Under intense local and international scrutiny, the New Delhi gang-rape case that sparked widespread protests across India, has reached a verdict - guilty. All Four men have been sentenced to death for brutally raping and killing a 23-year-old physiotherapy student on a moving bus on Dec.16 2012.
While the world keeps its eye on India and the plights of many women who face violence and harassment every day, India’s less talked about sexual exploitation has already seen positive change since the New Delphi rape shocked the nation into action.
Sex trafficking is another name for commercial rape. It exploits a society’s poorest and most disenfranchised women.
This [New Delhi incident] has shocked the collective conscience of society," Judge YogeshKhanna said, condemning the men to death by hanging.
Protestors in India have been pouring onto the streets on and off since December demanding justice and in some cases, the hanging of the accused men.
Prominent members of the women’s movement maintain that the death penalty does little to solve the deep-rooted cultural prejudices that exist against women in India.
“We in the women’s movement do not believe that two wrongs make a right so hanging is not the answer,” Ruchira Gupta said.
Founder of Apna Aap World Wide, Gupta has been working with those women in India who are subjected to the worst form of sexual exploitation – sex trafficking -- for over a decade.
Considered a major victory for the women’s movement in India, the country passed a watershed Anti-Rape bill in March, which includes a section that criminalizes the trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation and imposes strict punishment on customers and traffickers themselves – a first for the world’s largest democracy.
The multi-award winning former journalist spoke to Carbonated.TV earlier about the flesh trade, the passage to the new anti-rape bill, and what the punishment for the Dec 16 rape perpetrators will mean for India.
For more information on what is being done to help eradicate the sexual exploitation of India’s poor women and girls, visit the foundation’s website.