Rapes and assaults against women paint an ugly picture of India

There is a rape in New Delhi every 22 minutes, giving the city a miserable reputation as the rape capital of India. But, when news got out about the attack and gang-rape on the bus protests rocked the country. It forced a debate about discrimination, cultural beliefs, and the dangers of being a woman in India.

Protesters from the Indian state of Haryana listen to a speaker, unseen, while participating in a rally criticizing the rise in crimes against women in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, April 10, 2013.

India is a country rich with contrast. Here old meets new. Poverty grinds against prosperity. Cultures mingle and clash.

But exotic ancient India has run headlong into the rapidly growing economic powerhouse, where women have stepped out of traditional roles, resulting in harsh questions about their treatment which is considered to be among the worst in the world. Rape is common. Sexual assault goes unreported. The victim is often blamed, which the perpetrator walks free.

Recently the The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said rape is a “national problem” in India, reflecting the abysmal treatment of women in the country. And two rape cases focused international attention on the abuse and maltreatment.

The first case, in December 2012, was the gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman in New Delhi, heading home with her boyfriend after watching a movie. The second was the gang-rape of a Swiss tourist, savagely attacked near the iconic Taj Mahal, while on a cycling tour with her husband.


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