Libertatem Magazine

Status of Women In Modern Era: Rapes and Acid Attack

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“A lady was crying in the arbitrator room because her husband severely beat him up yesterday, the face of the lady was swollen and her hands were injured.”

This line reflects the status of women in today’s society. A woman’s dignity is of great importance not just for her and for her family but also for the society in general. This is quite evident from the historical perspective as well. In the Hindu society, people say that a woman’s dignity is like her jewelry.  In the Muslim society, a woman wears burka to cover herself up to prevent demonstration of her skin to others. However, Status of the women has been a subject of many changes over the millennia. During the glorious Vedic period, women were given equal importance to men. But with changing times, their status in the society has gradually depreciated and they have become a mere object of satisfaction for the men. Today, women are struggling everywhere to get equal rights and equal treatment as men.  In the context of our own country India, no girl can say it confidently that she is safe and no harm can be done to her. In India, the irony is that we worship goddesses and call our country as Bharat Mata, however in terms of safety of women, we are nowhere. Records state that India counts in the countries with highest rate of crimes against women. This is a huge letdown since it not only shows the regressive mentality of Indian men but also reflects our failure to build a society with safety for all.

Rapes and Acid attacks are the most prominent forms of crimes against a woman. Other crimes such as female trafficking, dowry, child marriage, female infanticide, etc are also very widely prevalent in our society. The most palpable reason of concern is the fact that in India, despite of severe laws, there is no fall in the crime ratio. Not a single day goes when we don’t read about some form of cruelty against some woman in some part of our society.  This is a matter of deep regret and shame.

India ranks 3rd in the list of countries with highest number of rape incidents by the US. In India, Rape stands 4th in the list of crimes. According to the National crime records bureau 2013 annual report, in 2012 the number of rapes reported was 24,923. Out of these, 24,470 were committed by relative or neighbor, the victim knew the alleged rapist in 98 per cent of the cases. However, it is estimated that only 1 in 10 rapes in India gets reported, while in the US 46% are reported. Rape in India has doubled from 1990 to 2008. The main reason is that most of the cases are not reported. Also, there are few cases which have happened and that have taken over by fear in everyone’s heart. One of such incidents is of the Nirbhaya rape case which happened in Delhi on the night of 16th December, 2012. In this case, the victim was brutally gang-raped inside a moving bus and was fatally assaulted. The victim succumbed to the injuries and died a tragic death a few days later despite of a great effort to save her by the government and the authorities. Though, the accused were hanged till death yet the condition sees no improvement. Very recently, on the night of December 8, 2014 in Delhi a private cab driver allegedly raped a woman. The investigation is still going on but the serious question is whether there is any stop to these kinds of incidents ever.

In India before 3rd February 2013 the Indian Penal code defined rape in section 375. Rape is a situation where a person most of the time a female is forced into sexual intercourse, against her will. But there is an exception that is if the wife is under 15 and the husband does matrimonial rape then that is not considered as a rape. Marital rape, same sex rape and considered all sex with a minor below the age of 16 as rape were not counted. But after 3rd February 2013 there were changes made in the Indian Penal Code and same sex rape was added and raised the age of consent to 18 years, even after the 2013 reform, marital rape continued not to be a crime in India. However, it may be considered a prosecutable domestic violence under other sections of Indian penal code, such as Section 498(A) as well as the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005

Acid is a cheap, easily available, and the quickest and safest way to destroy a women’s life, this is so because in most of the cases if it is a rape the girls are aware of their rapist and seeing the law if caught the punishments are brutal but in case of acid attack mostly the criminal is not found because it is a matter of split seconds that the acid is thrown. It is a growing up crime in India.  Acid attack is also termed as acid throwing. Acid attack can also be termed as a violent attack in which the criminal tries to injure the body of the victim mostly the face because in the country like India mostly girls are rejected because they do not have a good complexion, so in such a state if a girl has got her face ruined that would just end her life and her happiness because all she will all her life be taunted by the society. Over the years this has been increasing in our country and it is a matter of sorrow. This has been so common in India that a woman dared to refuse a man’s proposal of marriage or asked for a divorce, the man has the audacity to injure her by throwing acid on her.

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