Many of the stories coming out of India over recent weeks have been those of brutality, cruelty and outrage.

We can end the violence

But there are also thousands of individual stories of ordinary women’s survival and struggle in the face of violence and abuse.

One of these many untold stories is that of Ranjana*, a young woman who my colleagues recently met in central India.

Ranjana was married at the age of fifteen to a violent man who would get drunk and beat her every day while her in-laws watched on in silence. When Ranjana gave birth to her first child, a girl, she was not given any food and was beaten in front of the whole village.

She was punished this way because she’d given birth to a girl rather than a boy. On several occasions, her husband threatened to kill her. She later gave birth to two sons, and eventually fled after her husband started beating their children.

Through Oxfam’s partner organisation, Ranjana joined a self-help group where she learned about government schemes for divorced women, and received assistance to take her husband to court to seek financial support.

She was also able to share her story with other women who had been in similar situations. This process helped all the women involved build confidence to move forward in their lives.

Despite being abused by her husband, and with no support from her family, Ranjana had the courage and strength to rescue her children and take legal action. With some support, she fought back – and many others in India are starting to do the same.

As part of Oxfam’s global “We Can End Violence Against Women” campaign, thousands of men and women in India are pledging to change their behaviour and influence others in their communities to stop violence and discrimination against women.

Through Oxfam programs, women in India have also been working with police and community leaders, providing counselling and legal support to victims of violence, and intervening to prevent child marriages and sex-selective abortions of female foetuses.

The mass protests that swept across India after the gang rape of a young woman in Delhi three weeks ago have been replicated in Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The attack has sparked a fire of protest and condemnation that is allowing women’s stories of violence, abuse and survival to gain worldwide attention. This tragic case has the potential to be a turning point for change in women’s lives in South Asia and beyond.

I hope the story of the young woman will not only inspire survivors of violence, but also strengthen the resolve of the women and men who have poured onto the streets in India and across South Asia, to demand justice for their daughters, mothers, sisters and wives.

It’s important though to remember that the systematic and pervasive culture of violence against women is not just an issue for India, or even South Asia.

According to UN Women, globally up to 70 per cent of women experience physical or sexual violence from men in their lifetime — the majority by husbands, intimate partners or someone they know.

Here in Australia, one in three women will experience violence in an intimate relationship. But each and every one of us can play a part in helping bring an end to violence against women.

We can do so by championing women’s rights in our communities, lending our voice to global and national women’s and human rights movements, and supporting development programs that work to change attitudes and beliefs, and to help survivors.

Let’s create a social and political power for global change away from attitudes and practices that condone violence and discrimination against women, towards those that ensure justice for women and girls.

We all have the power to make violence against women a thing of the past. It has been 20 years since the UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Let’s not wait another 20 years for making our world safe and just.

*not her real name

Comments on this post close at 8pm AEST

Most commented


Show oldest | newest first

    • acotrel says:

      05:17am | 09/01/13

      Have a look in your own back yard.
      Where does discrimination start and finish ?  When Bob Menzies used to cut down his opposition with his main rhetoric being a personal attack, he was touted by some to be a ‘brilliant orator’. Julia Gillard cut one foolish misogynist down to size in parliament .  She is touted to be shrill, some sort of harridan or fish wife , and her equally brilliant effort is said to have been ‘rehearsed’, by those same people who lved that fat toad Menzies so much !

    • ZSRenn says:

      07:17am | 09/01/13

      The thing is acotrel. If Julia had cut down a Misogynist she probably would have been heralded as a great orator but she didn’t she tried to cut down a good hard working family man who has a deep respect for women by calling him a Misogynist.

      Can you see the difference?

      Further, this is the first time Julia I have heard Julia being called a shrill, some sort of harridan or fish wife.

      I find this a little harsh coming from such a staunch supporter!

    • AFR says:

      08:53am | 09/01/13

      Menzies was hardly using a rusty pipe to make his point though, was he?

    • Linda says:

      09:05am | 09/01/13

      I watched the famous debates when acotrel’s hero exploited her personal tragedy.

      The issue before the House was whether or not the Speaker with his proven obscene descriptions of women’s anatomy should remain as the Speaker. She did not defend the proven misogynist but when on to attack Abbot who made a slip in his speech.

      So who did what then for Australia?? rather than personal gain?

    • egg says:

      09:13am | 09/01/13

      @ZSRenn, ooooh, he’s a good, hard working man, eh? Who just says (totally reasonable and acceptable) things like the below…

      “men are by philosophy or temperament more adapted to exercise authority or to issue command”

      “abortion is the easy way out… it’s hardly surprising that people should choose the most convenient exit from awkward situations”

      “...there does need to be give and take on both sides, and this idea that sex is kind of a woman’s right to absolutely withhold, just as the idea that sex is a man’s right to demand I think they are both they both need to be moderated, so to speak.”

      You’re right, what a stand-up fella! As a woman, I am absolutely fine with these attitudes, and the possibility of Abbott having control of my rights.

