02/01/2013 – The girl from India

The girl from India …

New Year’s greetings are sent around the world, the champagne bottles are empty and the good intentions are expressed. The transition from old to new proceeded not everywhere noisy and festive. So threw the drama of the brutal rape with fatal end in New Delhi a shadow over the celebration from old to new. In the states of Punjab and Haryana were all official celebrations canceled . That women in India have a subordinate role has long been known, but it is still a shock to read in the newspapers that according to official figures every 28 minutes a woman is raped.

The drama continues, three weeks after the sad incident. Besides the daily demonstrations in which women require better protection, a social debate is held  in newspapers and social media on the position of women in India.
How come that the position of women in India is so subordinate? A question that becomes bigger when you discover that the leader of the ruling Congress party is a woman (Sonia Gandhi), that countless women own a high position in the business world and that women play an increasingly important role in the Indian labor market. The cause is to find especially in the caste system and the patriarchal model. Already at birth are the opportunities differently between boys and girls. Parents prefer a boy, partly because of the high cost of a dowry. Abortions are therefore commonplace. A recent study has shown that India is one of the worst countries in the world for women to live in. This mainly due to the massive child marriages, honor killings, prostitution and trafficking in women.

In India, children are also raised with the idea that the woman is subordinate to the man. Systematically boys are shown that they must take care of their sisters, and girls told that disobedience will not be tolerated. It is ingrained in the Indian culture that girls have to abide by the authority of father or brothers. This submission is also seen in the so-called Bollywood movies where women are regularly beaten, kidnapped and even raped. Tenderness in India is not rooted in male-female relationships, violence the more.

In the past, feminist steps have been made, small petitions in the media, but all this never reached the vast population who lives in rural areas. This time it’s different. With “the girl of India ‘(the name given to the 23 year old girl has been raped and died) there is for the first time a noticeable change. We can only hope that this senseless violence and the death of the “girl of India” will ensure a landslide within the caste system and the patriarchal model in India.