SocietyNews Feminist News Wrap: Moral Policing, Khap Panchayats & Rape As Punishment

Feminist News Wrap: Moral Policing, Khap Panchayats & Rape As Punishment

Khap Panchayat rules that two sisters be raped because of their brother’s folly

In yet another show of the vile rulings of the Khap Panchayat, two sisters were ordered to be raped and paraded naked with blackened faces after their brother eloped with a higher caste woman. The unelected council of village elders in Baghpat village, UP,  made up entirely of upper caste Jat members ruled thus after Ravi, a Dalit eloped with a Jat woman who was forcefully married off after the affair with Ravi was discovered. After the elopement, Ravi’s family members were allegedly tortured by the Uttar Pradesh police and he was forced to return.

However, the village elders ruled that the Dalit family should be ‘dishonoured’ and ordered the rape of 23 year old Meenakshi Kumari and her 15 year old sister. The family fled to Delhi and Meenakshi filed a petition with the Supreme Court for her safety. Their home was looted after they fled to delhi, and they have been rendered homeless since. Amnesty International has been rallying against the injustice and collecting thousands of signatures to save the women from this unjust ruling of the Khap.

Indian Women’s Hockey team bags a place at the Olympics in Rio, 2016

After a gap of 36 years, Indian Women Hockey Team will return to the Olympic Games in 2016. This was possible due to their fifth-place finish in the women’s Hockey World League Semifinals in Antwerp, Belgium last month. This was also possible due to England making it to the finals at the EuroHockey Championships in London. England’s semi-final victory over Spain and Netherland’s win over Germany in the other semi-final freed up a quota place as both finalists have already qualified for the Olympic Games.

Google launches Internet Saathi to teach rural women about the internet

Google has paired with Tata Trusts to launch an initiative that will provide rural women in India with Internet literacy. The program is called “Internet Saathi” because trainers from NGOS will ride on “internet cycle carts”(modified bicyles) and teach women about the basic benefits of using the internet. The bicycles will carry resources that are needed for the classes. Women from villages will learn for free from their “saathi”. The trainers will teach for a minimum of two days a week for at least 4 to 6 weeks at 3 villages at a time. After that, they will move on to the next cluster of villages.

The first internet saathi program was rolled out on 24th august in the Dausa District of Rajasthan. Google tweeted about the initiative along with a photo showing the rural women using a mobile phone to access the internet.

Muslim man stripped, beaten and humiliated for being seen with a Hindu woman

Mangalore has seen a lot of gender and religion based violence in the past. In yet another show of acute polarization, a mob attacked a Muslim man who was accompanied by his Hindu female colleague. They were on tehir way to the ATM when the mob attacked the man, stripped him, beat him around the block and then tied him to an electricity pole. He was beaten for about an hour after which the police arrived when the cable channels picked up the story. The police arrested 13 men, many of whom are from the infamous Bajrang Dal, who are no strangers to moral policing. The woman was also slapped around when she protested on behalf of her colleague.

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