      *headbutts desk repeatedly*

    • wakeuppls says:

      10:04am | 09/01/13


      A bit of reality never did go down well with you feminists, did it? Committed to the Cultural Marxist fantasy land.

    • egg says:

      10:51am | 09/01/13

      @wakeuppls, I’m not a feminist, or a marxist, and what Abbott said is not reality. You don’t appear to know what any of those words actually means.

    • Ben C says:

      01:43pm | 09/01/13

      @ egg

      First quote is sexist, no question about it.

      Second quote is not directed at women only, it refers to couples who do something stupid, and try to find the easy way to deal with the conxequences.

      Third quote is far from sexist - it places equal responsibility on both sexes to respect each other’s needs and desires.

      Objectivity’s not exactly your strong suit, is it?

    • wakeuppls says:

      01:54pm | 09/01/13


      The problem is that 90% of people are Cultural Marxists. That’s how you know the indoctrination has worked, when the recipients don’t even realise they’ve been converted.

    • egg says:

      02:40pm | 09/01/13

      @BenC, you’re right, the first quote is absolutely sexist. The rest are, too, though.

      The second quote is aimed at women - not sure how many men you know who have had abortions? He may have said people, not women, but he was referring to abortion, which is specifically a women’s issue. And don’t even get me started on calling it “the easy option”...

      And the third quote - well, I just don’t see where you’re coming from. Should women not have complete control to withhold sex? Should we have to compromise because a man wants sex?

      Objectively, I’d say you’re just arguing for the sake of it. If not, and you actually agree with Abbott, there’s a name for people like you.

    • egg says:

      02:50pm | 09/01/13

      @wakeuppls, so not only am I a feminist and a marxist, but I’m indoctrinated and too stupid to realise? Well, since name calling has always been a better way to make your point than arguing the facts, I officially name you the winner of this discussion. Good job!

    • Tubesteak says:

      03:27pm | 09/01/13

      Not sure how the first quote is sexist unless you also think that “men are hairier than women” is also sexist. Men are commanders and conqueorers. Men are warriors and fights. Men have a predilection for authoritarianism. Women don’t. Women are negotiators and prefer to do things by committee. It is not sexist to point this out. It is recognition of biological fact.

      Abortion is not a women’s only issue. It takes two to tango and should be a mutual decision arrived at by consideration. You can take issue with Abbott calling it an easy option but don’t act like it’s only relevant to women. I’d be on the hook for 18 years of payments if it wasn’t for a few abortions.

      The third quote is a recognition that within couples there should be some compromise. As Bettina Arndt brilliantly said, some women should just put the oars out and start rowing. Women that continually withhold sex are just as bad as men that continually pester for sex. If you think you are the gatekeeper that rewards people for sex only once they have jumped through sufficient hoops to your liking then there are words for you, too.

    • egg says:

      05:42pm | 09/01/13

      @Tubesteak, I’m not sure why I’m even bothering, but here goes…

      Bullshit. If you can generalise like that, I can say “all men are violent” and claim it’s true. It doesn’t work that way, though, because all people (women included) are made up by more than just their genitals. Your experiences, personality and education make you who you are, and me who I am. Trying to reduce anyone to what’s in their pants is ridiculous. Your have a penis: this is a biological fact. You are more authoritative than the person next to you: this is not a biological fact. And if you ever met my mother, you’d know who’s prone to exercise authority or issue command in her house.

      You know what, we’re not even remotely on the same discussion here, so let me just say this: Abbott is using this language to justify making it harder for women to obtain abortions on the basis that having an abortion (ie, an act only a woman can physically take) is an easy option, and is regularly used in place of contraception. This is false, it is insulting and it is sexist. If you don’t see how, no explanation I can give will make any difference.

      Again, you’re talking about something I’m not, but let’s go with your thread for a while… regardless of what you seem to think women are sexual beings, too. We like and crave sex just like men. But if a woman doesn’t want sex - for whatever reason - she’s not going to give it to you. And she doesn’t have to. And she shouldn’t. And if I think I am the gatekeeper, that’s because it’s my own fucking gate, and going about demanding entry will get nobody anywhere.

      If a woman “continually” withholds sex, there may be other issues at play, and perhaps talking about those issues (the woman and their partner together) would help. I don’t consider men who pester women for sex to be bad, as you said, and I don’t consider women who withhold sex to be bad either. I’d say they’re all people, and probably have reasons for acting the way they do. By generalising the sexes the way you do you’re not proving anything.

    • marley says:

      07:04am | 09/01/13

      Given some of your own comments about women, acotrel, you might want to take a look in your own backyard before you start criticising others.

    • acotrel says:

      08:06am | 09/01/13

      One comment - it was about women as engineers, and it applies as much to their male counterparts too. I am not a disciple of Mr B.A. Santamaria like some retrograde politicians.

    • Colin says:

      08:42am | 09/01/13

      Spot on Marley.  Acotrel is the biggest hypocrite on any blog anywhere.

