India Passes New Rape Law

by Sholeh Hajmiragha

India’s parliament has passed a new law that protects women from sexual violence.  Following the horrible bus gang rape earlier in December, the rape and murder of three young sisters, and the most recent gang rape of a Swiss tourist, this piece of legislation is a much needed and an incredibly welcome change for women in India.

The law, which will not be official until the president signs it into action, criminalizes stalking, voyeurism, and sexual harassment.  In addition, it makes it a crime for police officers to refuse to respond to complaints of sexual attacks and it extends the death penalty to repeat offenders and attacks which resulted in the victim’s death.

This new piece of legislation has been met with much support and excitement by women’s activists, though many agree that there is still much more change to be made.  For instance, Ranjana Kumari, women’s activist and director of the Centre for Social Research think tank, takes issue with the fact that events of marital rape are not included in the legislation.  However, Kumari goes further to say that, with an insensitive police force and overwhelmed judiciary, “The implementation remains the larger challenge.”


Source: The Guardian

Images via: Global Post, The Guardian

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