Not a single day goes without the news of a crime against women in India being heard. Watching the state of women’s protection in India, a country where women get the reputation of goddesses, is particularly painful. The sum of violence against women has risen by several times, owing to the increased presence of women in every field of life. Every day and every minute some women of all walks of life (a mother, a sister, a wife, young girls, and girl baby children) are getting harassed, molested, assaulted, and violated at various places all over the country.
This is a positive indication that the society’s patriarchal mind set has changed to some extent but not to the extent it was supposed to. It is the same set of minds that restricts women to go out and work making them a domesticating tool. It is the same group of minds that views males as superior than females and always try to dominate the women folk.
There is a relatively long list of violence against women. Acid attack in different parts of the nation is becoming very frequent. The attacker throws acid onto the victim’s face to completely ruin their lives. The wife stays in an abusive relationship because of the fear of society. In the name of honor the family kills its daughters to keep up with their family’s image. Likewise, one more extreme crime is female foeticide. Men destroy daughters before they are conceived, because of the regressive mindset.
Other crimes also include child marriages, rape, dowry deaths, eve assault, sexual abuse, rape, violence against women at home. The list continues with the rise in crimes against women. This is one of the key reasons why violence in India is growing and women’s safety in India is a problem.
Indian judiciary’s sluggish speed of service is another big explanation for the increased offences against women in India. India’s police are in some cases inefficient and impartial and that is why the investigation process takes a long time to deal with cases of violence against women. Most women do not come forward in the name of social pressure and embarrassment, and report the matter to the police. It is one of the many reasons that the number of recorded cases is smaller than the real amount of violence against women occurring.
To improve the protection of women in India the first challenge is to increase the number of women in all spheres of society. Along with that, people’s changing mind set is very important to women’s safety. Men should be taught about respecting females from family to educational institutions. In addition, there should be fast-track courts to hear the cases and the cases should be investigated in a time bound manner. Only strict laws cannot solve the issue of women’s safety in India, but they can solve the issue to a large extent by enforcing these laws in a time-bound manner.
To conclude, crimes against women are halting our country’s progress. We must not put the blame on women and ask them to be extra careful. Instead, we must ask the men to change their thinking and work to make the world a safer place for women.
By: Prof. Veena Gaonkar
Assistant Professor (ETC Department)