A rape is reported every 15 minutes in India. In the last two months more than 25 rapes made headlines, of this some were reported as heinous acts of violence and gang rapes, mostly from the state of Uttar Pradesh, where the girl was strangled, her tongue was cut, or she was raped and her body was thrown away. The Hathras gang rape case has left the nation shocked, not just by the brutality of it but with the grim reminder how deep rooted and rampant caste based violence is in the country. Women are asking, why does India fail its daughters every single day? Women are neither safe at home (India has no laws against marital rape and domestic violence cases are on the rise), nor on the streets.

Here are ten reasons why India is unsafe for women:

  • A Thomson Reuters Poll 2018 called India the most unsafe country in the world. Women reported nearly 34,000 rapes in 2018 (these were reported, every day many go unreported). Of these, over 85 per cent led to charges, and 27 per cent to convictions, according to the National Crime Bureau (NCRB) report released by the Ministry of Home Affairs. It shows that while cases are registered, most stay inconclusive giving no justice for long periods of time.
  • The “Crimes in India -2019” report by NCRB shows that crimes against women have gone up by 7.3 per cent last year. The crime rate registered per lakh women population is 62.4 per cent in 2019, up from the 58.8 per cent figure of 2018.

  • Our deep rooted cultural, tribal and customary rituals put men in a position of power leading to ‘sexual slavery’ for women.
  • Caste based violence against women is prevalent in India where the society is divided not just by class, gender but also by a very hierarchal caste system putting privilege and power in the hands of some castes, more so in the hands of men of the higher caste.
  • We don’t have laws against marital rape, as a result, an abusive husband gets away and a woman is forced to stay in the marriage without any support from the system.
  • While the minimum age required to get married in India is 18, child marriage and marriage of minor girls is rampant. 27% of girls in India are married before their 18th birthday and 7% are married before the age of 15. According to UNCIEF, India has the highest absolute number of child brides in the world – 15,509,000.
  • Female foeticide is widespread in India. This is due to sex-selective abortion, childhood neglect of girls and infanticide. In India sex-selection is banned but despite that rampantly done.
  • Another deep-rooted issue is our mindsets. This further makes India unsafe for women. Women are seen as the lesser sex. Society perpetuates the notion that boys should be put ahead of girls because apparently when they grow up they will ‘earn for the family’ while women will be married off and be ‘given away’.

Recently a young girl, in Lakhimpur Kheri district of UP, was gang raped when she was going to another district to pick up a scholarship form. A 2 day old little girl was stabbed a 100 times reportedly with a screwdriver. Little has changed for women in India since the Nirbhaya rape cases of 2012 which made global headlines.

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