There is no question that the plight of women in India is not an easy one. Global attention turned to India this past December when a medical student was brutally raped by a group of men and died. This is not the last time we heard about gender-based violence in the country. A quick search of Google News for the terms ‘India’ and ‘rape’ turns up a profusion of heartbreaking stories.
Women activists are leading the way for policy change in India. On March 21st, a bill was passed that doubled the current minimum sentence for gang rape, rape of a minor or rape by police officers or a person in authority from 7-10 years to 20. The bill also includes a death penalty sentence for repeat offenders and it requires jail time without bail for second time voyeurism or stalking charge. Penalties are also increased for police officers who do not properly report sexual assault.
Women in India know that they have a voice. The bill is a success, but there needs to be enforcement, gender equity needs to increase and the changes need to be universal throughout the country. Women are at the forefront; Strong Women building a Strong World.