Worst things that happened to women in 2014
Baduan gang-rape and murder
In late March 2014, a brutal image of two teenaged girls hung on a tree went viral on social media. They were on their way to relieve themselves in a field in Katra, Uttar Pradesh, when they were reportedly gangraped and killed.
Conflicting reports emerged later, where this was said to be a case or either suicide or honour killing. Till date, the details of the case remain murky. Uttar Pradesh, incidentally is in the news very often for brutal and repeated crimes against women.
Uber rape case in Delhi
The driver of a well-known radio cab service raped a woman who hired his cab in Delhi, days before the 2nd death anniversary of Nirbhaya. The accused, Shiv Kumar Yadav is a repeat offender and has been accused of rape prior to this. The cab service, Uber was banned in Delhi soon afterwards. Many Indians were shocked and a furore was raised over the safety of women using public transport, particularly radio cab services that had grown popular as a convenient and safe mode of transport. Other cab services and their safety regulations also came under question.
Honour killing of a young Delhi girl by her own parents
A 21-year-old girl was murdered by her parents for marrying a girl outside her caste and community. She was studying at a prominent college in Delhi University campus. Several other cases of honour killing have occurred in India, where parents and relatives of the youth have murdered them for ruining family's "pride and honour" for marrying outside of their community.
Minors raped in school in Bangalore
Around five different incidents, where minors as young as three were raped by members of the school staff at the school itself made headlines. Soon afterwards, the city was shut down and several parents protested demanding safety for their children. The Police commissioner of Bangalore was transferred and a new police commissioner took over the city, yet these crimes haven't reduced in number.
Inappropriate statements by politicians and leading authority figures
From placing the blame on woman's clothes to the places she visit, to the timing of her visit to blaming cell phones, fast food, non-veg food. "Sometimes it's right, sometimes It's wrong." "Boys will be boys," and other ridiculous statements have been made by many politicians, often by women too. Being figures of authority, they must exercise more prudence in help turn this country safer for women. Putting their own foot in the mouth is not reducing the brutal crimes against women in India.
13 women died at mass government-run botched sterilisation camps
In Chhattisgarh, a severe case of negligence resulted in the death of thirteen women at state-run sterilization camps. Reports of haphazard sterilization where many women were forced into it came to the fore. Health care measures came into question by the public and the media. Recently, Indian Government has also slashed the budget for health care, which is already one of the poorest in the world.
Best things that happened to Indian women in 2014
Michelle Obama felicitated Indian acid attack survivor Laxmi
At the age of 16, Laxmi was attacked with acid by her friend's 32-year-old brother. 9 years later, she has been instrumental in making laws tougher and in favour of acid attack survivors. She was invited to the US and the title ‘Women of Courage' was conferred upon her by Michelle Obama, first lady of US. Acid attacks are very common in India, usually to avenge a woman or in case of jealousy, where the attacker aims to scar a woman mentally and physically for life.
18 minor girls from Jharkhand represent India at the USA football cup
Part of the NGO Yuwa, the lives of 18 minor girls changed when the founder of the NGO trained them and took them to Spain for a football cup some months ago. Later this year, they did India proud as they were the first Indian team to make it to the US for the football cup. Jharkhand is a state where cases of child marriages, child trafficking and child abuse are routine.
33% reservation for women in Police force in Union Territories
All union territories, including Delhi will have 33% reservation for women in the police force. The women's reservation Bill which seeks 33% representation of women in politics still remains on the backburner. This maybe a welcome move and hopefully this will ward off the vicious crimes against women which mars our country today.
Are we prepared for 2015?
The number of crimes against women has not reduced whatsoever, with more and more horrifying crimes making headlines every other day. Petitions, movements, awareness campaigns and many measures have been undertaken by committed activists, and also conscious citizens, but is that enough?
Is women's safety a priority for the Government at all?
Are we prepared to see the year 2015 in a good stead? Please let us know in comments below.
In the months leading up to the election, Jaago Re released a 10-point Powerof49 Manifesto, and presented it to the leading political parties.
Can we check to see if any of those demands have been met? If not, how do we, as citizens of the world's largest democracy assert our rights?
Can we take inspiration from movements around the world, where the youth, both men and women have gone up to every extent imaginable to ensure their rights are met with – or can they serve as an example for us to shake off our apathy and to introspect, question, organise and gather together to demand what's ours. Click to here to read the list of demands of the Powerof49 Manifesto.
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