Public Protests

November 25, 2015


Kakdwip women rally for police action after the gang rape and murder of a 16 yr old school girl

West Bengal, 24 Nov 2015

Three days after a 16-year-old school girl was gang-raped and killed in Kakdwip, a West Bengal district, police finally filed a complaint. The police move came after a public interest litigation was filed before the Calcutta High Court seeking a CID probe, and the victim’s family and locals staged demonstrations and refused to cremate the body accusing the police of refusing to register a rape case despite receiving a complaint.


Katnam Vapsi: The Village Where Youth Are Campaigning For Husbands to Return The #Dowry They Took

November 3, 2015

A group of young people in the Nawabpet village of Telangana in Southern India, have started an effective anti-dowry campaign in their village. Instead of preaching to men to not take dowry, which is usually the method used by most anti-dowry campaigns, and that have not proved very successful so far, what these young people are doing is asking married men who took dowry, to return the money. The campaign is called ‘Katnam Vaapasi’ (repay dowry). On 21st October, 2015,  inspired by the movement 10 men in the village, some of who had married 5 years ago, returned the money they had taken from their wife’s family in dowry. The village women congregated in large numbers to witness the event. They said they were happy about the campaign which they hoped will bring peace to their lives. Dowry is illegal anyway, and more than 106000 women are killed for dowry in India. Perhaps this is the only effective way forward for India in the fight against dowry.

Read the full report here:


106,000 Women burnt to death for dowry in one year

News Reports on Dowry Violence and Murders

Abused for a Car in #Dowry, Another Woman in Punjab Supposedly Commited Suicide

November 2, 2015

Gurdaspur, 31 Oct 2015,

In a case, like so many in India, Jaspinder Kaur, is said to have committed suicide due to dowry harassment. Her uncle said the in-laws had been demanding a car in dowry and used to beat her up.  She was married to Gurmukh Singh, a resident of Kang village, three years ago. Her husband went abroad recently. Police say, unable to bear the harassment, she ended her life by hanging herself from the ceiling fan. Based on the complaint, police have registered a case against her father-in-law Baldev Singh and mother-in-law Gurmeet Kaur, who are absconding. Many dowry related murders, are often staged as suicides and with shoddy police work, these cases are rapidly dismissed as suicides or accidents.

Why Is India Seeing a Terrifying Escalation in #Gang #Rapes?

October 25, 2015

by Rita Banerji

India is undeniably seeing an escalation in violent sexual assaults by gangs of men, in which the victims are either killed, or so brutalised they have to be hospitalised. [CLICK HERE for the Campaign’s news reports on gang rapes in India]. There is also a corresponding increase of fear amongst women, a terror of being attacked by a gang of men, where pepper-sprays, self-defence, hand-guns, and emergency speed-dials can be of no help.

Gang rapes by their very nature are collective male statements. In the case of an individual committing rape, the knowledge of the crime usually exists only between the rapist and the victim. The rapist uses his power to silence the victim so he can conceal what he knows is a crime with legal consequences. But a gang rape, by its very set-up, has numerous eye-witnesses, who in their participation in the assault, negate to each other the criminal nature of the act they are all committing. This is in fact a collective validation of the rape. The question that is imperative here is: Why this escalation in gang rapes in India?

One of the clues to that question comes from  a gang rape in January 2014, in Birbhum, West Bengal, where on orders of the panchayat (the village council) a 20-year-old tribal woman was gang-raped by a dozen men as ‘punishment’ for loving a man from another community. The woman was put on a platform, and raped all night with everyone, including women and children watching…


Woman’s Body Recovered from a Crematorium in a Suspected #Dowry #Murder Case

October 24, 2015

Image result for fire woman dowry

Noida, 23 Oct 2015,

The body of  29-year-old Surekha was taken off a burning pyre by police in Dadri after her parents complained she had been murdered and was being cremated in a hurry by her in-laws. The family had come to know of their daughter’s death from an acquaintance, as the in-laws did not inform them about it. When a police team reached the crematorium, the in-laws of the deceased fled the scene. The body was on a burning pyre, and had to be doused for the police to recover the remains. Surekha had been married for 5 years and had a 4 year old son. Her parents said her in-laws had been torturing her for dowry, and physically abused her often.

India’s #Dalit Women Fight Against Systematic, Caste Based #Sexual #Violence

October 23, 2015

Manisha Mashaal

Manisha Mashaal was five years old when her schoolteacher first called her an “untouchable” in front of the rest of her class. Mashaal, now 27, said she faced harassment from students and teachers alike in her village of Badarpur because of her background. She said teachers threw her schoolbag out of class and refused to check her homework, while students sang rhymes taunting her and other Dalit children.

But as she grew up, the rhymes increasingly turned into threats of sexual violence. By the age of 16, she began attending Dalit-community solidarity meetings to examine how she could protect herself. For Dalit victims of sexual violence response from police officers is often “How can you have been raped? You’re a Dalit — touching you would make anyone spiritually impure.” A study by the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights found that more than 50% of Dalit women had suffered physical assault. More than 46% have suffered sexual harassment. 23% have said they had been raped.

In August 2013, Kaafee, a 22-year-old Dalit woman who was studying to be a teacher, was abducted on her way to take an examination. The next day, Kaafee was found dead. She had been raped, and had cigarette burn marks all over her body. “We sat outside the government hospital for four days with her body. Our pledge was that we would not move until the police registers [the fact] that she had been raped, tortured, and murdered,” Mashaal said. But the police maintained that Kaafee had committed suicide, and refused to even allow a medical autopsy, Mashaal said. “I don’t think Kaafee or thousands of other Dalit girls like her, will ever receive justice.”

Mashaal and other women decided to mobilize and create Dalit Women Fight. The group has been traveling across North America to raise awareness to the issues Dalit women face, finding allies in the Black Lives Matter and Say Her Name movements. The group is speaking out against what they see as the systemic failures of the Indian government to break the silence of caste apartheid and caste-based rape. Dalit Women Fight was the brainchild of the All India Dalit Women’s Rights Forum.

Read the full article here:


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