17 Jun 2014

Crime Against Women : It's Time to Bring Real CHANGE !!

During the ancient times, India that boasted of women holding high & respectful place in society, where Goddesses were worshiped, the scriptures held them in respectful positions, & volumes could be written about their heroic tales, the status, love & respect that they enjoyed in the society. But , with the change in social , political & economic societal norms ; discriminatory practices ; laws favoring men over women ; inadequate policies & denial of justice  , in the very same India , now women are victims of discrimination , violence , inequality & many other social evils like - dowry deaths, child marriage, domestic violence, acid attacks, honor killings , rape, sexual harassment, exploitation of women workers , humiliation, kidnapping, molestation, dowry death, torture , domestic violence & what not .

Violence against women is a problem that is deeply rooted in the societal norms of India, that has crippled the development of this society itself along with the country’s image being tarnished at the global level with the reports being aired from all the regions, be it the capital city – Delhi or a state like UP that fail to provide security to its women. (India becoming the rape capital of the world?)

The United Nations has defined the “Violence against Women” in 1993 in it’s Declaration on the “Elimination of Violence against Women” as – ‘any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.’


Now let’s see where India stands globally in The Global Gender Gap Report 2013 -

  • ·         Rank - 101 among 136 countries (0.655)
  • ·         Political empowerment- 9th
  • ·         Economic participation and equality – 124th
  • ·         Educational attainment – 120th
  • ·         Health and survival – 135th

Out of all the violence against women, sexual violence & rape are those, wherein the cruelest, shocking & horrifying incidents are being reported from various parts of the country.

Rape is the most under-reported crimes not only in India but also worldwide because of the social stigma attached to the nature of the crime. 

Incident of rapes in India -














First of all, let’s analyze the root causes of this crime –

      1. Societal norms – The violence against women in India, begins at home & they suffer from various forms of violence, starting from - ‘sex-selective’ abortions, to domestic violence & at workplace sexual abuse. These all speak about the male-dominance. Rape is still considered to be a way to punish women and their families. The crime is highly attributable to gender inequality or male dominance. Wherein the biggest problem lies in Indian society’s attitude of women at the macro level.

      2. Socio-economic factors – Male dependence of females economically, socially & politically has lead to their reduced participation in all the spheres.There are various such factors like –
(i)   Low literacy rate of females than males in India
(ii) Low sex ratio countrywide (resultant from sex-selective abortions).
(iii)  Poverty
(iv)  Lack of toilets in the houses, women need to go to open fields for defecation & fall an easy prey to the rapists.(ex- recent rape and murder accident in UP)
(v)   Social hierarchy – rape cases against the women from low caste (dalits) & tribal women are on the rise.
(vi)  Till date, the incidents of rape or rape by a partner/ marital rape are not reported as rapes in India

      3 . Corruption in Law enforcement
First of all most of the rape cases often go unreported , & if they are reported , the probability of accused being caught remains negligible, & if caught & proven for rape, the magnitude of punishment is less, and time taken for conviction is usually too much that justice is delayed more often to the victim or the justice is denied quite often.

      4.  Inadequacy in law enforcing agencies –
The number of police personnel, the resources at their disposal, inadequate staff, and technically ill-equipped forces are also proving to be great setback in law enforcement in the country. The political influences also have grave negative effect on the working of the law enforcing agencies. Also, sexual violence by the Armed Forces in insurgency-hit areas of North-East India, Jharkhand and Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) has been criticized & the demand for reviewing the AFSPA has been raised strongly. (Civil rights activist Miss Irom Sharmila has been on an indefinite hunger strike demanding repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act for the past 13 years)

5. Role of judiciary –Increasing political influence, delayed hearing to the cases, due to lack of adequate staff in the courts, has raised insecurity in the minds of victims & masses alike, & set the accused fearless. There is urgent need to make the judicial process fast by bringing fast track courts into action.

Crime Against Women
Now, let’s see what all the Indian legislation has done till date for the protection & safety of its female citizens? Written below, here are few constitutional & legal provisions.

Constitutional provisions for women in India –

        1. The principle of gender equality is enshrined in the Indian Constitution in its Preamble, Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties and Directive Principles.
            2. Article 14 - equal rights and opportunities to men & women in political, economic and social sphere.
   3.Article 15 - prohibits, discrimination against any citizen on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex etc. 
    4.Article 16 - equality of opportunities matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the state.
         5. Article 39(a) (d) - equality for both men and women, the right to a means of livelihood and equal pay for equal work for both men and women.
         6. Article 42 - Direct the State to make provision for ensuring just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief.
Below enlisted are the Legal provisions for women in India –

1. The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961: Under this act, demand of dowry either before marriage, during marriage and or after the marriage is an offence.
2.  The Equal Remuneration Act of 1976: It provides for the payment of equal wages to both men and women workers for the same work or work of similar nature.
3. The Child Marriage Restrain Act of 1976: This act rose the age for marriage of a girl to 18 years from 15 years and that of a boy to 21 years.
4. Indian Penal Code: Section 354 and 509 safeguards the interests of women.
5. 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Act – reservation of 1/3rd seats in Panchayat and Urban Local Bodies for women.
6. The National Commission for Women Act, 1990: under this ,  the commission was set up in January 1992
7.  Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
8. Protection of Women against Sexual Harassment at Workplace