    • Cilla says:

      09:10am | 09/01/13

      While we’re bringing up old comments marley
      How about telling us what percentage of the print media printing lies is acceptable?
      You already said 90% was unacceptable. where do you draw the line marley?

      and if 90% is unacceptable, then how does this fit in with you belief that
      ““making false or inaccurate statements is not okay, but freedom of speech and freedom of the press require that even false and inaccurate statements can be written and spoken. “

      Does this freedom of speech belief you have fall away when 90% of the print media print lies?
      Conflicted much?

    • Michael says:

      09:26am | 09/01/13

      That’s one comment on the Punch Acotrel, what about the comments in other places, at the dinner table, down at the track or in the workshop. Do you think i might find any comments on say, a story about or written by Sophie Mirabella? how ‘bout Julie Bishop?

      Once an abuser…

    • marley says:

      10:14am | 09/01/13

      @Cilla - I’m not conflicted at all.  I understand the meaning freedom of speech and freedom of the press;  you do not.  I understand the difference between a moral offence and a legal one; you do not.  I would rather take the risk of the press getting it wrong, than of having the government decide what can and cannot be printed;  you would prefer government control.  I take a liberal interpretation of free speech and the free press;  you take an authoritarian one. 

      The only one who’s conflicted here is you, because you think your ideas are “progressive” when they are in fact better suited to the 16th century than the 21st.

    • Cilla says:

      12:14pm | 09/01/13

      Can’t answer the question?
      Conflicted it is I guess.
      90% not OK to lie
      Something below 90% OK.

      ““making false or inaccurate statements is not okay, but freedom of speech and freedom of the press require that even false and inaccurate statements can be written and spoken. “
      Except of course when 90% (or some other percentage you hold close) of the press print lies. Then of course it is not OK.

      Is this Canadian logic in action?

    • marley says:

      01:06pm | 09/01/13

      @Cilla – I’m going to make this really, really simple.

      It is unlawful for newspapers to knowingly print lies about people.  We call that defamation.

      It is not unlawful to knowingly print lies about other issues.  It is unethical.  We have a Press Council to deal with it.

      It is not unlawful, nor immoral to print something believed to be true which later turns out to be incorrect or inaccurate.

      It is not unlawful, nor is it immoral, to print opinions.

      A truly free press must be able to print opinions, even erroneous ones.  It is not up to the government to define what is “true” or what the press can print.  Otherwise, we don’t have a free press.

      A truly free population must be able to express opinions, even ones that are mistaken, offensive or wrong-headed.  It is not up to the government to regulate a fundamental human right.  Otherwise, it’s no longer a right.

      There.  Clear?

      Now, I’m still waiting for you to answer my questions, put to you on two occasions:

      I challenged you to show where I’d ever said it was okay for 90% of the press to lie.  You haven’t answered that. I challenged you to provide evidence that 90% of the press lie.  You haven’t answered that. I presume that’s because you know you don’t have evidence of either.

      So, is that what passes for honesty here in Australia?

    • Gordie says:

      01:13pm | 09/01/13

      I’m from Canada and they think I’m slow eh?

    • Sickemrex says:

      04:45pm | 09/01/13

      @ acotrel, you forgot the one about female police only being useful for some domestic violence incidents, but they have to get over their habit of hiding in the car while their partner takes a flogging. Just in case you needed reminding. Also in case you need reminding, I mentioned at the time that as a female officer, not only have I never left a partner in distress, the only time I have had a partner refuse to get out of the car, it was a male officer.

      So it’s only female engineers and cops that you think aren’t up to the task, or are there a few more?

    • Ian1 says:

      07:28am | 09/01/13

      Yep, ongoing violence continues unabated despite 20 years since a UN declaration.  If only the UN had the power to police the world in accordance with it’s undemocratically produced policies.  If only decrees by the UN could broadly apply with total disregard for the cultural practices of the peoples it dreams of governing. 

      The good news is that Australia is already a political power for change away from attitudes and practices which condone violence and discrimination against women.  It is entrenched in our law, we are an advanced western civilization.

      The fight is largely overseas, when agitators for further adoptive “steps” in socially developing Nations want to get serious about the cause.  The fight is cultural, and dare I say religious?

      One day the world will view women as Australia does.  Rather as Australian women do, as Australian men still need to change their understanding apparently.

      Meanwhile, any word on the bashed boyfriend of the rape/murder victim?

    • Mouse says:

      07:43am | 09/01/13

      Funny thing Ian1, I have been wondering about the boyfriend too. Haven’t heard much about him at all. Oh well, I suppose because he wasn’t actually raped and didn’t die, as far as we know, he’ll be OK then.  The fact that he was bashed, thrown off the bus, had his girlfriend raped and eventually die doesn’t mean anything obviously. Gee, good things you guys are tough! lol :o)

    • Lill says:

      09:14am | 09/01/13

      He was in the news yesterday. He came out and made a statement. I am not surprised he is hiding from the media. Imagine how traumatised he is.

