Sexual Harassment Against Women in India
8 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2014
Date Written: February 2, 2014
Women across the world have tasted all flavors of life; from the glory and respect which she was ascribed in the Vedic period, to the denial and subordination in the post Vedic period and finally to the struggle for equality, recognition and survival in the contemporary world. But one thing that has been common throughout these phases is the disadvantaged status of the women. Women have been made to face all kinds of violence, physical abuse, denial of right to live, subordination and neglect. The acts of abuses like eve-teasing, molestation, sexual abuse and rape cover both physical and verbal abuses. However, they all are different parts of what is commonly known as sexual harassment or sexual misconduct. This paper covers a brief study of the various aspects of such offenses which have led to the growing harassment of women.
The concept like eve-teasing gained nationwide attention in the 1960’s but today eve-teasing has evolved as a huge issue in many metropolitan cities of India. A large numbers of Indian women have faced or are facing this menace. Another form of violence against women is that of molestation, or what is commonly known as 'sexual abuse' or 'sexual assault'. It is the forcing of sexual behavior by a man over the women. Further, rape is one of the most extreme forms of sexual violence committed against women. It is an act of physical violence and assault which is expressed through sexual means.
The research methodology adopted for this paper is doctrinal and secondary sources of information like books, articles, newspapers, websites, case laws, etc. are relied upon. Various statute books like the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act have also been referred.
The Indian Law dealing with offenses of sexual harassment has been given under the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The relevant provisions which have been included in this research paper are those relating to rape (Section 375 and 376) and outraging the modesty of a woman (Section 509, 294 and 354). Also, an analysis of the recent Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 has also been included in the study.
This study includes the various causes which lead to an increase in the number of sexual abuses and rape against women. They include: lack of awareness, illiteracy, upbringing of the abusers, their inability to appreciate the feminine glory of women, etc. An emphasis has also been laid on the possible emotional, psychological and mental impacts which may be suffered by the women.
Finally, the paper also includes certain recommendations with respect to the role of the state, government, media, NGOs, etc in sensitizing the issues relating to violation of the rights of women and also to promote education and awareness with respect to the same.
Keywords: Eve-Teasing, Harassment, Physical Abuse, Violence, Women
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