Three years ago, a young woman was brutally gang raped and murdered on a Delhi bus. The incident sparked unprecedented outrage – it brought thousands onto the streets, it ‘shocked the collective conscience of the nation’ and even led to an amendment of existing rape laws. It marked an important moment in India’s history, making for a shift in the discourse that surrounds sexual violence. Despite the rabid calls for capital punishment, the multitude of voices that were heard then, allowed for an expanded dialogue on rape – issues of rape within marriage and family, the need to repeal laws such as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and include a special subsection on rapes committed by security forces, and the move away from seeing rape as the fault of the victim – informed and changed the nature of public discourse on sexual violence.
But while laws can be amended within the year, and courts fast-tracked, the everyday lives of most women continue to be informed by violence. Particularly those women who are economically and socially marginalized. As Kalpana Sharma reminds us, it should not take an anniversary or 16 days of activism to be reminded of something that happens everyday. Continue reading
10-11 DECEMBER 2015
Savitri Bai Phule, Jyotiba Phule, B R Ambedkar and ER Periyar were among the first to show how upper caste maintains its dominance through the structures of marriage and family to uphold Brahmanical hegemony and keep women in a subordinate position. The struggle against patriarchy and religious orthodoxy is yet to draw substantially from this legacy to redefine feminism in the Indian context.
Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) would like to discuss what people’s movements and democratic movements, especially the women’s movement, have to say in relation to the “annihilation of caste” in the context of both work and vision in contemporary times. WSS invites you to this two-day seminar that will be addressed by activists, writers and academics.
Kindly keep yourselves free to attend this seminar as your participation is invaluable to us all in WSS, Delhi. We will send more details very soon.
Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression
A team of human rights activists from Solidarity Committee for Brick Kiln Workers of Telangana State, Human Rights Forum, and Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression, as well as professors and students from University of Hyderabad, visited Hanumantunipeta village in Pedhapally block of Karimnagar district today, to conduct a fact finding on the death of Surja Bag, a pregnant woman brick kiln worker from Orissa. Her husband, Jitendra Bag had filed a complaint at the police station stating that she had been lethally kicked by the owner of the brick kiln and the supervisors when she had been unable to work due to high fever. The FIR filed cites S. 304-II and the owner of the kiln, Shyam, and 3 supervisors have been taken into remand on these charges. Continue reading