    • Kiddo says:

      11:25am | 09/01/13

      He has given a couple of interviews in the last few days. He was obviously traumatised and felt guilty as well (I dont think he should).
      However with the uproar that the girl’s brutal injuries and her death caused, shining a light on a very prevalent but not talked about culture that accepts violence on women, his injuries and trauma were not given as much attention. I don’t think it is fair, but it is understandable.

    • AFR says:

      11:44am | 09/01/13

      I read an interview with him the other day too. He talked about how they were reluctant to get on the bus, and gave an account of how the bus stopped, doors locked and some of the events that took place. I recall him saying something along the lines of that he saw things that should never been seen. He also went on to criticize those who ignored their cried for help once off the bus.

      Poor bugger.

    • ByStealth says:

      01:36pm | 09/01/13

      The boyfriend was in the news. He talked about how the police and other services ignored his own traumatisation and injuries.

      He was pretty messed up.

    • gof says:

      07:45am | 09/01/13

      When will women realise that if they want to be equal with men then they need to be able to take a hit like a man. Feminism has a lot to answer for in the propagation of violence against women.

    • marley says:

      08:24am | 09/01/13

      WTF?  Are you saying that women will only achieve equality when they can take a beating?  When exactly was the last time you were gang-raped and bashed by a group of thugs?

    • AFR says:

      08:52am | 09/01/13

      Please tell me you are joking. Please.

    • Ilan says:

      09:08am | 09/01/13

      I’m surprised your comment hasn’t attracted more attention.  Anyone, man or woman, who assaults someone significantly weaker than themselves, is a despicable coward.  I doubt very much that feminism has supported stronger people assaulting those weaker than themselves, regardless of gender.  I think (and hope) your point is that violence in general, regardless of what genders are involved, should be shunned.

    • Ilan says:

      09:08am | 09/01/13

      I’m surprised your comment hasn’t attracted more attention.  Anyone, man or woman, who assaults someone significantly weaker than themselves, is a despicable coward.  I doubt very much that feminism has supported stronger people assaulting those weaker than themselves, regardless of gender.  I think (and hope) your point is that violence in general, regardless of what genders are involved, should be shunned.

    • gof says:

      09:58am | 09/01/13

      No Marley, re read and see if you can understand, simpleton! no mention of rape. Women are not equal to men either mentally or physically and as such are subject subservience and rightly so.

    • marley says:

      10:21am | 09/01/13

      @gof -nope - I’m not a simpleton.  I simply couldn’t believe that you actually meant what you said - but apparently you did.  Women can only be the equals of men when they can stand up to physical abuse. 

      If you think that comment shows any form of mental superiority, you’re deluding yourself.

    • gof says:

      10:41am | 09/01/13

      # marley
      Your inadequate response makes my point. Thank you.

    • Michael says:

      11:14am | 09/01/13

      gof, Childbirth…can’t take it, can you? not like a woman.

    • marley says:

      11:17am | 09/01/13

      @gof - your inadequate comment disproves your point.

    • gof says:

      12:36pm | 09/01/13

      ” your inadequate comment disproves your point.”
      I had no point to disprove, so I think you just like to type for the sake of typing and try to always get the last word in, that is kind of a female trait come to think of it.

    • marley says:

      01:08pm | 09/01/13

      “Women are not equal to men either mentally or physically.”  Your comments certainly disprove the former claim.

    • subotic says:

      02:15pm | 09/01/13

      When will women realise that if they want to be equal with men then they need to be able to take a hit like a man.

      I’d give them a “pass” if they could just pee standing up….

    • gof says:

      02:37pm | 09/01/13

      #marley ,
      Illogical retro contexting. Okay biatch, I give up, you win, happy now? No! what never!

      I would be happy if they could just take a leak with toilet seat up..

    • NSS says:

      02:56pm | 09/01/13

      gof, dear deluded gof.  I second the WTF?
      I know many blokes who can’t “take a hit” nor would they ever consider hitting anyone, let alone a woman, unless their own lives or their loved ones were in danger. I think you need to rethink your definition of masculinity before you go telling women how to be equal with men.

      As for “superior” intellect - not if you’re any example! LOL!

    • gof says:

      07:48am | 09/01/13

      “One day the world will view women as Australia does”
      What? as materialistic, self serving, man hating, bad driving, fake princesses! Yeah I can see the rest of the worlds men just envying us!

    • egg says:

      09:16am | 09/01/13

      Oh dear, someone’s trying too hard… yes, yes, gof, you’re very controversial.

    • gof says:

      10:05am | 09/01/13

      Not controversial, just correct, go hide your head in the sand and all is right in the world.
      I once heard that women could multitask! Thought I would test the theory, So I told a chick to shut up and sit down, she couldn’t do it, another myth busted.

