Tag Archives: Women

Acid-Attack Victims Demand Justice from Indian Government

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Graphic images but the world needs to know what is going on to women

Due to National and International Pressure, the Indian Government created new laws in February 2013 to combat the increasing attacks on women. In India, 90% of violent attacks are against women and the number is only increasing. After acid-attack victim Sonali Mukherjee appeared on India’s version of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” in 2012, acid-attack victims hoped that the country would finally care about them, but some victims are still waiting for justice.

Whenever Chanchal Paswan (18) left her house in Chithnava, India, her male neighbors would follow her to her destination, pulling on her clothes while making lewd comments toward her. When Chanchal refused to sleep with them, the men decided to punish her – after all, these monsters believed that women should ALWAYS do what men say. On October 21, 2012, the men snuck onto Chanchal’s roof where she and her sister were sleeping. The men pinned her down and poured acid all over her while the younger sister, Sonam (15), was also burned.  The parents heard their children screaming and ran up to the roof and rushed the girls to the hospital.  The attackers laughed at the family while the neighbors watched in silence. When the family got to the hospital, it refused to admit the sisters until the following morning when television cameras showed up. The four men (Anil Rai, Ghanshyam Rai, Baadal Rai, and Raj Rai) were arrested, but the sisters are still waiting for justice.

Before and After Picture of Chanchal

Even though Chanchal was an adult who worked at the time of the attack, the police report claims she was a minor at the time of the attack so she received less compensation. There were rumors that the attackers would be forced to cover the cost of the surgeries the girls have been going through, but at the moment the family has been paying for all the surgeries and medication. Chanchal was even discharged early from Patna Medical College and Hospital because her family could not afford to pay for the medication and surgeries, though the hospital claims its for infection reasons.  The main attackers, Anil Rai, claims he is a minor to escape prison time even though he is not a minor. The family hopes that by drawing attention to their problem, they will be able to receive the correct compensation from the government and see the attackers be punished.  The attackers are from a higher caste (higher social class) and they believed they would never be punished since the girls are from a lower caste system.

Acid-attacks are on the rise in the Middle East and South East Asia because women are saying “no” to men and some men still view women as sex objects. Chanchal told one of the attackers “no” to a marriage proposal and instead of moving on, he made it his mission to ruin her life. Since acid-attacks were not considered a crime until recently, no one is sure how many women are inured each year by acid attacks but activists estimate there are as many as 1,000 attacks a year. Unlike Chanchal and Sonam, who took to the media to demand justice, most acid-attackers are forced to keep quiet due to constant threats from the attackers’ families or the police refuse to help. There is currently a petition on Change.org demanding that the sisters receive justice. While the government takes its time, these two sisters refuse to wait around and are currently campaigning for acid-attack victims. Chanchal is determined to return to school and provide for her family, but in the meantime, she removes the bandages around her face and looks at the camera, “I want the world to know what happened to me.”

Update: 

On April 23, 2013, Chancha met the DM of Patna to deliver the petition that contains over 65,000 signatures.

Sources:

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Women’s History deserves more than a Month

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Did you know that Women History Month is March? Neither did I until recently. Since 1911, March 8 has been International Women’s Day and in March 1987, Congress expanded the whole month of March to be about women. Even though I went through the public school system from 1995-2007, I never once learned about Women History Month. Though I don’t really care for Minority Months, the the months dedicated to every gender, race, culture, sexuality outside the stereotypical “white straight Christian man” created to show how minorities also helped shaped the United States, I do worry that people are forgetting how much women have done and continue to do for the United States.

I recently was planning my trip to New York city to see Susan B. Anthony’s home. My name is Susan and I have dedicated several research papers to her throughout my life. As I read the tips on the page, I cam across one comment: “Before a visit, get a deep background to understand with some precision what Susan B. Anthony is all about. She doesn’t much matter now, but she did then.” Wait, what??? Anthony is the reason why I, and millions of other women, was able to vote last election. Because of her and millions of other women who came before me, I am able to go to college, have a job, and walk outside my house without a man escorting me.

Susan B. Anthony Day

Susan B. Anthony Day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In school we are taught about the Founding Fathers, but do we learned about the women who took care of the children, the house, and the harm while the men were busy? We learn about the soldiers that defended our country during war, but what about the women who worked in the factories or disguised themselves as men to join the war? We learn about the Presidents who created laws, but what about the First Ladies that made speeches to gain support for their husbands? Do we learn how it was the Women who worked for equality for Everyone, not only for themselves but for the slaves, the Native Americans, the Immigrants, the mental illness, the disabled,  the children, and even the “white straight Christian man.”

It is hard to believe that everyone realizes how great women are when politicians spend time and money trying to control women’s choices and bodies. A minority of men even believe “rape” is imaginary since women are always asking for it, a reason why a rapist can get a slap on the wrist while a victim is forced to drop out of school. Though more women than men graduate college, men continue to make more than women at the exact same job. Everyday women prove to the world how much they do matter; last summer it was the female athletes who brought home most of the medals home to the United States and last fall it was the female voters who decided the president. Women deserve more than a month that no one knows exist, they deserve an equal part in the history books.