***The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013 or "anti-rape law" was passed by both the houses & signed by the President of India, to make it an act, to deal strictly with increasing sexual violence against women. But, as we see these days, the news of rapes & violence against women making to headlines nationally & internationally, we see that even this measure of the government has failed to check this horrific crime. ***


Let’s analyze & discuss whether these measures have been adequate or not? If they lack somewhere, then what more needs to be done to make sure the safety & security of the women? What punishment & rules are trending in other nations of world to prevent these crimes? And last but not the least – How far the government has been successful in implementing these?

While corruption is a crime against the economy, rape is a crime against a whole gender -- against our mothers, wives, daughters and sisters. It is time for change, for the change being must, to make sure the decent, fearless & worth living a life for our daughters, sisters, wives, and mothers. Despite of introducing a new legislation, & establishing fast track courts, still there is no fear in the minds of rapists and rapes continue to occur with alarming frequency. Let’s discuss what needs to be done to check this –

1. Need of social awakening, change in attitude of masses, due & equal respect needs to be given to female gender too.
2. Change in outlook, awareness & sensitivity towards women issues among the legislators at national & regional levels, to make sure the formation of “gender-just” laws & their successful implementation too. For this, there is need of strong political will, which is still lacking.
3. Confidence and trust in the police need to increase. One obvious step is to increase the proportion of women in the police force beyond the existing 5%.
4. The government needs to work on improving female literacy rates, since higher literacy reduces all types of crime.
5.   Making it easier for women to report rape and making sure that they live in society on equal terms.
6.There is an urgent need for increasing women’s participation in politics to make the political environment more gender-sensitive and democratic and bringing about legislative reforms.
7.   Media is a powerful tool, & can act as an agent of social change. Social media can play an important change to increase awareness among masses.
8. Infrastructure provisions for women by government – e.g. Building toilets in houses as a priority.
9. Police reforms need to done so that public regains the lost confidence, & it’s separation from political sphere & its independence needs to be assured.
10.To start an educational campaign for the youth so as to make them aware of existing social evils and the means to eradicate same.


To sum up we can say that , India is a vast country , that presents deep challenges to the security of women – right from inside of houses to the workplaces , streets & public places women feel themselves insecure every where . In addition to the grim social reality of male dominance, the deteriorating status of women, discriminatory practices, laws favoring men over women; all are making the situation worse. India still has a long way to go to make Indian women equal citizens in their own country. Only legislation, law enforcement & judiciary cannot prevent this, rather there is urgent need of social awakening, bringing change in attitude of the people? The time has come when the women need to be given her due, equal status & respect in the society. 


Can our mothers, sisters, wives and daughters not get even this basic right and respect also in India!!!  This is the time to CHANGE! BRING the CHANGE !BE A PART OF IT on an INDIVIDUAL LEVEL !!

What is your view regarding current status of woman in India? What can be done for making the condition better?

What government should do for enabling woman empowerment in real terms?

What should be done at an individual and society level for real women empowerment on India and world level?

(Written by Dr. Jot Brar, a practicing Doctor)



  1. the interesting aspect i have observed regarding sexual violence against women is that....
    india being a diverse country ,the cultures differ from place to place.
    the culture in the villages is quiet different(nearly opposite)to the culture in the cities.the culture is quiet adverse in metropolitan cities.
    the ladies in cities wear the western clothing like shots ,jeans,etc.......
    where as in villages it is strictly prohibited and may lead to severe humiliation against those who violate proper culture and customs.....
    the problem comes when these two types of people come together.............?
    when comes to boys:
    in cites the boys or men are very much faciliated with the culture......
    they are emotionally satisfied and get used with the culture there..
    where as in villages the men are emotionally and mentally controlled.
    the are etically and morally very strong.
    but when these people come to cities they arey emotionally raised and deviated by the culture and poshness around.
    so there the mind distracts and lead to sexual abuse ...like in which happened in delhi and mumbai.
    where as city men going to villages on some purpose,they are where much attracted by the traditional wemen there and their mind catch the false root..like in police men in tribal areas.......
    but the sexual assaults with mutual understanding or between classmates etc....,are supressed and may not come under light.
    similarly happens in villages where they are cleared in panchayets are through mutual understanding of families as it may cause to loose their reputation and severe humiliation in village towards their family.
    so this cultural difference should be removed.it's only possible if one realise their role in conserving our culture and society.
    the westeren mania must be removed from hearts,and need to educate morally and ethically from childhood,which is possible with joint families where grand parents are are best teachers to educate morals and etics.
    thank u

    1. nicely said Feroz..domestic violence and suppression s d biggest threat to Indian women nowadays... recent movie like "Highway" indicates towards it..Indian Gov must come with more stronger laws against domestic violence, sexual harassment at workplace and home, mental torture and many more to safeguard the basic rights of Indian women..


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