“Be My Valentine – 1 Billion Rising” by Lalita Raman

As I’m writing this in the wee hours of the morning, before the crack of dawn, Valentine’s Day is slowly but surely rolling out.

The Valentine Day fever or retail mania has started off a week to 10 days back even in the non Western world. From India, Pakistan, Hong Kong, China and various nook and corners of Asia, it is almost impossible to miss the fervor of this special day.

What is Valentine’s Day ? I won’t bore you with details but for the curios mind, you can check the link.

The significance from what I have read and understood is that it marks the Feast day of Saint Valentine; the celebration of Love and affection.

In my view, love and affection can be to your mother, wife, girl friend, boy friend, spouse, friend, brother, sister, father, child or for that matter to any human being.

I’ve never been a big fan of Valentine’s Day because the true meaning has been lost over the years in the way it is commercialized and has in my view become one of the biggest money-making business. One loses their peace of mind with advance restaurant bookings, retailers wooing you with the Valentine’s Day clichés, set menus in restaurants with no choice left to you to choose what you desire to eat.

On this Valentine’s Day and going forward ask yourself 

  • Is this all that Love and Affection is about ?
  • Are you further victimizing a woman who has already been sexually assaulted by your attitude and lewd comments ?
  • Do you find power in degrading a woman mentally and physically ?
  • Are you not ostracizing woman when you make statements to the effect that woman walk in perpetual consent when they dress the way they want?
  • Are you not being an oppressor watching a rape or sexual assault silently ?
  • Are you not contributing to violence against woman when you watch TV shows and movies that show woman as a commodity ?
  • Are you not being a sexist when you engage in verbal sexual assaults or silently watch the same against a woman ?
  • Are you not bringing disdain to love and affection when you decide to abort a child when you determine the sex of the child is female ?
  • Are you not aiding and abetting with the oppressors when you don’t raise your voice against Female Genital Mutation, sexual abuse or harassment or female feticide or any other form of violence against women. 
  • For anyone who thinks women should ignore online harassment, and not react, would you do so?  Would you ignore it if you are abused, and threatened on-line ?
  • Why do you as society victimize a female and view her with a cacophony of distrust ?
  • Are you treating the woman in your life with love, affection, respect and care? 
  • Are you being human while dealing with a woman ?

Key Highlights from onebillionrising.org. Watch the Video  http://t.co/uK97Qnko.

“ONE IN THREE WOMEN ON THE PLANET WILL BE RAPED OR BEATEN IN HER LIFETIME.

ONE BILLION WOMEN VIOLATED IS AN ATROCITY

ONE BILLION WOMEN DANCING IS A REVOLUTION

On V-Day’s 15th Anniversary, 14 February 2013, we are inviting ONE BILLION women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to this violence. ONE BILLION RISING will move the earth, activating women and men across every country. V-Day wants the world to see our collective strength, our numbers, our solidarity across borders.

What does ONE BILLION look like? On 14 February 2013, it will look like a REVOLUTION.

ONE BILLION RISING IS:

A global strike

An invitation to dance

A call to men and women to refuse to participate in the status quo until rape and rape culture ends

An act of solidarity, demonstrating to women the commonality of their struggles and their power in numbers

A refusal to accept violence against women and girls as a given

A new time and a new way of being.

Change starts with you, with your family. If you change your mindsets and attitudes, and every member of your family did the same, this world will no longer have woman who are treated as a Sexual Commodity to be harassed, tortured, raped, humiliated or killed. 

Start now, start today. Speak up, spread the good word of Be A Human and a Woman is Human. Raise your voice as a human being and bring Violence Against Women to an END.

Read the original post here: http://lalitaraman.com/2013/02/14/be-my-valentine-1-billion-rising/

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Economics Journal: What Price for Women’s Rights? by Rupa Subramanya

In recent months, there has been much coverage of horrific crimes against women in India. These crimes include rape, murder, sexual abuse, and other forms of violence.

The reaction of at least some of India’s political class has been far from helpful. In the state of Haryana, for example, where there has been an increase in the reporting of sexual violence against women, local leaders have allegedly blamed everything from the consumption of chow mein to the idea that girls who aren’t married off by the time they are 16 are more likely to be raped as they search for sexual satisfaction.

Read more here.

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“I am writing in my story to show that there is hope if we are just courageous enough to reach for it.” by Indian Homemaker

Sharing an email.

Dear IHM,

Reading the last couple of e-mails posted on your blog is a bittersweet experience. Bitter – because of the sheer amount of crap that, we as Unmarried Independent Women of Indian Origin have to face. Sweet (well a little bit) – because at least there is hope for the future as we are (hopefully) a growing breed.

