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CRIMES AGAINST WOMEN: The Indian Scenario
- the drivers, factors and influences
Research paper submitted by:
Akanksha Oza Aradhya Dubey Tulja Kedia
ABSTRACT India has witnessed an increase in the Crimes against women over the past few years. The aim of this report is an attempt to correlate crime rates to some of the socio economic variables such as female to male sex ratio, work participation and literacy among females; analyze the other factors involved in the numerable crimes and suggest remedies that could be implemented at a National level A research based on secondary data that mainly consisted of reports and official data was used to study the trend of crimes against women and their causes. The results indicate that the assumption economic growth has not translated into the abolishment of traditional practices and regressive attitudes; there is also a clear link between sex ratio and violence as a whole. It is concluded that India has witnessed an increase in the Crimes against women over the past few years evident of the fact that female literacy probably becomes an effective agency against violence only when literacy spreads extensively.This ‘crime against woman ‘situation cannot be improved in a short duration; due to various cultural, economic and social factors. Like the ingrained patriarchal mind-set, the economic dependency, increasing alcohol consumption, wave of migrant laborers in big cities, the clash of cultural values due to a media
if ever. has a unique explanation. eveteasing. diktats by khaps. One of the basic lessons of social science is that a complex phenomenon such as violence against women rarely. This report addresses the social issue of Crimes against women. For instance.3 explosion within 2 decades. the paradox in the state of Haryana is evident of how development can be a contradiction if it doesn’t change unwarranted cultural beliefs and practice. the state has the a growing incidence of rapes/gang rapes. abduction. molestation. a single driving causal mechanism. This indicates that India’s story of economic development has not translated into the social sphere and women are still subject to traditional institutions and their regressive practices. honour killings. It is recommended that Media takes an active step towards shaping minds and attitudes of the Indian common. plausibly explainable by a multitude of different hypotheses. Rape cases and cases of violence against women have increased over the years. which aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive nor exhaustive. there has been increasing violence that has been targeted towards women. rampant foeticide. etc.man towards violence against women in the right direction. Rather. Despite constitutional provisions and safeguards to protect the rights of women by ensuring equality of opportunity and building a gender-just society. such phenomena are “over-determined”. violence against girls in natal families on the choice of their marriage partners and property issues. child marriages. the economic and social impact of such crimes and provides recommendations as to the kind of change that needs to be brought . INTRODUCTION Over the last Decade.
For example. Rape is grossly unreported while dowry deaths rarely are left unreported. The “References Consulted” list that appears at the end of the compendium includes those sources which were helpful in developing the compendium. VARIABLES Rapes Child Marriage Literacy Ratio Sex Ratio . coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty. However. ‘Crime’ according to this report is defined as any act of gender-based violence that results in. physical. work participation and literacy among females. Therefore such a discrepancy will lead to further problems such as a region with high unreported data can be classified as one with low crime rate and vice versa. sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women. the scope of such an analysis is limited as the crimes against women are underreported in India. There is also an attempt to correlate crime rates to some of the socio economic variables such as female to male sex ratio. but which were not used directly to support information presented. This study restricts itself to a statistical and spatial analysis of national/state/district level data available on crimes against women compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). whether occurring in public or in private life.4 about. All literature that was cited to support information presented in both the introductory and indicator chapters appear in a “References Cited” list at the end of each chapter in which they were used. The extent of underreporting varies across time and space. including threats of such acts. or is likely to result in.
There was a preliminary analysis of possible socioeconomic correlates of crimes against women. which showed a close relationship between the number of crimes committed and the above. molestation and sexual harassment with female work participation. four indicators were chosen. The relationship between crimes against women and sex ratio are very clear and are evident of the fact that lower sex ratio leads to a greater number of crimes against women. influences and recommendations have been interpreted through close study and analysis of a series of data available. . There is a clear indication of a positive relationship between the incidence of rape. mentioned factors. The influencing factors included education. RESULTS Presenting the data. female literacy (percent). The factors. female work participation rate (percent) and sex ratio (number of females for thousand males) and age factor ( percentage of crimes).5 Female Work Participation Dowry Importation Of Girls METHODODOLOGY This research was conducted through a secondary data. For this purpose. media and society acceptance. a statistical and spatial analysis of national/state/district level data available on crimes against women compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). The correlations between female work participation and crime rates indicate that women who go out are more vulnerable to violence. there was no relationship that could be detected between crimes against women and female literacy rates. lead by a close study of the kinds of crimes committed in India.