    • Mouse says:

      10:49am | 09/01/13

      gof, there is a difference between “couldn’t” and “wouldn’t”.  The fact that she walked away giving you the Bird after hearing your directive may have been a clue!!  lol :o)

    • egg says:

      11:07am | 09/01/13

      @gof, you would allow me sand in which to place my pretty little head? Even as a lowly woman I would be allowed this joy? Oh, gentle sir! My heart, she flutters with delight.

      But seriously, you’re still trying. I don’t know why.

    • Ian1 says:

      11:39am | 09/01/13

      Hi gof, not sure you’ve read my comment in exactly the way it was intended.

      Australia does not discriminate based on gender, that would be unlawful.  The world will also adopt a gender-less view of it’s population, and laws which discriminate will be repealed.  Unless the population of the world votes.  Then the minority of the world’s people, those who are intimately familiar with western civilization, will be powerless to outvote
      the cultural/religious views prevailing that oppose a western view of equality.

      Only Australian women can be correct on the rights of women, men advocating women’s rights are just asking for trouble - in Australia that is.

      The true advocates of equal rights are battling where those rights are largely absent, like in the developing world.

      The discourse here in Australia is no longer about equality or equal rights, it is about Women’s rights.  Women are not equal, not in their own eyes, not when viewing each other.  Men who treat women equally are often derided for their lack of scruples.  The generic Aussie man treats women and men as equals.  Does the generic Australian woman even exist?

      Those warmongering here in Australia, the same who rail against Aussie blokes and families, are like the champagne socialists we see throughout Canberra acting very important.  Sure, they care, nothing hypocritical to see here.  Or like the Union bosses (under investigation?) who maintain a caring ruse but by their actions seem careful to administer member funds in order to gain magnitudes of personal advantage, or personal services.

      Why would anyone think the rest of the world is better placed to govern our Australian population over our own Representatives?  Has anyone looked at the state the rest of the world is in right about now?

    • gof says:

      12:44pm | 09/01/13

      #Mouse ,
      The “bird”! Well I can multitask I gave her the two finger salute in return.
      Mouse, the irony is that women choose what they want to hear! I mean “sit down and shut up” 15 years ago could or would be interpreted by a women to be “He wants a headjob..yummy” is is “what a turd, misogynist, women abuser, but is he rich” in the end it is all interpretation and the delivery.

    • Ian1 says:

      01:32pm | 09/01/13

      @gof…  the two finger salute is still just the one one task.  Had you given both ‘birds’, one with left the other with right hand, then you would have been multitasking…

      In asking her to shut up and sit down, I presume you were working as an Air Steward or Air-host?

    • Tubesteak says:

      03:50pm | 09/01/13

      Women can multitask.
      This thread shows that they can be trolled and type at the same time!

    • Ridge says:

      08:27am | 09/01/13

      You want to talk about equality? How about, in your example, India:

      - (Indian) buses have seats reserved for women; the front half (does Rosa Parks ring a bell?)
      - (Indian man has) seen girls… making old men sitting on seats reserved for women stand up so that they can have the seat.
      - Due to sheer embarrassment and fear, men continue to stand even when the seats at the front are vacant.
      - In Delhi metros, there is a coach reserved for women. This coach can remain empty but men cannot enter it.
      - Women are allowed to queue jump (eg. tickets), no matter how long it takes for the men to get service
      - In cases of adultery, (legally) only the man can be held guilty.
      - In the false rape accusation of actor Shiney Ahuja, the whole country went ‘berserk’. When he was acquitted, nobody cared (and many still don’t know).

      (Source: avoiceformen dot com)

      There’s so much more inequality against men in India alone it would warrant its own article.  And this is even before getting to the rape issue.

      God, what about the deaths of innocent men since the recent rape?  Does anyone care?

    • marley says:

      09:47am | 09/01/13

      @Ridge - funny, I don’t remember any “groom burnings” in India but I sure as hell remember “bride burnings.”  If you think that having to give your seat up on a bus equates to being gang-raped or burnt alive by disgruntled in laws, then you need to think again.

    • Ridge says:

      10:27am | 09/01/13

      OP discusses inequality, I offer counter-arguments.

      And now you come charging in with new, unrelated arguments to discredit mine.

      You can talk about “bride burnings” all you want.  Gang rapes, individual rapes, all female homicide.  Would still pale in comparison to male deaths in the workplace, wars, homicide, etc.

    • AFR says:

      10:35am | 09/01/13

      The recent events in India might the reason why women receive special carriages/seats on public transport.

      Are you seriously comparing what happened to this woman (and i’m sure many others) to women being given some priority seating on trains? Do you think there might be a good reason for this?

      Perhaps you should read a little about what these animals did first before saying such silly things.

    • marley says:

      11:19am | 09/01/13

      @Ridge - um, no, you are complaining about the terrible inequalities men face in India - like having to sit in separate compartments - and I’m talking about the terrible equalities women face - like being murdered just because they’re women. 

      As for male deaths in wars and homicides, well, most of them were caused by men, after all.

    • Ridge says:

      11:34am | 09/01/13

      lol, AFR you’re guilty of the exact same fallacy that marley was.

