Condoms, Ads & “Morals”
The latest condom advertisement featuring Sunny Leone has attracted some really ridiculous comments. It started with Communist Party Leader, Atul Anjan. He said, “Nowadays, one of her (Sunny Leone) advertisements is being telecast on the screen where she is seen lying down on the beach and promoting a condom brand. This advertisement develops [a] sexually infested mindset and finishes off your sensibility. If such advertisements will continue to be shown on television then there will certainly be an increase in rape cases.”
Shortly after that, former Delhi Commission for Women Chief, Barkha Shukla Singh urged the government to ban the ad with reasons including, “There should be condom ads, but there shouldn’t be provocation of sex. That’s what we are objecting. While watching TV, such ads make the family uncomfortable and they should be pulled off.”
In our opinion, this ad was just yet another representation in the media of a hetero normative representation of male desire and continues to represent the woman as an object of desire. And that is honestly the problem anybody should have.
Setting aside a state government circular that prohibited counselling and mediation in domestic violence cases without a court order, the Bombay High Court said that pre-litigation counselling may be conducted by any registered service provider, including NGOs, counsellors and police officers.
Feminism in Rural India
A group of 20 village women came armed with 25,000 postcards at the Patna General Post Office. The letters were addressed to the Prime Minister. This was in connection with the plan of the union government to shut down the Mahila Samakhya programme, which is in its 25th year and has benefitted many many women. The women have now launched a Save Mahila Samakhya-National Postcard Campaign to protect what has been benefitting women from backward, mahadalit, minority and adivasi communities.
Bibipur village panchayat, which was in news recently for its “selfie with daughter” contest, has now come up with ‘Jagruk Lado, Surakshit Lado‘, a contest to educate women are the women-related laws & legislation.
Maternity Leave & Health Benefits
Despite the proposal by Women & Child Development Ministry to extend maternity leave for working women from three months to eight months, the existing 3 months seems to be available only for full-time employees in organized sectors. Case in point – Belapur resident, Laxmi Yadav, was on contract when Water Supply & Sanitation department denied her maternity leave and terminated her service.
Rape Cases & Reports About Rape
According to the 2014 report released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Delhi does not top the list of rapes against women – in fact it comes in at position 5. Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan hold a position higher than Delhi in terms of the number of reported rapes.
Amnesty International took up the case of two women ordered to be raped by the village panchayat as punishment since their brother eloped with a married woman. However, now the village council has denied this ruling completely.
A 25-year-old woman, who filed a rape and kidnap complaint against Ramachandrapura math seer Raghaveshwara Bharathi at the Girinagar police station recently, approached a women’s safety panel headed by legislator V?S?Ugrappa stating that no action had been taken against the seer so far.
In a surprise development, the New Delhi woman raped by an Uber driver in New Delhi last year, “voluntarily” dismissed the lawsuit she had filed in a US court against the web-based taxi company.
The NHRC has issued notice to the chief secretary and director general of police, Uttar Pradesh, over the repeated abduction and rape of a girl by a sub-inspector and his accomplices.
A seven-year-old girl abducted and raped in 2012 found no mention in the police records after the police failed to record Section 376 (rape) of the IPC in the FIR owing to which, she was not eligible for state-sponsored aid.
Featured Image Credit: A representative image of the Mahila Samakhya Programme | mahilasamakhya.cg.gov.in