Increasing by a staggering 792 per cent in those 40 years. it was 1. That is. and STIs. Karnataka. according to 2011 statistics from India's National Crime Records Bureau. Girls who marry before the age of 18 are also less likely to be enrolled in school. and Mizoram indicate that female literacy may only be a deterrent at a higher level. Child marriage is documented as a violation of human rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights since a child is unable to make informed decisions about a life partner and enter into a marriage with free and full consent.719 cases. while in the corresponding period in 2011. Child Marriage: Several studies have shown that child marriage is associated with increased risk of sexual and/or physical abuse. rape dwarfs the rise in other serious crimes such as murder (106 per cent). rape has been the country's most rapidly growing crime since 1971. Nagaland. armed robbery (27per cent) and kidnapping (298 per cent).467 cases reported from January to November. Literacy rate: There seems to exist no correlation among crimes against women and literacy rates as indicated by the scatter plot. In 2010 there were 1. Gujarat. states such as Kerala. Maharashtra.6 IINTERPRETATIONS OF RESULTS Rapes: Rajasthan has witnessed 30% increase in rape cases from November 2010 to November 2012. . However. female literacy probably becomes an effective agency against violence only when literacy spreads extensively. early pregnancy.908. The cases witnessed in 2012 till November were 1. Girls and women who are married before age 18 are also more likely to experience violence and abuse.
Error: Reference source not found Sex Ratio: It has been established that young. as these are not based on any objective measure to test the literacy status of the respondents.e. Literacy rates and Crimes against women are assumed to share an inverse relationship. the data on literacy collected through census enumeration classifies all individuals into only two categories.7 Literacy rate has been on the rise: After the 2011 census. There seems to be a problem with the definition of Literacy. literacy rate India 2011 was found to be 74. crime rate has been increasing as well. is treated as literate. therefore implying that Literacy rate and Crimes against women share a positive correlation. Moreover.04%Error: Reference source not found.Error: Reference source not found Therefore it is evident of the fact that it is fairly liberal and leaves a lot of room for discrepancies. low status males are more prone to committing violent acts against women. who can read and write with understanding in any language. However. unmarried. Therefore. the census data thus suffer from obvious limitations. However. It does not make any distinction between the ‘proximate’ and ‘isolated’ illiterates. i. This must mean our economic development has not been translating into the social sphere. there is a paradox that can be seen. even such an inference has limited scope because an increase in literacy rate can mean that there is greater rate of awareness and implies a greater reporting than that was possible when the literacy rates were lower. The giveaway is that it is not necessary for the literate person to have received any formal education or to have attained any minimum educational standard’. This theory has been backed by the consistency seen when studied in various . In the census enumeration. ‘A person. literate and illiterate as it is based on self-declaration of the respondent. that is with an increase in literacy rates over the years.
the daily reports of rape and gang rape are consistent with notions that a surplus of men. Female Worker Participation: The correlations between female work participation and crime rates indicate that women who go out are more vulnerable to violence. not just violence against women as might be assumed when there is a shortage of females. The authors concluded that there was a clear link between sex ratio and violence as a whole. women are significantly under- . On an average there are over five rapes takes place in a day and over 32 women deal with domestic violence on a daily basis. Talking about positions in politics." In Rajasthan. it might well be said that to deny the link between the country's masculinised sex ratio and national average of 22 women raped each hour is to live in disgraceful disregard for the lifelong suffering the crime inflicts upon girls and women. The United Nations has revealed shocking figures stating that 1 in 3 women are beaten or raped during their lifetime.Error: Reference source not found. In fact.8 countries. which would mean about 480 women are violated on a daily basis. devoid of the feminising influence of sisters. Even the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) states that one crime is committed against women every three minutes. These are just the reported cases. There are thousands of crimes that go unreported as there is a culture of silence and denial as far as crimes against women are concerned. girlfriends and wives. a study carried out between 1980 and 1982 showed a strong correlation between crime rates in individual states across the country and the sex ratio in those states. Over a billion women have been subjected to violence on this planet. In India. are driven towards committing violent crimes against women. In India's states where the sex ratio is highly skewed in favour of males. discrimination against women is so deep-rooted that the child sex ratio is 883 girls for every 1000 boys.