      I know exactly what those animals did to the girl and her boyfriend on that bus.  It’s disgusting, and if convicted beyond reasonable doubt, they should die for what they did.  There’s also no excuse for it, but not once did I say there was.

      It’s the easily misguided like yourselves that allows for misandrist conditions to be placed upon innocent men, like the hundreds of millions of normal Indian men.

    • Kiddo says:

      11:52am | 09/01/13

      @Ridge - you are not comparing apples with apples.

      -Indian buses and trains have reserved seats and coaches for women so that they have some ‘protection’ from the many many indian men who grope and rub against them in public transport.

      - I have seen indian girls (and boys) give up thier seats for the elderly and the pregnant. So let’s not generalise.

      -Women shouldnt be allowed to queue jump, although I don’t know which city you are talking about because in Bombay you will be heckled and be forced to go to the back of the queue, irrespective of gender.

      -Shiny Ahuja -false rape? Or pressure for the maid to retract the story? Surely you know how things work in the indian law and order system

      - I don’t agree with ‘rape’ charges when a live-in couple breaks up and the guy is slapped with a rape charge because refuses to marry the girl. That law needs to change.

      I care about people needlessly dying and I care about a lot of the class\caste based injustice that goes on in that country.

      But to say “There’s so much more inequality against men in India alone ” ?
      Women in india are systematically abused, burnt, beaten by husbands, girl children raped by neighbours, poor dalit women raped by upper castes and others, denied an education (even denied mobile phones and the right to wear jeans!), encouraged to not step out of thier homes, killed in the womb, made to go without while thier brothers can have some more, while for the most part society looks on and blames the woman and you say indian men face more inequality? You are not that Male Unblocked guy who posts in Outlook are you?

    • Ridge says:

      11:58am | 09/01/13

      @marley - so you admit that you brought up different points, but you still did so to discredit mine.  What are you saying, that misandry is irrelevant as long as we can look for another party who claims more grievance/discrimination?

      “well, most of them were caused by men, after all. ”  And this is to suggest what, exactly?  The outcome here is the same, victims of violence suffer.  Why then, does there need to be discrimination and inequality exposure, treatment, support, etc?  Stephen’s comment above addresses it well.

    • marley says:

      12:41pm | 09/01/13

      @Ridge - you argued that men were horribly discriminated against in India, and most of your examples were incredibly trivial.  I simply pointed out that the discrimination women face there is very from being trivial. 

      I’m not arguing that misandry isn’t an issue, but you are arguing that it’s on a par in India with misogyny and that is simply not true at all.

    • Caz says:

      12:55pm | 09/01/13

      Is it not fair to say that all these areas need to change? Segregation and difference based on gender is alienating men from women and women from men.
      The violence against women needs to stop. No one can argue that.
      The unexplicable differences in cultural behaviour such as segregation on buses will need to stop too.
      Laws need to treat both men and women equaliy too and once it is seen that men and women can perform the same roles at home and in the workforce this should get easier to change.
      All of the above will take time to change - it wont happen overnight. But if you want to campaign for womens issues or mens issues it can be done in tandem! It does not have to be in spite of!

    • ByStealth says:

      01:47pm | 09/01/13

      @ Marley

      ‘As for male deaths in wars and homicides, well, most of them were caused by men, after all. ‘

      This is the most callously dismissive phrase used to discount the victimisation of men. It’s also as common as hen’s teeth.

      Lets talk lesbian rape. Female perpetrator. Or child abuse, vast majority of female perpetrators. According to your logic we should sweep these issues under the carpet because its only a gender fighting amongst themselves.

      It makes me rage when people are so callously dismissive to the suffering of others and shows their own-group preference predjudice in doing so.

    • marley says:

      03:16pm | 09/01/13

      @byStealth - I wasn’t being dismissive of men killed in war, or of men being murdered.  I certainly wasn’t saying we should sweep these things under the carpet.  Rates of male on male violence and of male suicide are both serious cause for concern, and need to be addressed.  But neither of these, nor the casualty statistics from any war, are evidence of misandry.  Deal with them as the problems they are, rather than try to make them a weapon in some kind of gender war.

      And frankly, I think that equating these kinds of things with an inability to get a seat on a train is far more dismissive than anything I’ve said. 

      As for the rest, rape is rape, and child abuse is child abuse.  They should all be prosecuted, regardless of the gender of the perpetrator or the victim.  I’d regard dealing with any of these problems as a slightly higher priority than ensuring that men get to sit in lady’s carriages on Indian trains.

    • James says:

      03:39pm | 09/01/13

      “As for male deaths in wars and homicides, well, most of them were caused by men, after all. “

      What a cowardly thing to say, seriously extremely low. Its akin to saying a female deserved to be raped because of what she wore. There is misandry for you but its so ingrained in the culture today that its dismissed as normal.

    • ByStealth says:

      05:07pm | 09/01/13

      All of these things should be addressed as you say. Nothing I say should be taken as discounting the horrific nature of some of these crimes against women. However…

      Male victimisation is often discounted by phrases such as ‘Men are the perpetrators’ or ‘Women have it worse’.

