The UK Government: Do not stay silent about the treatment of women in India.
  • Petitioned William Hague

This petition was delivered to:

UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
William Hague
UK Deputy Prime Minister
Nick Clegg
UK Prime Minister
David Cameron

The UK Government: Do not stay silent about the treatment of women in India.

    1. Abi Carey
    2. Petition by

      Abi Carey

      Cornwall, United Kingdom

On 16th Dec 2012, a 23 year old medical student was raped and beaten until she had organ failure and brain damage. She died on 29th Dec from her injuries, sparking outcry and protests in India.

 

But this unnamed woman is not the only one. India recently won the dubious title of the worst G20 country to be a woman in (http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/06/13/g20-women-idINDEE85C00420120613). This is due to female infanticide, gender selective abortion (often forced on women), domestic abuse, child marriage, dowry violence, rape, sexual abuse and the legal system's poor treatment of victims. Female victims are often blamed for what happens to them – for wearing the wrong thing, going to the wrong place, hanging around with the wrong people. Perpetrators are often let off with warnings. This is despite the Domestic Violence Act of 2005 which outlaws all kinds of violence against women.

 

* In the last 3 generations, 50 MILLION WOMEN have gone missing from India's population statistics (http://genderbytes.wordpress.com/about/).
* 44.5% of girls are married before 18 (International Centre for Research on Women 2009).
* 52% of women think it’s justifiable for a man to beat his wife (Unicef 2012).

 

The UK Government recently forged stronger business links with the growing Indian economy (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-10784317) and it is thought that Cameron will visit India again this year.

 

The UK Government should use their position to urge Indian leaders to change. Change laws, change culture, change education. Let the death of this 23 year old woman not be in vain. Change is long overdue. The UK Government should not be silent on this issue while forging business links with India. This makes them as culpable.

 

“When our grandchildren ask us where we were when the voiceless and the vulnerable of our era needed leaders of compassion and purpose, I hope we can say that we showed up, and that we showed up on time.” – Gary Haugen, IJM President & CEO

To:
William Hague, UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Nick Clegg, UK Deputy Prime Minister
David Cameron, UK Prime Minister
Do not stay silent about the treatment of women in India, while forging business links with their government. India is the worst G20 country for a woman to live and work. Use your position to petition the Indian Government to make real changes to their laws, education and attitudes. It is a human right for women to live and be respected.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Another day, another gang rape.

      Abi Carey
      Petition Organizer

      How many more women before big changes are put in motion?!?!
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/13/india-gang-rape-bus-punjab

      Indian police arrest six after gang rape on bus in Punjab

      Indian police have arrested six suspects for an alleged gang rape of a bus passenger in India, four weeks after a similar and brutal attack on a student in the capital caused outrage across the country.

    2. 2000 signatures!!!

      Abi Carey
      Petition Organizer

      Yay! All 2000 are amazing, thanks for signing. Pleas keep signing and sharing with everyone you know. I'm going to send to the big guys this week so let's try one more big push before I do!

    3. Reached 2,000 signatures
    4. "Eve teasing" & how victims are often blamed for rape

      Abi Carey
      Petition Organizer

      http://www.itsagirlmovie.com/blog/delhi-gang-rape-eve-teasing-justification-trumps-justice

      Hey all! Thanks for signing. Numbers are increasing minute by minute today!!

      A protest was held in front of the Indian High Commission in London today and the pictures look fantastic. Big turnout of people telling India than enough is enough!! I wish I could have been there but I live 4 hours away.

      If you have the time, please read this article by "It's a Girl!" director Evan Grae Davis. It's an overview of the horrendous treatment of victims of sexual assault in India - including the "two finger test" to see if a victim is a "loose woman" (NOT medically or legally supported and just overtly traumatic, yet still done!!!) and what some Indian leaders blame this culture on... skirts.

      Keep sharing & speaking out for women in India! Tell you friends! When I first heard that 50 MILLION WOMEN were missing from Indian statistics, I was horrified!

      Abi

      Delhi Gang Rape: "Eve-Teasing" Justification Trumps Justice

      As India grieves the death of the young medical student who was brutally gang raped on a moving bus December 16th, 2012, a historic movement continues to develop demanding justice and action from the government. But leaders and legislators have come across as indifferent, unresponsive and out of touch with the reality of violence against women as t...

