Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

February-04-13

India Enacts Harsher Punishments for Sexual Assault

Over the weekend, Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and the Union Cabinet approved new provisions to the Indian Penal Code that create harsher punishments for sexual assault and rape. The laws went into immediate effect when President Mukherjee's signed them on Sunday, but must be ratified by Parliament.

With the new provisions, the death penalty could be sought in rape cases where a woman is left in a vegetative state, whereas before the death penalty could only be applied when a woman died from her injuries. In addition, the new provisions tackle other forms of sexual assault, such as voyeurism, stalking, and groping, and provides tougher punishments for offenses that had previously carried little to no weight. Human trafficking is also criminalized under the new laws, which could impact widespread child labor practices in India.

While many are applauding the new ordinances, some women's right activists believe that the new laws don't go far enough. For example, under the new laws it is still legal for a husband to rape his wife and service members are protected under a special law that gives them impunity.

Public outrage over a gang-rape that left a woman dead and garnered international attention spurred the President and Cabinet to approve the laws even though Parliament was in recess. On December 16th, the 23-year-old medical student and her male partner were attacked while riding a bus in New Delhi. Both were severely beaten. The woman was raped repeatedly for nearly an hour before a metal rod was pushed inside her, critically damaging her internal organs. She was transferred to a hospital in Singapore and required multiple surgeries for head and intestinal injuries. She died as a result of her injuries two weeks later. Five men who allegedly attacked her are currently being tried in a special fast-track court. A sixth was determined to be a minor and will be tried separately in juvenile court.

Media Resources: Times of India 2/4/2013; Wall Street Journal 2/3/2013; Washington Post 2/3/2013; Feminist Newswire 1/28/2013, 1/24/2013


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

8/29/2014 Terry O'Neill Was One of Hundreds Arrested Calling for Immigration Reform at White House Rally - Thursday, nearly 300 people were arrested in front of the White House during a rally calling on President Barack Obama to halt mass deportations. . . .
 
8/29/2014 Domestic Violence Victims May Now Qualify For Asylum in the US - A recent case has opened the door for victims of domestic violence abroad to qualify for asylum in the United States. The Justice Department's Board of Immigration Appeals ruled for the first time on Tuesday that a victim of domestic violence fit a specific criterion for asylum: persecution for membership in a particular social group. . . .
 
8/28/2014 Illinois Expands Medicaid Funding for Contraception in Wake of Hobby Lobby - The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services has announced plans to expand Medicaid funding for contraception, effective October 1. The Illinois Family Planning Action Plan would increase the amount of money set aside for health care organizations providing reproductive health care. . . .