2018 seemed like a year of progress and empowerment for women. The year began with Oprah’s powerful speech about the #TimesUp movement and solidarity amongst women across the globe, towards speaking up and fighting against crippling sexual harassment.
But reports of sexual assault and murder dominated the news, including the disturbing rape and murder of 7-year-old Zainab from Kasur, Pakistan. Kasur became infamous in 2015 when a gang of pedophiles running a child sex ring was busted in the city.
India is not doing so well either in protecting its women and keeping them safe.
A 14-year-old girl from Panchgaon Patti near Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, dropped out of school and tuition after being stalked for months. Reportedly her silence emboldened her stalkers and they gang-raped her. Unable to bear with the torment and keeping the attack to herself, she set herself ablaze and eventually succumbed to her injuries.
This was reported days after a 16-year-old from Bulandsahahr, Uttar Pradesh returning from tuition was kidnapped, gang-raped, murdered and dumped near Greater Noida canal. Reportedly the men decided to kidnap, rape and murder the girl for ‘fun’ after watching a movie.
When the laws and society constantly fail to protect its women from sexual assault or rape; women have no choice but to gear up for their own safety.
19-year-old Seenu Kumari, from Uttar Pradesh, has created a ”rape-proof” underwear, which is designed to protect women from sexual assault or molestation. This unique underwear has a smart lock and is equipped with GPS, video camera and calling features! “…When somebody tries to molest a woman, this device will send out messages to relatives of the woman and also to the police” Kumari was quoted as saying. The underwear is reportedly bulletproof and cannot be cut using knives! The prototype has been sent to National Innovation Foundation in Allahabad, for patenting.
We are living in a world where developing rape-proof jeans, stockings, underwear even nail paints which help identify drugged drinks, has become normal. The mere fact that a product like this had to be developed to ensure the safety of women, speaks volumes about the society’s incompetence.
Are we to make even our young innocent girls, who do not understand what rape or sexual assault is, wear this underwear or jeans?
Considering the actual problem are the male perpetrators, maybe we should have something developed for them to send electric shocks to their brain or genitals when they are aroused! Or even have chemical castration for convicted rapists and molesters.
Because normalizing this behavior should no longer be an option.
Snigdha is a 'closet' writer with unapologetic opinions on life and people around her. She supports the cause of protecting endangered civil rights like free speech, equity, equality, and most importantly common sense.