On August 25, a 22-year-old female reporter was sent on assignment with a male colleague to photograph a textile mill in Mumbai’s Lower Parel neighborhood. Five men approached the photojournalist and told her she couldn’t take photos unless she had permission from the mill supervisor. The men the tied up and beat the unidentified male while taking turns raping the woman.
The case sparked furious public outcry across the country. *Activist-led social media campaigns and protests have pushed the government to reconsider India’s rape legislation.*
The country's law system has failed to ensure women’s safety despite the greater social conversation and extensive media coverage brought about by her rape.
The recent sentencing of four men to be hanged for the 2012 gang rape of a New Delhi student proves that women are still at severe risk of sexual assault across the country.
“That’s where the problem arises, because in law and order, [the] machinery serves a very, very gender-biased mindset,” Indian journalist and civil rights activist Teesta Setalvad said.
With a 7 percent increase in violence against women since 2010, the issues facing women, and women in journalism, shows India’s urge for attitudinal, cultural and structural change.
By Christine Coester, Clare Murphy and Marina Demartini.