Haryana Highway Rape

During the ongoing Jat quote protests, 10 women were gang raped at Murthal, Haryana, which is 50 km from Delhi. The survivors were persuaded by senior police officials to not report the case since it would “bring them a bad name”. A senior IPS officer said it was just a rumour and the media should refrain from writing anything that could create tension in society. The Haryana government also vehemently denied the incident until a news channel found women’s underwear strewn on the spot where the incident occurred. The Punjab & Haryana court has taken suo moto cognizance over the issue and has asked Haryana’s chief secretary and the police chief to submit a report.

JNU Updates

In Allahabad, a group of about 150 to 200 lawyers attacked a (pro-JNU) protest demonstration organised by Left parties, their affiliate student organisations and civil society and women rights activists. The attackers allegedly hurled abuses at the women and other protesters and assaulted them with sticks and rods. They also threatened the women with rape.

Gyandey Ahuja, a BJP MLA from Rajasthan, made it to several news articles last week, by declaring all the items “found” in JNU. According to him, “More than 10,000 butts of cigarettes and 4,000 pieces of beedis are found. 50,000 big and small pieces of bones are found. 2,000 wrappers of chips and namkeen are found, and so are 3,000 used condoms the misdeeds they commit with our sisters and daughters there. And 500 used contraceptive injections are also found.” However, it is important to note that this statement is reflective of the long-held fear of educating women and accepting their agency and their rights over their bodies.

Reports & Data

Even though the proportion of the economically active population (15-59 years) increased from 57.7% to 63.3% between 1991 and 2013, the labour force participation rate for women is significantly lower than that for males in both rural and urban areas, according to the Economic Survey 2015-16. However, the Economic Survey pointed to the significant “hidden contribution” of women to the economy in the form of unpaid work.

Positive Steps

Days after Jaipur got its first-ever woman qazis, Uttar Pradesh’s Muslim community followed suit by appointing two women, Hena Zaheer and Maria Fazal as shahr qazis – judges who decide on matters within the community (in Kanpur).

The government will now allow women in all fighting streams of the armed forces, starting with the induction of women as Short Service Commission officers and as fighter pilots in the IAF. In the future, the government will induct women in all fighter streams of the armed forces.

Others

While Hansal Mehta’s Aligarh movie is getting impressive reviews all around, a fringe muslim group called Millat Bedari Muhim Committe (MBMC) has been able to halt the screening of the movie in Aligarh City. According to them, “The title of the film i.e. ‘Aligarh’ is offending as it sends a message (that) gay practice is common at Aligarh. The title is not suitable and proper by any means. It will desist (sic) people (from) send(ing) their children to Aligarh for studies.”

A six-year-old girl was sexually abused by a juvenile who lives in the same neighbourhood. A case was filed and the boy was taken into custody. However, all of a sudden, the private school in which the girl studies has asked her parents to pull her out of school since she is a survivor of rape.

Shani Shignapur Updates: A day after the Bhumata Brigade led by activist Trupti Desai (the rationalists fighting for women’s entry into the sanctum sanctorum at Shani Shiganpur temple) were “detained” by the police when they tried to head in the direction of Shani Shingnapur village, the villagers under the banner of ‘Shanaishwar Devsthan Bachav Kruti Samiti’ have demanded that the Chief Minister ban the outfit.

Reported Rapes & Rape Case Updates

Several cases of rape, attempt to rape and child sexual abuse were reported. Convictions and sentences have also been declared.

Raghaveshwara Bharathi Swami Rape Case: The woman who has filed a rape case against the seer of the Ramachandrapura Mutt, has filed a petition in the High Court of Karnataka, seeking transfer of her case to another court. In her petition, the singer alleged that the court was unfair towards her after the judge remarked that he would not permit the seer to undergo medical tests as directed by the police.

What We’re Reading

Period pain is officially as bad as a heart attack. But, why have doctors ignored it? Well, the answer is simple – sexism!

Caroline Paul, an ex-fire fighter asks why we teach girls that its cute to be scared?

The Women’s cycling team in Afghanistan, that suffers & battles death threats in order to be able to cycle, have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. It is amazing to read their story of determination despite constantly hearing that a “bicycle can destroy a girl’s future.”

Featured Image Credit: Women in Indian Air Force | www.ndtv.com

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