The payment of a dowry§ gift. there are civil laws. “dowry” means any property or valuable security given or agreed to be given either directly or indirectly— (a) by one party to a marriage to the other party to the marriage. criminal laws and special legislative acts against the tradition of dowry. or (b) by the parents of either party to a marriage or by any other person. to either party to the marriage or to any other person. the Economist magazine estimated the number of “missing women” in India to be greater than 100 million in 2009. the payment of a dowry was prohibited in 1961 under Indian civil law and subsequently by Sections 304B and 498A of the Indian Penal Code. Only 54% of women in India were literate in 2001. However. the positive aspect of higher work participation rates is that dowry deaths in those districts are much lower. at or before [or any time after the marriage]in connection with the marriage of the said parties. only 5% of state legislators on average were women. compared with 76% of men. has a long history in many parts of the world. In 2007. In India§. . accounting for only 10% of the membership of national legislatures in 2009. but does not include] dower or mahr in the case of persons to whom the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) applies. India was ranked 114 out of 182 countries on the Gender Development Index of the UNDP. often financial. Women were also significantly disadvantaged in terms of human development. India had only 933 women for every 1000 men due to pervasive neglect and high rates of female infanticide. Dowry laws have come under criticism as they have been misused by women and their families. Dowry: In this Act. Someone accused of taking dowry is therefore subject to a multiplicity of legal processes. Over the period 1985-2007.9 represented in these institutions too in India. In India. These laws were enacted to make it easier for the wife to seek redress from potential harassment by the husband's family.
Women are continually being depicted in popular media as stereotyped. male view of the world that urges the rest of they handle the important stuff” (Douglas 1994.10 The cases of Dowry Deaths have increased by 2. Bihar (10 cases) and Karnataka (12 cases) have together contributed more than two-third of total such cases at the National level. fighting to co-exist and survive in a 'man‘s world‘.322 cases) alone followed by Bihar (1.4) was reported from Bihar as compared to the National average of 0. Madhya Pradesh (45 cases). 11). they explain how the images of women are being projected as pitiable.K Srivastava and Sweta Agarwal (2004) raise the question: Do the visual media have any relation with the crimes being perpetrated on women today? In their paper.2% has been observed in Crime Head as 80 cases were reported during the year 2011 as compared to 36 cases in the previous year (2010). docile. S. Importation of Girls An increase of 122.7.4%). “The media promotes a white. upper middleclass.9% of the total such cases reported in the country were reported from Uttar Pradesh (2.413 cases) (16. hapless beings. FACTORS AND INFLUENCES Violence in Gendered Media: There‘s little to argue on the fact that media texts still silently 'mirror‘ & resonate 'patriarchal dominance‘ that exists within societies.7% during the year 2011 over the previous year (8.391 cases). tortured beings tormented by malevolent atrocities by the visual us to sit passively on our sofas and fantasize about consumer goods while . 26. tailored for its vast male audiences. The highest rate of crime (1.
Rape. This calls for a globalized socio-media reform. struggling working-women.it‘s a vicious catacomb. Such crimes. Indian Cinema is littered with imageries of women being projected as fragile beings. depict just a fraction of the reality and are extremely small in numbers compared to crimes perpetrated on men. dowry deaths. both intrinsically and extrinsically. enslaved. tortured brutally. Most of the global media organizations are owned & run majorly by men. policies and priorities first. like elsewhere around the world. prostitutes etc. governmental & public policies towards VAW and 'Femicide‘ are paramount. mothers. Global media institutions should intrinsically cleanse their own ideologies.. It must be said that most of the violence and crimes perpetrated on women goes unreported in India. female infanticide it‘s an endless list. as housewives. so that it can infuse healthy attitudes towards feminity within the society. intrinsically within societies. Harnessing strong public opinion. with limited freedom and social acceptance. It is absolutely critical that the media breaks free from the patriarchal clutches and start taking feminist perspectives into serious considerations. raped and murdered by villains. so that they can extrinsically trigger a reformation. a task that should be . Women working in the media do have limited freedom and role to play. murder. in a country like India where women are traditionally given high esteem and worshipped as archetype deities. which do make it to the news bulletin. sisters.11 media. Films like 'Mirch Masala‘ and 'Ram Teri Ganga Maili‘ show how women were exploited and enslaved under the Zamindari System and by the social elites.
there are multitudes of reasons why the cases go unreported. The author of the report told RNW that the practice is unscientific. obtain successful careers and go about their day without fear” (Bull. It‘s a tall. says Human Rights Watch in a report published today. ‘habituated to sexual intercourse’. 94% of the rapes are committed by someone known to the victim. If two fingers can pass. enter their homes. Hence silence is more comfortable than going through the ordeal. people will tend to lose faith in the system and not report things at all. or as officials often state. The medical procedures to verify the rape are very old and often add to stigma. Quoting a report by a Human Rights group in India. The social stigma attached with rape and sexual assault in a patriarchal society is too big to bear by a girl/woman or her family. "Rape survivors in India are still being subjected to controversial forensic examinations including the so-called “finger test”. Unreported crimes: In the Indian context.2007). The test has been widespread since the mid-20th century. degrading and leads to rape victims being abeled “loose women”. So social pressure forces the girl to be silent. It involves a doctor inserting one or two fingers in a rape victim’s vagina to determine the presence of the hymen and the ‘laxity’ of the vagina. The test is used to determine whether a rape survivor is sexually active. “The goal is that one day women will be able to walk down the street. if there is less than 30% conviction rates of sexual assault cases. Its use dropped off after 2003 when India’s evidence law was amended to prohibit the cross-examination of rape victims based on “their .12 carried out by the media. To add to it. tough ask but a concerted start is needed. attend college classes. an examiner will often use this as proof that the woman is sexually active.
