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article imageIndia's men don skirts in support of India's women

By Can Tran     Jan 16, 2013 in World
Bangalore - At the "Skirt the Issue" gathering, held in the wake of what happened to "Nirbhaya," men in attendance decided to wear skirts in support of women's rights.
The whole ordeal with “Nirbhaya” who was gang raped back in mid-December of 2012 was the catalyst that blew the whole lid open in regards to India's rape culture. Even before Nirbhaya, rape has been a problem in India long before. With the whole situation of Nirbhaya, who ended up dying from her brutal injuries, it catalyzed a nationwide and possibly international call for India's government to address this epidemic and find ways to better improve it. But, that's easier said than done due to factors such as: public shaming of the victim, blame the victim mentality, police apathy, and so forth. There is the question that lies: How long will the media keep this issue alive? It's only a matter of time before the issue fades away.
At an event in Bangalore called “Skirt the Issue,” about two-hundred people gathered in support of victims and taking a stand against India's rape culture. About twenty something men, at the event, showed up wearing skirts in support of India's women. Skirt the Issue is held as a result of the brutal gang rape of Nirbhaya who has been identified as Jyoti Singh Pandey. Men at the rally, wearing such skirts, say to wear it to support a woman's right to wear what she wants, be who she is, and so forth. While there are men supporting of women's rights, there are still men who still have the view of “blame the victim.”
What happened before, on, and after December 16, shows the flaws of India's criminal justice system. Human rights groups say that India's system of punishing criminals has a lack of funding, has a lack of resources, is archaic, and so forth. Reuters reports that about one rape happens every 20 minutes in India. According to law enforcement, 4 out of every 10 rapes that happen are reported. It goes back to public and family shaming of the victims. Also, there is the problem of dealing with the current culture of India's law enforcement when it comes to dealing with the rapists.
Outside of New Delhi, there are no rape crisis centers. That's not all; there are other problems to deal with such as gynecologists not being trained for medical examinations. In short, the situation goes from bad to worse for the victims.
A Washington Post article reports that asides from new legislation proposed to punish rapists, there's much more to the problem. It points out that the attitudes towards women from men need to be changed in India which is going to take a long time.
TIME reports on the media's interest in the whole situation. It asks about how long will the media keep interested. Even after what happened to Nirbhaya, the number of rapes let alone gang rapes in India continue to go up. It reports of additional rape cases that happened even after. There's also the trial of five of the six perpetrators of the December 16 rape; one of them, a minor, will be tried under a juvenile court.
While there is media attention about the issue and gatherings to protest the rape culture, one has to wonder how long it will last. Will this fade away or will the government actually work to make the necessary changes?
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