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

The horrible truth about rape culture in india

More from Devangana

TW: Mentions rape, sexual assault

It is no surprise that I’m writing this in October 2020—just days after the Hathras incident.

Hathras is a small city in Uttar Pradesh. Like any other town, it had its own significance and beauty; it also had a reputation that everyone acknowledged. Then one day, a gang of upper caste men raped a Dalit girl. After fighting for her life for two weeks, she died in the hospital. Then came the politicians and the media—pushing and fighting to bring this to the attention of other people.

See, this is not the first time such an incident has happened.

  1. Aruna Shanbaug Case
  2. Priyadarshini Mattoo Rape and Murder Case
  3. Scarlett Keeling rape case and murder
  4. Nirbhaya case
  5. Jisha rape and murder case
  6. Soumya murder case
  7. Suryanelli rape case

And guess what? This is not the end of the list. Many girls are sexually abused and harassed every single day in this country. There are several reasons why we don’t know about the majority of rape cases happening:

  1. After a rape, the girl might feel disgusted, ashamed and may even blame herself. This thinking leads her to depression and anxiety and compels her to stay quiet about the issue. This way, not even her parents would get to know that their daughter was raped let alone society!
  2. Lack of proper and timely investigation, and support to the victims also leads to such cases getting ignored or swept under the rug.
  3. Sometimes the woman may also be pressured by society and family to keep quiet about the incident. In some cases, the victim is also threatened by the perpetrator or their kin keeping her from speaking up.

These are not rare incidence, they happen quite often in our society. This is what’s happening to many women and girls every day.

Why Do Men Rape?

Is it really about sexual pleasure? If yes, then why can’t they just go and receive that pleasure without force and with a woman’s consent? I don’t think it’s right to associate sex with such a violent act.

I mean of course there are women who have sex for their pleasure and that’s not a mistake. But if a girl is protesting or trying to get loose of a man’s grip while having sex and even though she will say ‘stop’, if she is still getting sexually handled then that’s what’s called a rape. And in the majority of rape cases, women are NOT getting any pleasure. They are bearing pain and guilt instead of happiness. And the pain a girl have when she getting raped is beyond words.

Do you think that those poor girls deserve to endure that extreme pain? Do you think that those innocent women deserves to be handled like objects? They are human beings! They have all the rights to live happily without any depression or traumas! And even though our country is one of the most developed country in the world, 100s of girls are getting sexually harassed this very day! What is the government doing? What is the use of a huge government when they are not taking any actions regarding this issue even though rape cases are being highlighted in the media frequently. If rape is such a common practice in India then why are they taking no actions?

What the government can do:

The government could supply self defense kits to the women of the country just like they did for grocery during the pandemic. It could include a can of pepper spray, a small alarm and other things that could help them survive. The government could also give awareness classes to the girls especially in the minorities about rape. They could also install streetlights and camera surveillance in the narrow alleys were rape is more common to happen. Instead of telling the girls to not walk alone at night, tell the men to stop treating the girls like toys. Educate the boys on how rape can have a terrible effect on girls.

The society’s role:

Last but not the least stop hiding these things away from your kids. Sex or rape is not something that’s going to bring them good when its kept away from their knowledge. They are the rulers of the future and they just cant go out into the real world without having any knowledge on what the people are going through. They need education and awareness about rape culture and its effects.

Why boys should also be given equal consultation on rape as girls:

Another important thing we have to keep in our mind is that we should not teach girls to look at men like monsters. It is a common practice that girls, when they see a man, have this sudden fear and thought running into them that ‘the man is a rapist’. I agree that most of the times a man is usually the one that harass a woman but it can also happen the other way. A man can get sexually abused by a woman. But its not common and not much known but it is equally important. Men should not feel any embarrassment in expressing their worries. Many men usually stands back in speaking out their troubles because men are ‘not suppose to cry’ and ‘should not complain’ because then they are ‘acting like a girl. The first thing to keep in mind is that men CAN express their concerns as much as a woman can. This is called gender equality. Men and women should get equal chances. The second thing is that if a man cries or complains, it doesn’t mean he is a girl. It means that he is brave enough to do so in a society like ours. Third thing is that never define a girl by the words ‘crying’, ‘complain’ and ‘weak’ because we are not. Just because we are not afraid to express our feelings doesn’t mean we are ‘cowards’. Boys should also feel comfortable in opening up and the society should help him with it. These stereotypical mindsets are what causing half of the issues in our society.

Conclusion

Harthas case was another issue that would stay in the news for 3 days and then get forgotten like any other rape case. Instead of learning and doing something every time a rape case gets publicity, we are trending hashtags and having debates on news channels that have no effects on the progress of the country. I’m literally begging our government to implement strategic moves to ensure that no other boy or girl gets raped. It may take years to achieve a 0% rape rate but this is the time to act. If it gets delayed it will not only affects the girls and boys but also the reputation of our country. This IS the time to take some action. I really am impressed by several actions taken by our government in many issues. But I’m really disgusted to say that India is really behind rape protection. As much as infrastructure and development is important, there are more important issues that needs to be consulted first like rape. Its our duty to protect the girls and boys of our country because they are the ones who is going to stand in your position in the future.

Youth Ki Awaaz is an open platform where anybody can publish. This post does not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions.

You must be to comment.

More from Devangana

Similar Posts

By shakeel ahmad

By Mahima Choubey

By Mark Twain

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