What is the best way to deal with the degrading condition of women in India?

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Answer by Balaji Viswanathan:

1. Indian women have to get politically active

The problem starts with the women. Close to half of our voters are women. But, they have never ensured that their issues are top of any party's agenda. Modiji has showed that even with 31% of the votes you could sweep the nation. If the nation's women vote en masse in a single direction, they could sweep the nation. This could help in putting gender issues at a higher level of priority. For that they need to get on the politics. Forget about handouts like 33% reservation of seats, but be more assertive in taking 50% of the seats straight out. (I could see the discrepancy even in the upvotes this answer got ;-))

2. Gender issues a national priority

In India, we are experts at fighting imaginary and irrelevant battles. For instance, this whole specter of Article 370 & Kashmir or getting a permanent membership at the UNSC. Those issues are clearly way low important compared with the gigantic issues ahead of us. Our government and society is spending wasted mental cycles on those. We are worried about China's military encircling us or Pakistani terrorists destroying us.

Every day our rapists & murderers kill more than the terrorists kill with bombs in a year and way more than what China's or Pakistan's armies have ever killed. Throughout Indian history, we always see that our enemies are seldom outside. No external power can impact India, if India is sound inside.

Building a strong economy and providing a strong law & order that ensures both men & women can walk safe should have way higher priority than anything else. Solutions can be made only when priorities are right.

3. Legal Reforms

Our legal system is neither built on our ancient past nor the modern principles in rest of the world. Instead, it is stuck in the murky past of the 19th century Victorian morals. From anti-gay laws to handling juvenile murderers to marital rape – a bunch of Indian laws are a relic of the past & we need to substantially reform. Implementing Verma committee reforms will be a start.
 http://www.thehindu.com/multimed…

4. A modern police force

Our police force is woefully few and woefully under-trained.  Less than 5% of this small force are women. We need to more than double our police force to even get to a world average (about 1 policeman for every 500 people). We are ahead of only Uganda when it comes to the number of police personnel per capita. And a lot of these police are taken away for protecting politicians and bureaucrats.Of the rest, most are untrained and uneducated. We need to build a modern police force that understand the plights of women and build a lot of them. They need to patrol a lot in crime hotspots and where women go a lot.  Not enough cops to combat Mumbai menace and The New York Times.

5. More courts and fast tracking legal process

Our legal system is swamped. This is why main criminals go Scott-free. We need to dramatically increase the number of judges and courts and cut a lot of redtape in the way of fast tracking legal proceedings. There are 32 million pending cases in India!!

Against a sanctioned strength of 17,715 judges, more than 3,300 posts are vacant. Though the apex court has set a target of taking the combined strength of the judiciary to 30,000 in five years, the target looks difficult . This has already resulted in huge pendency of cases. Currently, there are more than 3.20 crore pending cases in different courts. Of this, nearly 2.76 crore cases are in subordinate courts while 44 lakh are pending in various HCs and nearly 60,000 in the Supreme Court.

Govt tells Supreme Court it will appoint 50 more judges at Allahabad high court

6. Better employment

Close to 10% of our youth is unemployed. This is clearly unacceptable in a fast growing economy. Young, Jobless and Indian. A lot of these are loitering around bus stops, tea shops and molesting ongoers. As the old saying goes – "an idle mind is a devil's workshop". Building a national level skills program and ensuring that the unemployment falls below 5% will make sure that many of the idle minds are taken off the streets. 

7. Better data collection

For a nation priding on being a tech leader, our government is stuck in 17th century technology. We don't have an easy way to record, track and map crimes happening all over the nation. We need to have real time statistics about various characteristics of crime and track them on various attributes. As the old saying goes, "what you can't measure, you can't improve".

8. National level emergency infrastructure

We need an equivalent of US 911 that anyone in India can call for any emergency. Our existing emergency system is woefully inadequate. Women in danger should be able to call help at the push of a button. Metadata from the calls should be transparently reported and any inaction on a emergency call should be grounds for suspension of the local police group.

9. Better preparation at the grassroots

Indian women are mostly unprepared when they are walking on deserted streets. From learning self-defense techniques, to keeping simple weapons to being more situationally aware to walking in groups, people have to take a better handle of their own security. Indian neighborhoods also have build formal "citizen watch groups" to patrol the streets. Neighborhood watch

10. Make it illegal to condone or glorify rape

One of the senior politicians – Mulayam Singh Yadav – was caught on tape saying on the lines of  "Boy will be boys. Young men rape". Such people should be spending time behind the bars. We have no use of such politicians and they are harmful to Indian society. Modi should also make sure he fires people like Babulal Gaur in his own party (Babulal Gaur puts foot in mouth again, backs SP). Extend "hate crime laws" to these.

Also read: Page on firstpost.com

We are keeping on blaming things like "attitudes", "culture", "patriarchal society" and all those invisible things. Uttering those will not get us anywhere close to the solution. That is just a way to resign ourselves from reality and saying that "I don't have any idea of the problem". All problems can be solved.

What is the best way to deal with the degrading condition of women in India?

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