Promise of Marriage & Marital Rape

The Women & Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said that the concept of marital rape cannot be suitably applied to India due to factors like poverty, illiteracy & religious beliefs. While, we have already deconstructed her argument, it is also interesting to note that just last year, she said that “violence against women shouldn’t be limited to violence by strangers. Marital rape is not always about a man’s need for sex; it is only about his need for power and subjugation.”

The Bombay High Court observed that “If a woman is educated and above 18 years of age and yet does not exercise her right to say ‘no’ to a sexual relationship, then she cannot later allege rape when the relationship turns sour.” While such cases should not fall under heinous crimes such as rape, this article rightly argues that contextualizing these cases become important and there is an urgent need for innovative thinking in this realm. 

Caste-based Discrimination

In Kyuri village, near Agra, an entire Dalit family was beaten with sticks and kicked just because one of the family members accidentally touched the hands of a Brahmin man.

In Kozhikode, Chitralekha, a Dalit auto rickshaw driver who had been protesting against the atrocities of fellow drivers and attack by local CPI (M) workers, was attacked by party workers last week.

Another Dalit student Ajith Kumar (21) from St. Joseph College of Engineering, Pennalur village, Kanchipuram district has committed suicide because of continued harassment from the college authorities

Women At Work

Despite rising levels of literacy, the proportion of working-age women in India’s formal labour force is only about 27 percent, compared with almost 60 percent in Britain and the United States, World Bank data shows. Domestic work is not considered as productive and is neglected in policy, leaving the women at a severe disadvantage, said the report by the Centre for Equity Studies in New Delhi.

Just when we were rejoicing about women being accepted into fighter pilot training, they have been told to avoid pregnancy for four years given the rigorous training schedule involved.

Other News

A student from Chennai’s Sairam Engineering College was found dead in a well on campus. It is important to note that the college is known of its draconian rules which do not offer basic human rights to the students, and students had protested regarding this a few months ago.

Adivasi activist Soni Sori’s sister and brother-in-law have been picked up by the police of Bastar for “questioning”. Ms. Sori’s sister was in fact taken to an undisclosed location.

In a sensational blunt statement, the Government’s AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) Ministry has said that as per government policy, it does not recruit Muslims in response to an RTI query.

Reported Rapes & Rape Case Updates

Several cases of rape and child sexual abuse were reported and verdicts, sentences were also declared.

A 16-year-old girl, who was battling for her life after being raped and set ablaze by a youth in Greater Noida, succumbed to her injuries.

In Udaipur, a rape accused who is out on bail, is now threatening the minor rape survivor with rape again.

In Kolkata, a woman jumped from a second-floor balcony in a bid to escape a rape assault by three men, including her boyfriend.

Though the Murthal rapes have been conveniently denied by the state and police, a mystery shrouds the entire case. According to a report from the All India Democratic Women’s Association, a free & fair investigation is absolutely necessary to get the real facts out. 

What We’re Reading

Did you know that there are were 15 women who were part of the constituent assembly that helped shape the laws of our country. You could go here to know a little more about the women who helped draft our constitution. 

There is something called the “Naxalite Test”, where an Adivasi woman to prove that she is not Naxalite, has to squeeze her breasts to make milk come out of it, in order to save her own life. Apparently, this test is commonly practised in our country, and is applicable to all women (irrespective of age).

Featured Image Credit: ABP News

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