Tuesday, 23 September 2014

UNSAFE City For Women ?!

By: Team PenTastic
[ Written By Pooja Pattnaik ]Edited by Sradha Suman Mahapatra ]

“Mom! I need a print-out.Going to the nearby shop”,I said(casually). My mom came out of the kitchen with a baffled look saying,”Are you out of your mind? Its about 9.00pm. Its too late. Its not “SAFE” for “YOU” to go out alone. Do it tomorrow”.

This reply of her’s didn't annoy me. It just made me upset at the fact that in this 21st century, after numerous developments advancements, girls still have so many issues related to their safety and security in our country. And thus, I thought of writing this.
The condition of women in India has always been of grave concern. For the past several centuries, history has been repeating itself. Women are not being given equal status and opportunities as their male counterparts. Everyday, women in this society face problems that reduce her confidence. The fear of violence and teasing restricts a woman’s anatomy, curtails her mobility and her ability to work and participate in social activities. Even today in India, women can’t move at night in secluded places and even at daytime at crowded places. Hundreds and thousands of incidents of physical / sexual abuse and culturally justified violence happens every day to women in this country. One of the main reasons of the injustice towards women is the mentality which deems women inferior to men. The question is, "When and Who would stop this?”…. “When will each and every woman start fighting for her own rights and her life?” As we know every woman who is silent is with a voice unheard. 

The recent incident in which a 23 year old paramedical student was gang-raped by 6 men inside a moving bus near a posh Delhi locality and thrown off the bus has undoubtedly shocked the nation to its core. This has sparked several campaigns for women’s safety. Activists believe that institutions in India do not offer enough support for women who want to report on crimes. One initiative has been unfolding online. Several websites now allow users to report the location at which an instance of sexual harassment has occurred to help create awareness and a map of areas that are perceived to be unsafe.

A survey was done that defined intimidation, threats and abuse with the following acts.

Almost two-thirds (64.8%/597) of 921 respondents answered “yes” to the question “have you experienced intimidation, threats or abuse in relation to your work?”

The survey defined intimidation, threats and abuse with the following acts (numbers indicate frequency
of reported incidents.

When asked “have you ever experienced any physical violence in relation to your work?” nearly a quarter (21.6%/118) of 547 respondents said “yes.”

If we take account of all these mishaps and heinous acts that take place, it can be easily seen that stringent laws alone cannot do much. What really needs to be done is the moral overhauling of the minds of the masses by means of education and awareness. Strong and stringent laws are definitely necessary as the existing laws have proved to be inefficient in ensuring swift justice and appropriate punishment to the guilty. But the actual need of the hour is a revolutionary change in the mindsets and conscience of Indian men so that they stop seeing women as inferior and weaker mass of the society.

As said by Charlotte Brontë, “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will”. Hence women should be respected and given equal stature as men and hopefully a day would arrive when all women would feel protected and risk-free in our country!

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