There's another nation that has a problem with women other than those under Muslim-majority rule, and it's India. Who knew that India ranked worse than Saudi Arabia in the G20 when it came to women's rights. This problem now has a couple of faces, so-far unnamed but both gang-raped.
A 17-year-old Indian girl who was allegedly gang-raped killed herself after police pressured her to drop the case and marry one of her attackers, police and a relative said on Thursday.
It comes as the 23-year-old Indian medical student who was gang-raped on a bus in New Delhi arrived at Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Hospital for further treatment.
A hospital spokesperson said the patient is in an "extremely critical condition" after the attack on December 16.
She was transferred overseas for better treatment.
The 23-year old has since died of her wounds. In the wake of protests, the six who raped the 23-year old have been arrested for murder. In the case of the 17-year old, one policeman was fired and another suspended for their actions. I can't say exactly why, but this sort of reminds me of Malala's story. A girl should exercise free speech or ride a bus without getting shot or sexually assaulted. I'm sure Manish can give his firsthand perspective and tell me what I missed, but it sounds like India could use a little womens' lib.
It could be worse. If you're a gal in Swaziland, you could get arrested for wearing "rape-provoking clothing".
UPDATE: Juan Cole lived in India for a spell and he offers his perspective.
Rape is always about power, not sex. India is a highly patriarchal society. In some parts of India, women’s literacy is half that of men. Marriages are for the most part arranged, and a majority of young men has never been on a date with a woman or have a framework for interacting with strangers of the opposite sex. Because of the high value placed on a bride’s virginity (especially in traditional milieus) and the dangers to a girl’s future if there is a taint on her honor, rape is often not reported, and the men who rape are counting on this reticence to go public.
Sometimes caste hierarchies are at play – low-caste women are at greater risk of being raped. (Classical Hinduism recognizes 4 castes, though there are many sub-castes; members high-ranking castes such as Brahmins and Kshatriyas often can mistreat Shudras and Dalits with impunity. In short, the problem of rape is in part the problem of a highly unequal society where women are low status and often somewhat segregated and disadvantaged. Economist Amartya Sen estimated that because girls are less valued and less well taken care of when ill, there are millions of missing girls in India – girls who died from relative neglect compared to what their brothers got. There is also a growing problem of families aborting daughters once the sex of the embryo is known via ultrasound. In India, typically the bride’s family must provide the groom with many expensive gifts, so that marrying off the girls of the family is extremely expensive and poor fathers and mothers would like to have high-value sons instead.
Also via Cole, progress in Afghanistan. I can't say exactly why, but this video of a potential Taliban terrorism target got to me. That's right, puppy-blending BD got misty.