A+| A| A-

Killing Them Softly

The violence against women begins when girls are denied health and nutrition.

The outrage and shock over the bestial gang rape of a 23-year-old woman in a moving bus in Delhi last month has generated a wide range of discussion on women’s safety and has brought into focus women’s rights and status in India. However, as so often happens after such brutal acts of violence against a woman, particularly in an urban area and more so in the national capital, you see a combination of genuine anger and despair as well as a great deal of rhetoric and demands for extreme solutions, such as castration and the death penalty for rapists. What is often overlooked in the course of these passionate debates is what this growing incidence of sexual violence and assault reveals about Indian society and the place of women in it.

We forget, for instance, that even as evidence of the alarming decline in the child sex ratio emerged after the 2001 Census (attributed to the deliberate use of sex-selection techniques) and the inevitability of greater violence against women was discussed, few acknowledged that this was a serious issue. The stronger laws that followed to check sex-selection did not stem the tide because of half-hearted implementation. In any case, the law did not touch the root issue of son-preference that remains virtually unaddressed. Although the last decade has seen a marginal improvement in sex ratios in some of the worst districts, the decline has become evident in other districts where such a trend was not seen before.

To read the full text Login

Get instant access

New 3 Month Subscription
to Digital Archives at

₹826for India

$50for overseas users

Comments

(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Using ordinance to protect freedom of expression from foul speech may result in damaging decent communication.

Only an empowered regulator can help boost production and cut coal imports.

Biden’s policy of the “return to the normal” would be inadequate to decisively defeat Trumpism.

*/ */

Only a generous award by the Fifteenth Finance Commission can restore fiscal balance.

*/ */

The assessment of the new military alliance should be informed by its implications for Indian armed forces.

The fiscal stimulus is too little to have any major impact on the economy.

The new alliance is reconfigured around the prospect of democratic politics, but its realisation may face challenges.

A damning critique does not allow India to remain self-complacent on the economic and health fronts.

 

The dignity of public institutions depends on the practice of constitutional ideals.

The NDA government’s record in controlling hunger is dismal despite rising stocks of cereal.

 

Back to Top