often blaming women’s behaviour for the offense. A doctor inserts two fingers into a women’s vagina to determine whether the hymen is broken. doctors.13 general immoral character”. The findings from this test are admissible in court. However. their own parents and the community While conducting medical examinations. she says A former chief public prosecutor is quoted in the report as saying that “the finger test is relevant for the defence especially if the [rape victim] is unmarried. which makes it less likely that their attackers will be prosecuted “It’s humiliating for a woman to be identified as being ‘habituated to sex’ as it will be difficult for her to have the police take her complaint seriously”. the defence can show that she’s habituated [to sex]. told RNW that the test is often used to label victims as ‘loose women’. This shakes the testimony of the victim”. The author of the report.650 of the 256. FACTS IN INDIA Every 20 minutes a woman is raped in India according to the number of registered rapes (this figure it much higher as most rapes go undocumented) India is ranked third in rape after US and South Africa 228. If the medical report says that two fingers have passed. . the test is still described in some medical jurisprudence textbooks and used in many cases.329 violent crimes recorded in 2011 were against women Conviction rate for rape cases is 26. according to the HRW report. many doctors record unscientific and degrading findings from the archaic “two-finger test”. Aruna Kashyap of Human Rights Watch India.6% Each week countless victims of rape commit suicide because of the way they are treated following the rape by the police.
Media can play an enormous role in educating not only the youth and coming generations but also the adults. The recent rape case in Delhi and the many others that are now gaining focus are evident of this fact. But as Narendra Modi said. harassment. it has not translated into the social framework with women being the most vulnerable group to violence and crimes. And other than that. This will further the cause of changing sex ratio and bring about female worker participation that is necessary in order to be able to create a virtuous cycle of non violence against women. it shows soaps where women are vamps and trying to . two members of parliament and six members of the various state legislative assemblies are facing rape charges. while 36 others face charges for lesser crimes against women CONCLUSION Even though India has witnessed commendable economic progress.).14 Victims are often encouraged to marry their rapists Police and armed forces were the perpetrators in 30 out of 600 media articles of violence against women between September 2011 to November 2011 Over the past five years. The conclusion is that even though literacy seems to become an effective agency against violence only when literacy spreads extensively. India's leading political parties have offered tickets to 27 candidates accused of rape and a 260 candidates facing charges for crimes against women (assault. the media these days is busy selling beauty products. the definition of literacy is conspicuous and moreover literacy should not only mean standard education but also education with reference to morals. etc. Today. It has the power to mould the society by affecting the thinking process. broader thinking with reference to changing regressive practices and traditional mindsets.
15 harm other women or whatever. Still. APPENDIX . stopped somewhere in May 2011) but almost all soaps are kind of enhancing the negative side of humanity – killing the emotions necessary for people to coexist. I don’t watch much of TV (actually. This won’t change unless the viewers want change as the media houses want profit – at any cost. if they want. they can dedicate some 10 minutes of prime time for educating people.
P. World Health Organization Statistics and data: http://www. Institute of Social Studies Trust. 7. Washington.January 17. . Rukmini Rao and Lynette Dumble . Heise. Population reference Bureau: http://www.indiatimes. 8. 2000. Sheela Saravanan (2000): Violence against Women in India.com/news/2013/01_13/01_14/011413_male.htm 4.prb.pdf 6. The World Bank.timesofindia. 1.int/gho/countries/ind/en/ 2. 2013: http://wunrn. 2011.com/2013-01-06/jaipur/36173782_1_girl-childfemale-feticide-dowry-deaths http://articles. P. Vol.timesofindia. Tanima (2011): Legal Protection Against Domestic Violence in India: Scope and Limitations.indiatimes.pdf 5.com/2013-02-14/jaipur/37098834_1_pledgefight-bhanwari-devi-women 3. Biswajit and Choudhari.26 REFERENCES 1. The Times of India: http://articles. Ghosh. World Bank Discussion Paper. Pitanguy and Germaine (1994) Violence against women: the hidden health burden. Journal of Family Violence. National Crime Record Bureau http://ncrb. V.who.in/cii2010/cii-2010/Chapter%205. 26.nic. D. 319-330.org/igwg_media/violenceagainstwomen.C.
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