Blaming the Victim and the West

After the brutal rape of a woman on a bus in Delhi in 2012 and many subsequent cases of rape and sexual violence against women and children in India there has been quite a bit of uproar but there hasn't been enough soul searching. There is a culture that ignores violence against women and normalizes everyday sexual harassment.  Things cannot change without strong government actions and enforcement of laws. Consequences for actions are important for deterrence.

In the wake of these tragic incidents of sexual violence against women, it has been particularly disturbing to hear comments made by some prominent people including politicians and celebrities who seem to be blaming westernization of women, women clothes, and other western influences for such incidents instead of blaming men who engage in such heinous acts.

In a recent incident of rape of a woman who took a Uber cab, Indian media have been constantly highlighting Uber as the problem, not the man, who is secondary in the story. Externalizing and blaming others will not solve India’s rape crisis; actions have to come from within to ensure women’s safety. Women need to be safe and feel safe in order to be productive members of Indian society and reach their full potential as human beings. Cultural attitudes towards women and their worth in society need to change. Early gender education is absolutely necessary in homes and in schools for long-term changes in a society where sexes remain segregated in everyday life and activities.