    5. Reached 1,500 signatures
    6. We've been sponsored!

      Abi Carey
      Petition Organizer

      Change just sent me an email saying that someone has sponsored the petition and so they are now promoting it more. I didn't know we could do that and I certainly didn't ask for any money to be spent but I'm grateful that someone has done this. Hopefully we'll continue to increase in our number and then we can let the UK Government know how strongly we feel about it.

      If you live in London, there is a protest happening on 7th Jan '13 outside the Indian High Commission. Search for details online or on Facebook.

    7. Reached 1,000 signatures
    8. http://www.avaaz.org/en/end_indias_war_on_women/?tta

      Abi Carey
      Petition Organizer

      The Indian Government are taking comments on this issue for the next day or so. Avaaz is trying to get a massive global response to let the Indian leaders know that we won't stand for this anymore! Please sign this petition, by clicking on the link.

    9. Reached 750 signatures
    10. We've only heard of one case, but there are 1000s like this...

      Abi Carey
      Petition Organizer
      Woman branded witch, raped, battling for life | The Asian Age

      As the Delhi gangrape victim has left an indelible mark on the psyche of the entire nation for her heroic battle against her rapists and later against death till her last breath, a tribal woman in a Naxal stronghold village in Chhattisgarh's Kanker district is passing through similar ordeals, now fighting for her life in a local hospital after being sexually and physically assaulted by five people.

    11. Delhi rape suspects to be charged

      Abi Carey
      Petition Organizer
      Delhi rape suspects to be charged

      Five men in India are to be charged with the murder of a medical student who was gang-raped on a Delhi bus. The 23-year-old victim died at the weekend from injuries she sustained during the 16 December attack, in an incident that sparked national outrage.

    12. Reached 250 signatures
    13. Interesting article about "rape culture" in US, UK & India.

      Abi Carey
      Petition Organizer
      The Delhi gang-rape: look westward in disgust

      There's something uncomfortably neocolonial about the way the Delhi gang-rape and subsequent death of the woman now known as Damini is being handled in the UK and US media.

    14. Reached 100 signatures
    15. Delhi Rape Victim Funeral

      Abi Carey
      Petition Organizer
      Rape victim's body back in Delhi

      An aircraft chartered by the Indian government has arrived in Delhi with the body of a young woman who died after being gang-raped on a city bus. The 23-year-old medical student died in a Singapore hospital where she was being treated for severe injuries.

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Debra Smith BRENTWOOD, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 7 months ago

      end this tormenture - women in India should have equal rights to men in all respects. Rape should be a criminal offense and a life sentence and the women should be protected not disrespected.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Anita Kanitz STUTTGART, GERMANY
      • 10 months ago

      India is worldwide the country with the most femicides! That has to stop! In1976, Dr. Diana Russell first testified about a crime she called ‘Femicide’ at the first International Tribunal on Crimes Against Women held in Brussels, Belgium. She defined it as “the killing of women and girls” only because of their gender and said that it was no different from the killing of people because they belonged to a certain race, religion or nationality. When the gender of the victim is irrelevant to the whoever commits the killing, then the crime is considered non-femicidal.

      More recently Dr. Russell argued that internationally, and among some women’s rights groups, there has been a reluctance to recognize the misogyny that underlies femicides in communities and societies. As a result femicides are frequently “trivialized and depoliticized.” This is a dangerous trend, points out Dr. Russell, because femicides ultimately are ‘lethal hate crimes’ which need to be acknowledged and addressed in the same manner in which we address all other hahate-crimes based on race, religion and ethnicity.

      Indeed, the sounding of Dr. Russell’s caution to the international community can be heard in a report just released by the UN-DESA (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs) covering global infant and child mortality rates.

      The report shows that India has a shockingly high rate of mortality for female children between the ages of 1 to 5 years. In fact it has the highest rate of female child mortality among the 150 countries surveyed, including countries classified as LDR (Less Developed Regions). The data, which covers the last 40 years, shows that India also accounts for the largest gender-based difference in child mortality than all other countries.

      For every 56 boys that die in this age group, there are a 100 girls who die in India. However statistically with the biological advantage that girls have over boys for survival at this stage, the normal ratio of child mortality for the rest of the world is 116 boys to 100 girls. A girl child in India, who is between the ages 1 to 5-years-old, is 75 percent more likely to die than a boy in the same age category.

