Celebrities Join the Fight to Stop Rape as a Weapon of War, Despite tougher laws, India can’t shake rape culture

June 17, 2014 Comments Off on Celebrities Join the Fight to Stop Rape as a Weapon of War, Despite tougher laws, India can’t shake rape culture

Celebrities Join the Fight to Stop Rape as a Weapon of War
By Janine di Giovanni 6/16/14

….“War zone rape thrives on silence,” Jolie said in her opening remarks, and Hague agrees: Sexual crimes should not be shameful. “It’s about waking people up,” he told Newsweek. “Despite all the communications within the modern age, these crimes have taken place on a vast scale without the world noticing. And that now is changing.”

….Five years after the Sri Lankan government defeated the Tamil Tigers, human rights groups report continued abductions, torture, rapes and other sexual violence against both men and women of the Tamil minority.

“For all intents and purposes, the war has not finished,” insists Frances Harrison, author of Still Counting the Dead, a brutal account of the Sri Lankan conflict. “Especially for young men and women who had association with the rebels, they are still being abducted, hunted down. It’s a mopping up operation five years on.”

Harrison says the Sri Lankan government—which is not considered a pariah state, despite its persistent human rights violations—“are using very sophisticated intelligence methods like facial-recognition software, as well as hooded informers who nod when they identify somebody.” ….
http://www.newsweek.com/celebrities-join-fight-stop-rape-weapon-war-255054

Despite tougher laws, India can’t shake rape culture
Mandakini Gahlot  USA Today Jun 16, 2014

NEW DELHI (RNS) Despite tougher laws against sexual violence, the grisly rape and murder of two teenage girls found hanging from a tree shows India has a long way to go to safeguard women in its male-dominated, socially stratified culture, critics say.

Protestors rally outside Sufdarjung Hospital in 2012 while seeking justice for a gang rape victim. Despite recent reform to toughen India’s sexual violence laws, India’s male-dominated and socially stratified culture isn’t helping solve the problem, critics say.

Protestors rally outside Sufdarjung Hospital in 2012 while seeking justice for a gang rape victim. Despite recent reform to toughen India’s sexual violence laws, India’s male-dominated and socially stratified culture isn’t helping solve the problem, critics say.

“Even though the laws are there, many people feel they can get away with anything, an attitude that some of our politicians have gone out their way to encourage,” said Ranjana Kumari, a prominent women’s rights activist and director of the Centre for Social Research in New Delhi.

The incident in Katra Sadatganj, an impoverished village in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, is just the latest in a string of attacks. At least two other rape cases were reported in the past two weeks in the same state. The incidents are igniting debate about sexual violence against women and triggering outrage over lax attitudes about it, despite the strengthening of laws against rape last year….

More than 240,000 sexual offenses against women were reported in 2012, according to Indian government statistics. But human rights experts believe that number is vastly underestimated because many women don’t report the crimes.

India’s government enacted measures last year to address concerns after nationwide protests seeking more security for women followed Singh’s death. The new laws mandate strict guidelines for reporting rapes, shorter trials, less onerous hurdles for victims making accusations and requirements that female officers process victims.

However, high-profile rapes continue to occur, suggesting men’s behavior isn’t changing and marring the country’s image abroad. Last year, the number of female tourists dropped 10 percent, according to industry experts, in a country where tourism makes up 6 percent of GDP….
http://www.religionnews.com/2014/06/16/despite-tougher-laws-india-cant-shake-rape-culture/

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