With a dismal ranking of 145 out of 146 countries in Gender Equality, the urgency of today’s discussion is evident. There has been a distressing surge of crimes like rape as eight were reported in the last 48 hours. Public spaces and workplaces have become breeding grounds for such heinous crimes. This alarming increase in sexual offenses highlights society’s failure to provide sufficient protection to its citizens, particularly women, against life-threatening dangers, extortion, and the societal stigma that hinders victims from seeking justice.
In order to address this pressing issue, immediate steps need to be taken to establish protection centres and enhance security measures. However, it is crucial to recognise that these measures alone cannot provide a long-term solution. Rather, what is urgently required is a comprehensive change in culture and mindset.
While it is essential to implement stricter security measures and surveillance to ensure public safety, solely focusing on securitisation is not sufficient. Instead, the government must take the lead in addressing the root causes of these crimes. This includes acknowledging and addressing the deep-rooted gender inequality, patriarchal norms, and toxic masculinity that perpetuate a culture of violence and entitlement. It is also imperative to make understand that a person’s outfit, timing, and place are completely unrelated to the act.
Simultaneously, it is crucial to generate widespread awareness about consent, respect, and gender equality. This can be achieved through educational initiatives, public campaigns, and community engagement programs that dismantle harmful social norms and foster empathy and respect. Moreover, the government must prioritise the formulation of effective laws and ensure their strict implementation to hold perpetrators accountable.
The rising number of rape cases throughout the country demands urgent action from the government, law enforcement agencies, and society as a whole. Protection centres and increased security measures are essential but must they be accompanied by a broader shift in culture and mindset. This requires addressing gender inequality, implementing effective laws, and promoting awareness. The time for change is now, and the government must take the lead in shaping a society that upholds the rights and dignity of all its citizens.