With 2013 coming to a close, media outlets everywhere are recounting the year’s top stories. Unsurprisingly, the Delhi rape case that received worldwide attention earlier this year tops many of those lists. While the case highlighted how gender roles around the world play into rape culture, and the international media scrutiny helped to expedite justice for Nirbhaya and other victims of rape and sexual assault, highlighting how this case brought more
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attention to the need
for swift channels in rape cases nationwide.
India was also in the spotlight recently, with the nation’s highest court’s recent reinstatement of section 377, making homosexuality punishable by the law. This news has also received glaring media attention, placing increasing pressure on the Indian judicial system to strike down these ancient laws enacted during colonial rule.
While these policy and social shifts have been in
the hot seat, so has India.
it can be tempting to paint an entire nation with a broad brush. This is a mentality that we encounter almost daily. With the Indian Supreme Court’s, many online commenters have been quick to make snap judgments about intolerance, discrimination and violence being confined to or a few parts of the world. While it clear that there needs to be more advocacy around women and LGBTQ rights in the region, it is imperative that the conversation around these complex issues also encompass the groundswell of activism that was seen not only in India but across the world.
These shifts in political and social landscapes are worldwide. But the amazing images of women and men around the world taking to the streets in protest of these oppressive laws and actions by those in power speak to the fact that several segments
idea feeling new excellent.
of the population are interested in sweeping social change. In recent times, women have championed the issues around intimate partner violence, bringing issues of concern to women to the forefront of political institutions to bring forward large scale changes. LGBTQ rights activists around the world filed into the streets everywhere from Sydney to Toronto to protest the upholding
of section 377. These protests served to underline the fact that Indians were not alone in facing the challenges faced by their society. It also showed the world the importance of presenting an active and united front against misogyny, patriarchy and discrimination as a whole.
And that’s something to celebrate