I want to share my story, both as a warning to not succumb to the immense pressure that is put on us and also because I truly believe it is worth forging our own path. I in no way speak for every Indian woman who has faced the insane pressure that is put on us, and I also recognise the many privileges that I enjoy – financial independence, physical distance from India, and parents who though living in India and under constant pressure are genuinely supportive for the most part.

Read more here.

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Kerala Sex Scandals: Stolen girls of God’s Own Country by Ramlath Kavil

The state of Kerala, India, often cited as a model of development, has in the past two decades seen a multitude of sex scandals where minor girls have been subject to sexual abuse and exploitation.

You got to be kidding. It can’t be God’s own country. God left this carpet of greenery long ago. Money, muscle power and misogyny have taken over the political will of this most politicised state. Big names, small towns and minor girls are inextricably embroiled in the numerous sex scandals that keep unfolding across the state one after another.

Read more here.

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India’s great sickness by Samar Halarnkar.

It began with the media. Supposedly responsible national newspapers identified the nationality of a student — she is not Indian — of the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), one of the nation’s most prestigious law schools, after she was abducted from a friend’s car and raped on the

NLSIU’ wooded campus by a gang of hoodlums in Bangalore earlier this month. The reactions from those vested with bringing her justice indicated why India is one of the worst places in the world to be a woman.

Read more here.

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Photographing Violence Against Women, Even in Norway by James Estrin

See the photographs here.

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Why is India so bad for women? by Helen Pidd

Of all the rich G20 nations, India has been labelled the worst place to be a woman. But how is this possible in a country that prides itself on being the world’s largest democracy?

In an ashram perched high on a hill above the noisy city of Guwahati in north-east India is a small exhibit commemorating the life of India’s most famous son. Alongside an uncomfortable-looking divan where Mahatma Gandhi once slept is a display reminding visitors of something the man himself said in 1921: “Of all the evils for which man has made himself responsible, none is so degrading, so shocking or so brutal as his abuse of the better half of humanity; the female sex (not the weaker sex).”

Read more here.

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Eve teasing in India: Assault or harassment by another name by Nidhi Dutta

It’s an unfortunate truth that women are sexually harassed, and sometimes assaulted, the world over. But in the Indian state of Maharashtra, there is an increasing determination to stamp out “Eve teasing”, as it is called here, for good.

It was afternoon and we had just finished filming. My colleague and I were piling into a rickshaw, heading back to the bureau. And that’s when it happened. We were suddenly surrounded by a group of boys, barely teenagers.

Read more here.

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The World’s Five Most Dangerous Countries for Women

From rape and domestic violence to lack of healthcare and education, millions of women experience daily peril, but nowhere more than in the five countries a TrustLaw Women expert poll identifies as the world’s most dangerous countries to be female in 2011: Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, India and Somalia.

Read more here.

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VAWM in the News – 25 October 2012

1. http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/school-expels-rape-victim-nhrc-serves-notice-to-top-haryana-officials/article4029670.ece

School expels rape victim, NHRC serves notice to top Haryana officials

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notices to the Haryana Chief Secretary, the Director of Education and the Fatehabad District Collector, asking them to submit reports within four weeks on media reports that a 13-year-old rape victim and her two sisters were compulsorily given transfer certificates by a school in Khai village. The Commission was acting suo motu .

The victim’s father was reportedly being pressurised by some people to hush up the matter, though the girl was said to have been sexually assaulted for over five months by a person. He was also asked to withdraw his three daughters from the school after authorities told him that they cannot not continue their studies in the school.

2. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/oct/24/reginald-davies-sex-abuse?newsfeed=true

Reginald Davies convicted of sex abuse dating back 63 years

An elderly man has been convicted of the rape and sexual abuse of four young girls in south Wales up to 63 years ago, in one of the oldest historic cases of sex offences ever to be prosecuted in this country.

3. http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/bbc-chief-says-sex-abuse-claims-very-grave-283460

BBC chief says sex abuse claims ‘very grave’

The head of Britain’s BBC told hostile lawmakers on Tuesday that allegations of sexual abuse against one of its former stars were a grave matter but denied bosses had tried to cover up one of the biggest crises to hit the publicly funded broadcaster.

“This is a gravely serious matter and one cannot look back at it with anything other than horror,” General Director George Entwistle told lawmakers on parliament’s Culture and Media Committee.

4. http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/neighbour-kingpin-behind-bidadi-gang-rape/article4030148.ece

Neighbour kingpin behind Bidadi gang rape

A pre-university dropout, in dire need of money to start a business, has been found to be the kingpin behind the alleged gang rape of three women working as bar tenders in Gandhinagar area. Investigations have revealed that the gang had plans to force the women into prostitution by blackmailing them.

Girish, the dropout, who stayed in the first floor of the same house in Jnanajyothi Layout in Nagadevanahalli in Bidadi where the five women resided, was arrested along with eight others by the Bidadi police on Tuesday.

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