‘Patriarchal society cause of violence against women’

: Indian society, which considers only rape to be an act of violence, should consider stalking, marital rape, acid attacks, and disrobing of women as acts of sexual assault, Vrinda Grover, a leading advocate in the Delhi High Court, said here on Friday.

Speaking on ‘Inequality and sexual harassment against women’ at the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) here, she said that society ignored several crimes against women. She said the largely patriarchal society was the main cause of the violence committed against women. “What a woman perceives as a crime is different from what society sees as a crime,” she added.

According to her any issue of sexual violence against a woman is a failure of the State, as the State has failed to provide the woman her basic rights.

“Despite over 60 years of Independence, assertion of rights or use of law by anyone is seen as a subversive act,” she said and lamented that many talented women had been forced to quit their jobs due to sexual harassment at the workplace. Ms. Grover referred to the negligence by those in power, mainly politicians and police officers, in addressing issues of violence against women, and referred to the insensitive comments made by politicians after the rape and murder of a 23-year-old para-medical student in Delhi.

Stating that the world’s largest democracy had failed to pass a strong law to deter rape, she said that the issue of consent in a rape should be largely looked into. “Willingness of agreement should be seen and not the act of aggression,” she said.

Joining the debate on the demand for imposing death penalty as a solution for rape, the advocate said: “The State loves death penalty mainly because it is the cheapest and the easiest solution. Death penalty might help in getting rid of some of the demons in society, but it does not ensure safety.”

She also pointed out many incidents of rape going unaccounted. “No one reports a rape in militariy zones or those that are committed against religious minorities. The death penalty will not serve as a solution to these problems,” she said.

What a woman perceives as a crime is different from what society sees as a crime: Grover

‘Death penalty does not ensure safety’

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