      What is causing this alarming death toll of India’s little girls?

      A report published in 2011 in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, from a study conducted jointly by the Indian Council of Medical Research and the Harvard School of Public Health, established that girls under five years in India were dying at an abnormally high rate because of the prevalence of domestic violence in their homes that were targeting females.

      In these homes, it was not just women who were victims of violence but the girl children as well. From the data gathered from 1985 to 2005 of live births, the study concluded that over the last two decades 1.8 million girls under the age of six years had been killed in India. The study further establishes that girl children in India are at a much higher risk than boys of dying in households where there is domestic violence. While girl children between 1 and 6 years have a 21 percent higher chance than boys of dying before their 5th birthday, infant girls who are one year younger are at a 50 percent higher risk of dying than boys the same age.

      The head of this study Dr. Jay Silverman said, “Being born a girl into a family in India in which your mother is abused makes it significantly less likely that you will survive early childhood. Shockingly this violence does not pose a threat to your life if you are lucky enough to be born a boy.”

      Besides violence, another practice, which is killing India’s little girls is deliberate and abusive neglect, particularly in context of food, nutrition and health. A 2007 UNICEF report established that girls under 5 years of age in India had a 40 percent higher mortality rates than boys the same age. This was largely because they were not being given adequate nutrition or medical care when they required it.

      Families will often deliberately starve daughters, neglecting to feed them completely or feeding them the left-overs if there are any after the men and boys are done eating. This kind of son preference and gender bias in food distribution and consumption extends to older females in the family as well. Since older girls and women work in the kitchen they are able to acquire some food at will. It is the little girls who unable to do this who often starve. If a girl child falls ill the family is often reluctant to spend money on her medical care.

      Female infanticide has a long history in India and chillingly each region has had its own established, traditional way of killing infant girls, methods that include drowning the baby in a bucket of milk, or feeding her salt, or burying her alive in an earthen pot.

      In a study by the Registrar General of India published in 2010 in the medical journal “The Lancet,” a curious factor came to light. Girls in India from the age of 1 month to 5 years old were dying of pneumonia and diarrhea at a rate that is 4-5 times higher than boys the same age. The study makes a critical observation: the gender based difference in survival rates are a reflection on India’s social prejudice against girls.

      But why were the girls dying from these two maladies?

      The answer, which is shocking, is revealed in an observation made by author Gita Aravamudan, in her book Disappearing Daughters (2007). While visiting areas where female infanticide is practiced in India, she observed that the conventional methods of killing female babies can usually be detected and a police investigation can be launched. “[To avoid arrest] families adopt more torturous methods of killing [infant girls]… Inducing pneumonia was the modern method. The infant was wrapped in a wet towel or dipped in cold water as soon as it was born or when it came back home from hospital. If, after a couple of hours, it was still alive it was taken to a doctor who would diagnose pneumonia and prescribe medicine, which the parents promptly threw away. When the child finally died, the parents had a medical certificate to prove pneumonia. Sometimes the infant was fed a drop of alcohol to create diarrhea: another ‘certifiable disease.’”

      As founder of The 50 Million Missing Campaign, which is working to raise global awareness about India’s ongoing female genocide/ gendercide, I am only too aware of these factors.

      One of the factors that has been long established in the death of girls because of their gender is deliberate neglect, particularly in villages and urban slums. Girl children are often deliberately subjected to hunger under neglect. It is a cruel form of torture for often this is how a family vents its anger on the daughters for being born girls. Many girls are dying of malnutrition and/or starvation. The situation of women, girls and female childs in India are terrible and hopeless!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Lorie McDonald MANHATTAN BEACH, CA
      • about 1 year ago

      Not acceptabe anywhere in the world.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Joelle Westman LONDON, CANADA
      • about 1 year ago

      I am a woman and I cannot fathom what living constantly in fear would be like. I am lucky to live in Canada and to personally know freedom. But I wish I wish my position wasn't a matter of luck. I wish it was a matter of fact enjoyed by women everywhere, globally.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Karen Thompson CHICAGO, IL
      • about 1 year ago

      I am human. Of course it is important.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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