      Rape as a weapon of war throughout sub-saharan africa has been presented as a ‘gender issue’ wherein only women are victims. To give you an idea of the relative gender victim rates I offer the following quote from some (non-mainstream) investigative journalism:

      ‘Because there has been so little research into the rape of men during war, it’s not possible to say with any certainty why it happens or even how common it is – although a rare 2010 survey, published in theJournal of the American Medical Association, found that 22% of men and 30% of women in Eastern Congo reported conflict-related sexual violence’.

      In Afghanistan we focus on the plight of young girls under radical islam while ignoring the young boys sold through the practice of Bacha bazi.

      If we look at other parts of the world, men and boys are suffering in large numbers, but we don’t care because they are seen as disposable and women and girls are seen as more valuable. This relative valuing of the two genders comes out in attitudes that are dismissive of male victims by comments such as your ‘As for male deaths in wars and homicides, well, most of them were caused by men, after all. ‘

      Look at how much our society focuses on the value of men and women in the media. How many times do we see ‘120 victims, including 97 women and children’ and other such subtle reminders of this.

      The reason I (and others like me) are sensitive about this is because of the consistent reinforcement from our society of the ‘women are wonderful’ effect and the subsequent focus of the media on female victimhood.

      Its not just the extra attention given to women, but the fact that when anyone raises male victimhood in an attempt to get it the recognition and eventual rectification it deserves, it is dismissed by cavalier comments such as the one you made earlier.

    • James1 says:

      05:25pm | 09/01/13

      ““As for male deaths in wars and homicides, well, most of them were caused by men, after all. “

      What a cowardly thing to say, seriously extremely low. Its akin to saying a female deserved to be raped because of what she wore. There is misandry for you but its so ingrained in the culture today that its dismissed as normal.”

      Not at all.  It is objectively true that most violence against men is perpetrated by other men, and that most male deaths in wars are caused by other men.  After all, how many women are currently on the front lines?  How many were on the front line in World War One and Two?  Are you saying this is incorrect?  How can the truth be misandrist?

      It seems to me you are so busy looking for things to be outraged by that you have missed the facts of the matter.  The fact of the matter is that most physical violence of any sort towards people of both genders is perpetrated by males.  The evidence is easily accessible.  It perplexes me that you would deny this in an effort to make false accusations of sexism.

    • marley says:

      06:33pm | 09/01/13

      @James - I am simply pointing out that using terms like “misandry” to explain male deaths in circumstances that have nothing to do with gender issues is demeaning the deaths of those men.  And comparing those deaths to not getting a seat on the train is unforgiveable.

    • AFR says:

      09:00am | 09/01/13

      I see this issue going beyond the treatment of women in the third world (or in the first for that matter)..... events over the past few months have led me to form a view that the larger the population of a community is and the greater difference between rich and poor (think China, India, Brazil, US, and many large cities around the world), the less people give a shit about each other. Life becomes cheap, and if the victims are not in your immediate family, who cares?

      Does anyone really see a change being made in attitudes in India after this rape? In China after the next kid gets run over and is left for dead? The next mass shooting in the US?

    • acotrel says:

      09:31am | 09/01/13

      ‘the greater difference between rich and poor (think China, India, Brazil, US, and many large cities around the world), the less people give a shit about each other. Life becomes cheap, and if the victims are not in your immediate family, who cares?’

      In fifty years there will be apartheidt in Australia unless we change our thinking.

    • Kiddo says:

      11:36am | 09/01/13

      There is a change, but moslty within the urban, educated in India. For that to spread to the small & big towns, urban poor, and villages will take a long time.  Indians are now more vocal about having a transparent judiciary, a police force that protects citizens and a competent government and are not going to stop vocalising it.

    • Stephen says:

      09:12am | 09/01/13

      Here we go again.

      Bang the bent gong of feminism in Australia because of the situation in India. How utterly arrogant, to believe that we not only have the means, but the right to influence the culture of a soveriegn nation, like India.

      All the while feeding the myth of “violence against women” with lies such as 1 in 3 women will suffer violence in an intimate relationship. If you describe “violence” the way feminism does, its hard not to find a violated female. “He called me ‘lazy’ for sleeping in until 3 in the afternoon”.

      There is no such thing as “violence against women”.

      There is just “violence”. And it is just as reprehensible, no matter who is the victim, or their gender. Extending the definition to ludicrous boundaries so that you can cite goofy statistics as above is merely pushing a social agenda that is flawed, unnecessary and ultimately divisive.

      Remember, dear…just because you’re “offended” doesn’t mean you’re right.

    • gof says:

      10:15am | 09/01/13

      The family law courts in Australia subjugate violence against men everyday through emotional abuse, most men take it on the chin, those that don’t normally off themselves.
      Women commit horrible emotional and mental abuse on men each and everyday yet this is acceptable by law, a man does this to a woman and she uses is it a defense.
      I kind of understand but do not accept why more and more men are turning homosexual, it really is because they detest the way women treat men.

