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The short documentary explores the rise of the #MeToo movement in India. It also shows how the accusations on sexual harassment extended from the media industry to academia and the political sector, alongside campaigning for women to speak up when harassment happens in the private sphere as well. Men and women in India have been speaking up against violence against women since 2012-2013, following the death of a 23 year-old young woman. This episode initiated a more grounded conversation on sexual assault against women and especially against women of lower castes. In fact, according to Indian’s Crime National Bureau, more than four Dalit women – the ‘untouchable’ - are raped every day. In 2018, India was rated the most dangerous country in the world for women by the Thompson Reuter Foundation because of high rates of sexual violence. Reports attested that in 2016, India had 338,954 reported crimes against women (38,947 were rapes).
For first hand interviews with survivors, please see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13w-CJRoi30&vl=en.
See also: India was highlighted as one of the worst country for sexual violence, human trafficking, and for cultural and religious discrimination by Thomson Reuters Foundation’s 2018 survey (http://poll2018.trust.org/country/?id=india).
This article reviews the birth and development of the #MeToo movement in India and its protagonists – mainly members of the movie industry - one year after its widespread endorsement in the US.
Discusses the rising momentum of accusation of harassment in the press, politics, and the film industry and implications for wider culture of rape.
See also: 'Sexual harassment in India: Pests decried; A minister's resignation boosts # MeToo in India', Economist, 20 October, 2018, p. 57; and ' Sexism in India: Nuns, pilgrims and starlets', Economist, 6 October, 2018, p.51 on women's protests in several contexts, including nuns' hunger strike against a bishop accused of harassment, which achieved his removal and trial.
Starts with the example of an unidentified mutilated body of a girl in Gujarat, a victim of prolonged gang rape and assault, and discusses the impact of the unnaturally high proportion of men to women (largely due to illegal sex selection abortions) on the level of rape. Since the widely publicised 2012 gang-rape and murder of a student in Delhi, statistic suggest a doubling of rapes of children, but Biswas cautions that better reporting of rapes by police and media, and a widening of the definition of rape, may partly account for the rise.
A large scale survey conducted in a representative sample of households throughout India. It reports that 30% percent of women aged 15-49 in India have experienced physical violence since age 15, amongst many other forms of violence or discrimination, and the social context that makes it difficult to challenge. The National Family Health Survey 2018-2019 is yet to be published.
Kumar discusses why the ‘first wave’ of the ‘Me Too’ movement in India in October 2017 was not very effective, but argues that the ‘second wave’ from Autumn 2018 has been better organised, provided better evidence of harassment and brought in more women. Therefore, there is now some hope that earlier 2013 legislation against sexual harassment in the workplace may be implemented in practice.
The report reveals that India recorded 106 rapes a day, and 4 victims out of every 10 were minors. In 95% of the cases it reveals that the perpetrator was a relative, such as a brother, father, grandfather, son or other man close to the family. In 2016, a total of 38,947 rapes were registered in the country under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) as well as Section 376 and other related section of the Indian Penal Code. In a positive light, the report indicates that the number of reports to the police is increasing each year. However, only 26% of rape cases ended up in conviction in 2016.
A brief analysis of the violence Dalit women experience in India. Dalit women – the ‘untouchables’ – suffer from gender and class-based violence more than Dalit men, non-Dalit men and non-Dalit women. Cases of rape are not reported or followed through due to social stigma and non-cooperation by police. The Ministry of the Home Affairs has signaled in its 2017-2018 report that rape and generally violence against women had been on the increase (See https://mha.gov.in/sites/default/files/MINISTRY%20OF%20HOME%20AFFAIR%20AR%202017-18%20FOR%20WEB.pdf).
A Dalit women’s collective met at the 38th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council to speak against gender- and class-based violence. The collective release a report titled ‘Voices Against Caste Impunity: Narratives of Dalit Women in India’ that talks about the violence suffered and the struggles survivors go through to obtain justice with the aim that policy measures should be taken to address the issue.
Comparing the US experience with India, this article promotes a broader discussion on the elements and causes of sexual harassment as well as mentioning some of the obstacles that need to be overcome in order to build a more respectful and equal society, namely toxic masculinity and the complicity behind it. The article envisages #MeToo India as a movement that can broaden the scope of #MeToo as an international social movement.
The Indian media platform ‘Agents of Ishq’ provides a brief guide online to tackle sexual harassment and sexual assault which can be found here: https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/the-metoo-faq-for-smart-women/cid/1672410?ref=also-read_story-page