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Indian Gang-Rape Attackers Charged With Murder, Protesters Push Broader Women’s Rights 1 of 2

Democracy Now! on January 03, 2013 17:15

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    DemocracyNow.org - Five men have been formally charged in India with the kidnapping, gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old student on a moving bus. The woman was mutilated so badly during the rape on December 16 that she needed a gut transplant, but ultimately succumbed to severe organ failure.

    “I think it was a cumulative effect, a cumulative feeling of anger and outrage,” says Kavita Krishnan of the All India Progressive Women’s Association, one of the main organizers of protests against sexual violence in India. “It all burst out perhaps because this young woman was doing something so normal: She boarded a bus to go home after watching a film with her friend. I think that somehow stuck such a huge chord because everyone identified with her … I think they all felt a deep connection with this nameless person.” The gang-rape case has shone a light on other instances of sexual violence in India, where one woman is raped every 20 minutes, according to the national crime registry.

    “I think we also need to look at the changes happening as a result of various social and economic and cultural forces that are under way: Increasing globalization, movements of people, conspicuous consumption, the representation of all this in the media that is so easily available,” notes Elora Chowdhury, associate professor of Women's Studies at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. “All of these, and the changes happening in urban spaces as a result of all these different kind of forces and gender dynamics jostling with one another, create different kinds of changes in that gender dynamic.”

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