Yeh Hai Life!

Stop Calling It ‘Eve-Teasing’

In Education, Human Rights, India, Women's Issues on June 22, 2009 at 1:56 pm

Just today seven stories of rape and molestation hit the headlines (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). A woman protesting lewd behaviour on a bus had her face slashed. Elsewhere in Uttar Pradesh an uncle took it upon himself to seek vigilante justice for his niece who was brutally raped by an upper caste male. The impotence and sheer ignorance of the government is on full display in Shopian – heads have just begun to roll some 22 days after the brutal rape and murder of  Neelofar Jan (22) and her sister-in-law Asiya (18).

The Indian Express reported in December 2008 that India ranked 3rd on the list of the world’s worst offenders in rape cases. “18,359 rape cases were registered in India in the first three quarters of this year while in the US, 93,934 and in South Africa 54,926 rape cases were registered respectively”

The underlying social attitudes toward women will not change overnight. Drastic measures need to be taken. And as with all other social scourges, it starts with education, the earlier the better.

In the meantime, it’s time to call a spade a spade. ‘Eve-teasing’ implies at best harmless activity, and at worst a nuisance. Molestation is sexual harassment and sexual abuse. And rape is weapon of war, a war against women.

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