After the horrific attack on the 23 year old woman on a bus in India the extent of rape culture in India has come to light. Many stories of fear, pain, submission, and shame have come from this and protests across India has been met with contempt and violence. Australia needs to send a message that neither its government nor its people will stand by while women are subjected to such behaviour unchecked. "Being too big of a job" is not a reason to allow young girls, wives and elderly women to be treated as second class citizens or as objects for the gratification for half of the population. We are asking the Australian Government to take a stand and send a message that this is not tolerable behavior. The culture must change.
1. The setting up of fast track courts (as in Rajasthan recently) to ensure speedy trials.
2. The imposition of maximum, exemplary sentence.
3. The immediate clearing of all pending cases involving crimes against women.
4. Immediate training and sensitisation of police force to crimes against women, including domestic violence, molestation and sexual assault.
5. The immediate passage of pending bills that seek to protect women, including the Protection of Women Against Sexual Harassment at the Workplace Bill 2012 and the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2012
6. Consultations with the Ministry of Human Resources to see how best to address the issue of sensitising boys through the school curriculum.
7. National-level, open consultations involving civil society and other stake-holders on how best to tackle the growing misogyny and hostility against women as well as rising crimes against them.
I urge the Australian Government to support these women in their fight for equality and safety in their streets and homes. I urge the Australian Government to send a message to India that their treatment of women must change and that we as a nation support these changes.