The 23-year-old woman who was gang raped in New Delhi, India, on December 16th, has tragically died from her wounds. Yet "Amanat" (the Urdu word for 'treasure') has galvanized concern in India regarding violence against women, and the lack of rule of law, which threatens national advancement in so many ways. While India is a democracy with a large amount of laws protecting women, children, and the environment, they are generally not well enforced. Since the rape, the great nation of India has been horrified by how often women are raped, convulsed with protests, and social media are abuzz with pleas to fight for change, reform, and justice to honor her memory. There can be no sustainable development without justice, and particularly not until women and children are free of sexual violence. India's problems are largely the result of many of the political elite believing all there is to "development" is material wealth; not realizing that lasting advancement also requires law enforcement, ecological sustainability, equity and fairness, as well as justice for all. Women have a universal human right to control their bodies, and to love and marry who they wish.
Six assailants raped the victim for an hour on a moving bus, beating her and a companion with an iron bar, and then threw her on the street to die. Women and children are not property to be victimized, destroyed, and then thrown away for male gratification. A global poll found that India was the worst place to be a woman because of high rates of infanticide, child marriage and slavery. New Delhi has the highest number of sex crimes in India, with a rape reported every 18 hours, and the number of reported rape cases rising by 17 percent between 2007 and 2011. The attack has sparked an intense national debate for the first time about the treatment of women and attitudes towards sex crimes in a country where most rapes go unreported, offenders go unpunished, women are viewed as second class citizens, and justice is slow if at all. Frustration runs deep over weak governance, poor leadership, and unenforced laws. While it is up to Indians to decide whether a death penalty is warranted, perhaps a more lasting, real tribute to Amanant's legacy will be rooting out crime against women by establishing the rule of law nationally. Increased funding for police foot-patrols and courts, and more sensitivity by authorities toward victims, are a
Ecological Internet's President Dr. Glen Barry has recently returned from a conference in India regarding environmental law and ecology, where he presented a paper on protecting old-growth forests including the Western Ghats. It came up time and again that good laws existed but were not enforced. There he fell deeply in love with the country's nature, culture, and kindness; and had the opportunity to interact with many young Indian students, including an amazing amount of extremely intelligent and talented young women, who are the future of the nation, and a tremendous human resource for national advancement. Cultural disrespect of women by antiquated bias must end. EI is becoming more active in Indian environmental issues – in that as goes India, goes the planet – addressing issues including lack of land use and ecosystem planning, as well as ecocidal plans for coal expansion. Yet these other alerts were put on hold for now, as both will be served by urgent measures to make India more safe for women, and to respect the rule of law – by enforcement of laws already on the book, and new measures – to protect women and children from violence and sexual abuse. Please respectfully support Indian protestors in their national journey to just, fair, and sustained advancement - starting with India's foundation, its strong and loving women.
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There can be no sustained national advancement in India without justice for women and rule of law
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