Ineffective Anti-Trafficking Draft Bill

The draft of Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehablitation) Bill 2016 was released by Women and Child Development minister Maneka Gandhi towards the end of May. However, it got a thumbs down from those working against human trafficking. The Government proposed a new fund for the welfare and rehabilitation of the victims of human trafficking. However, the same was criticized by the activists as the claimed that there was no clarity regarding the funds, as to how and who will be managing it. They don’t want it to be another Nirbhaya Fund which is not sufficiently utilized.

Welfare Body Demanded for Transgenders 

Transgender activists have joined hands to press the state government to follow the Supreme Court order of 2014 and form a transgender welfare board for the upliftment of the community in Jharkhand. Around 150 members of the community assembled in the steel city from various districts to voice their grievances at a workshop towards the end of May. It was believed that if a welfare board is set up, the activists would be able to improve the socio-economic condition by taking advantage of the Centre’s welfare schemes for the community.

Women and Cricket  

Cricket is no longer the ‘gentlemen’s sport’ as many women cricketers are breaking the norms and stereotypes that have been existing in our country . The ICC on 3rd of June stated that the 2016 Women’s World T20, which was being parallely held with the men’s edition, attracted 24.5 million viewers in India alone with an average audience of 100,000 in the United States region. While the world cup was bagged by the West Indies team, India showed an increasing amount of interest in watching women play this sport.

In another news, India’s women cricketers can now play in overseas leagues in Australia and England, subject to their contracts being approved by the BCCI. The decision, taken during a meeting of the BCCI’s women’s cricket committee earlier this June, paves the way for India’s players to take part in tournaments such as the Women’s Big Bash League in Australia and the Women’s Super League in England. While women like Mithila Raj and Jhulan Goswami are becoming an inspiration to many girls out there, have you ever wondered why they are called as ‘women cricketers’ and not just ‘cricketers’ ?

Too Sensitive to Vroom, You Say? 

In a first of its kind, TVS racing and Alisha Abdullah Racing Academy for Women have come together to run a one-make, all-woman race over five rounds this season. Eighteen students from the first batch at the academy, who have been selected from 80 entries, will race exclusively for TVS Racing Team.The first race will be held in Coimbatore later this month with further rounds in Chennai as support race during the National championships.

UP’s First Woman Qazi Demands a Ban on the Triple Talaq Practice. 

Supporting the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan’s move to demand a ban on triple talaq and dubbing it as ‘misinterpretation of ‘ayats’ (verses),  Uttar Pradesh’s first woman qazi Hina Zaheer Naqvi on the 1st of June urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government to intervene into the matter and demanded an immediate ban on the practice. Oral Talaq has been widely misused and she believes that it is high time that the government takes a strict action and bans this practice. Over 50,000 Muslim women and men have signed a petition seeking a ban on triple talaq. The petition started by the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, has sought the National Commission for Women’s intervention to end this “unQuranic practice”. The real question is, will justice prevail over a religious sentiment?

“Selfies don’t kill, bad journalism does” 

An unexpected positive result amidst tragedy for NLU Jodhpur students and alums , who mounted a campaign against national and international media which had wrongly re-reported and sensationalised a student Pranita Mehta’s accidental drowning as a daredevil selfie gone wrong. Pranita Mehta, a bright young law student faced a tragic death in Gorkarna while she was on a holiday with her friends. While the media made a mockery out of this by falsely accusing her of taking a selfie near the sea, the students of NLU Jodhpur are working hard to undo the damage caused by the media. Take a selfie and upload #ForPranita

Crimes against women 

A teenage girl was allegedly abducted, gangraped, murdered and her body hanged from a tree in Nanpara area in Bahraich distict of Uttar Pradesh. Police suspect the body was hanged from a tree so as to give an impression that she committed suicide. An FIR has been registered on a complaint of the victim’s father against two of the accused for abducting, raping and killing his daughter. A hunt for the third accused is still going on.

Two tribal women security guards posted at NIT Rourkela have complained of sexual harassment by the Chief Security Officer (CSO) of the institute. The officer has been accused of sexual harassment and abuse. The incident came to light later this May, following which the students who are pursuing PhD and M Tech and who reside in the campus, staged a demonstration demanding action against the officer.

Four men gangraped a 25-year-old woman in a moving car in Kolkata on the night of May 28 2016. The woman took an Uber cab late at night to go to a coffee shop, but got the location wrong. As she was stranded she asked a bystander for help. He called his accomplices and they offered the woman a lift. As soon as she got in, their car sped off and the men gangraped the woman for several hours, before throwing her out. While most of them would express their concern by claiming how she “should have been more careful”, is a woman safe enough to even ask for directions in this country?

The Supreme Court Bench consisting of Justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh upheld a judgement given by the Kanataka High Court that sent a man behind bars for the offences of 498A (subjecting woman to cruelty) and 306 (abetment of suicide) of the IPC. Young women enter matrimonial homes with a hope of leading a long and blissful married life “but this hope, invariably, does not last long, nor their life”, the Supreme Court observed this while upholding a five-year jail term of a man guilty of compelling his 25- year-old pregnant wife to commit suicide.

What We Are Reading

Ever understood why the words ‘kaali billi’ (black cat) or ‘dusky’ are used to describe women of darker skin shade? Ever seen a regressive advertisement that shows how a woman regains her self confidence after using a fairness cream? Well, its a fact that the Indian obsession with fairness is the daily evidence of a deep seated racism that exists among us. While, Africans are attacked in major cities of our country, media is known to aggravate this obsession among everyone. Since when has fair skin and blonde hair been a “natural you” for India? Why indeed do the print media, television and film support such overt prejudice? asks Gautam Bhatia as he writes about the social injustice that exists in India which is clouded by personal prejudice.


Featured Image Credit: Indian Express

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