Globe shares guilt, and responsibility to act, as India convicts gang rape attackers


Sept. 10, 2013

Globe shares guilt, and responsibility to act, as India convicts gang rape attackers

Kathryn March, a professor of Anthropology; Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies; and Public Affairs in Cornell University’s College of Arts and Sciences who has studied gender and social change for four decades in Himalayan Asia. She notes the bias that underlies crimes such as gang rape – for which four men where convicted in India on Tuesday – is historic, global and growing worse.

March says:

“The conviction of those who gang raped and murdered a young woman on a bus in Delhi, India, in mid-December brings some justice but little peace in what is the greatest shame of our times – violence against girls and women.

“Rape, feticide, female infanticide, and domestic violence – to name only a few – are still cloaked in much misplaced secrecy and honor. Some may think that they happen only when cultural values or social practices, which should cherish and protect girls and women, break down. But, all too often, they are the result of precisely those values and practices.

“We need to be very clear that gender violence is neither a traditional nor old-fashioned issue that will go away with modernity. Nor is it a specifically Indian or non-Western issue. Unless we confront how widespread, modern and increasing this violence against girls and women is – and until we accept that this violence grows from deeply gender-biased strata of culture, history, law and practice – we will continue to need verdicts like the recent Indian conviction.”

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