16 Days: India

By Sophia Bass, JWI Intern

Gender-based violence against women has been around for centuries involving various cultural, religious, economic, and social factors. In 1980, domestic violence was recognized as a human rights issue throughout India due to the increasing number of dowry deaths. Patriarchal tradition and male superiority produce high levels of gender discrimination against women and girls in schools, households, and the workplace, negatively impacting the social and economic success of women.

According  “Woman Leaders Combating Gender Violence Against Women in India,” a crime against a woman occurs every 3 minutes, a woman is raped every 29 minutes, a dowry death occurs every 77 minutes, and a case of cruelty by a husband or relative occurs every 9 minutes.

In response to gender based violence of women throughout India, Ranjana Kumari, director and founder of a New Dehli based NGO, Centre for Social Research, has been working to empower women for three decades to protect women’s rights. As a driven activist and feminist, Kumari believes that “women can be the catalysts and agents of social change” (gulfnews.com). Her work focuses on domestic violence against women, rape, trafficking, illegal immigration issues of women to various countries, and prenatal sex selection.  Kumari’s powerful efforts to fight for fundamental women’s rights continue to empower women throughout India every day.

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