This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Youth Ki Awaaz. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Of Misogyny And Violence Against Women: Here’s Why Even Lawyers And Judges Need Lessons In Gender Sensitization

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

By Ujjawal Choudhary:

While we were feeling jubilant over the death sentence awarded to all 4 accused in the horrific Dec 16 Delhi gang rape, we were equally shocked by the statements by defense lawyer A P Singh – ” if my daughter was having pre-marital sex and moving around at night with her boyfriend, I would have burnt her alive. I would not have let this situation happen…”

Rape

Now, these intemperate remarks were indirectly intended to question the morality of the dead victim as she had boarded the wrong bus with a male friend at 9 pm instead of 9 am. So, let us not get carried away by the euphoria and look into the ground realities of our society and judicial system.

This clearly reflects the patriarchy and the misogynist bias too deeply entrenched in the Indian mindset to be rooted out. When this sensational case was being highlighted in the news, we could also hear and read the tweets of the people desperately trying to blame the hapless victim.

The well-educated and aware masses are trying to raise awareness but everything seems to be turning futile as the Indian male continue to believe in fallacies as — She asked for it or she was wearing a revealing dress inviting men leading to rape. We hear such unfortunate statements made by policemen and elected representatives.

According to a collective and recent report by courts in Madhya Pradesh, in 98% of cases of rape, women were covered by traditional attire. Even if we intend to question the veracity of such findings, we should not overlook the fact that such incidents continue unabated even in the winter season in North India when girls keep themselves covered with warm clothes. Let us look at the dismal conviction rates in rapes and other crimes of honor killing. Rules of law may appear straight forward and just in fat books of law, but the final judgment in always open for interpretations in spite of several irrefutable evidences.

There have been such cases when even the judges question the character of the victims, apparently assuming her to actually be responsible for her plight. Many policemen too react in the same way while being asked to register an FIR. With police and law professionals with such antiquated mindset, we cannot expect the improvement in our justice system and the anti-rape law with exemplary punishments will remain ineffective.

Unfortunately, there are many humanitarian activists who live under the illusion that every evil human being can be transformed. We have to accept the harsh truth that there are many evil aberrant in our society who we need to get rid of through death sentences. So, let us welcome the judgment of the death sentence to all 4 convicts.

Don’t forget that the case will most probably move though probation and appeals in higher courts. But with several strong evidences, let us hope that they are not let off easily and suffer the way they deserve.

We should give our heartiest thanks to the judge, Mr Yogesh Khanna, and the public prosecutor, Mr Daya Krishnan. It was good to see defense lawyer Mr A Anand humbly accept the final judgment of the court. But we cannot thank the lawyer, Mr A P Singh, whose moral sense seems to be depleted in spite of being so educated. His last statement exposed his frustrated and misogynist mindset that the dead victim was wrong and the culprits were right in spite of the ferocious brutalities inflicted upon her.

Until such lawyers and judges are replaced by law professionals with more judicious mindset, things cannot improve much. We must have heard the staggering number of rape cases registered alone in Delhi in 2013. It is largely due to the increase in numbers of women coming forward to report such cases which mostly go unreported in other parts of India. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel that many culprits will be brought to book due to large number of FIRs being reported.

You must be to comment.
  1. Raj

    Excuse me, what you are actually trying to say under the guise of “gender sensitization” is that the society must be brainwashed to toe a pro-feminist line that you have in mind. I am strongly opposed to such nonsense since I believe in the freedom of expression and preservation of individual rights. If someone wants to be sexist, let them. As long as no force is being used against anybody, either to comply or deny something, then it is fine. Freedom of expression includes listening to stuff you disapprove of, including sexist views.

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

Similar Posts

By Sara Sharma

By Vaishnavi Gond

By Survivors Against TB

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below