    • Ridge says:

      10:30am | 09/01/13

      Excellent response, thank you.  I would expect better from the acting Executive Director of Oxfam Australia.

    • Sylv says:

      11:23am | 09/01/13

      gof - I don’t think you care about violence and abuse at all. I think you care about running down women for some reason. If you really cared about men dying in wars, you wouldn’t turn on women, but you don’t care about men dying in wars. If you really cared about the scourge of emotional abuse visited on men, I would assume it was violence and maltreatment in general you object to - but it isn’t. When it happens to women, you think it’s trivial, so violence can’t bother you that much. So let’s get down to what you really mean. It isn’t violence and abuse you object to - it’s chicks. So you are a bigot, and you have no moral platform to stand on, at all. All this other stuff is just a bit of window dressing to disguise your hatred.

    • gof says:

      12:28pm | 09/01/13

      ” So you are a bigot, and you have no moral platform to stand on, at all”
      It’s a little more complex than that, you all sprout equality yet the debate is so one sided… don’t you see.. nope you don’t, you are as much a bigot as you claim me to be.
      Also, Hate is such a strong word, I don’t use the word except in context of the leader of the opposition.

    • ByStealth says:

      02:00pm | 09/01/13

      Sylv, its not that the guys like running down women. Its that feminists misrepresent statistics and consistently demonise and ‘other’ men to promote their agenda.

      Men are consistently made to look like the perpetrators of domestic violence even though the vast majority of such violence is reciprocal. This then influences the opinion of collective society to the point when police turn up to the house after a call of DV, it is consistently the man who is asked to leave, or is arrested (even if he is bruised and bleeding).

      With rape, statistics are skewed via definitions that exclude ‘forced envelopment’ while including ‘forced penetration’ so that not surprisingly women come out at 92% of victims. This is then used by feminists to show that rape is predominately a male on female crime.

      Funding is then allocated for rape/DV services for women that specifically exclude men, because with these crimes ‘only women are victims.’

      Can you understand how this might make some men upset?

    • subotic says:

      02:19pm | 09/01/13

      Hate is such a strong word, I don’t use the word except in context of the leader of the opposition.

      As in “gof hates it when the camera doesn’t get a good shot of the leader of the opposition’s budgie smugglers at just the right angle”?

      Thought so…

    • gof says:

      03:08pm | 09/01/13

      #subotic ,
      “gof hates it when the camera doesn’t get a good shot of the leader of the opposition’s budgie smugglers”
      It’s true, it’s the only way you can tell which of his ministers have been gobbling away on his nob by’s nuts, but how could you really tell they are all suckers.
      I also hate they way he winks at me whenever he is on TV, makes me real uncomfortable it does.

    • Dr B S Goh, Australian in Asia says:

      09:17am | 09/01/13

      India has many problems and one of the most important is the continued population growth.  It has 1.2 billion people with 180,000,000 people added in the last ten years.

      This means 80m live on less than one dollar a day and 300m do not have electricity.

      My friend an Australian trained engineer was building roads in India. People can rip up anything in iron from his new roads to sell to make a living.

      To see what it is like population wise there are some interesting photos of overcrowded trains and buses at:

    • AdamC says:

      10:47am | 09/01/13

      I thought this article was undermined by the author’s use of ‘think of a number and quintuple it’ statistics. I also thought this line was absurd:

      “We all have the power to make violence against women a thing of the past.”

      No, we do not. No society has ever, or likely will ever, totally eliminate violence against women. What we can do is work to constantly reduce the incidence of violence against women are ensure it remains socially unacceptable and taboo.

    • Lauren says:

      11:23am | 09/01/13

      The comments posted by some of the men in response to this article illustrate why so many people are concerned with the way attitudes towards women are going in this country. We had this argument in the seventies, we will not have it again with the likes of you. The fact that you think Tony Abbott is your saviour is reason enough for me to never vote for him. Not that I had any intention of voting for him anyway.

    • Jason says:

      11:45am | 09/01/13

      Quite frankly the whole “Violence against Women” diatribe is a complete waste of time. We have to teach our kids that Violence is not Ok full stop, its no good letting boys punch the shit out of each other and then wonder why women get the same treatment later on.

      If people were truly educated in the effects of violence in a child’s upbringing and the consequences this entails (everything from suicide, sexual assault, abuse etc) they would be more strict in the way they bring up their kids.

      Considering that boys are 50% more likely to be physically abused as children, its no wonder some grow up and use violence as a tool.

    • Joan Bennett says:

      12:08pm | 09/01/13

      acotrel, as a feminist I found Gillard’s “Misogyny speech” very insulting.  Just because she is female, why should the opposition walk on eggshells around her?  Are you saying that she should she get special treatment because of her gender?  She was trying to do something tricky politically and ended up trivilialising a very important issue in the process.  Personally, I find Gillard to be the worst kind of misogynist.

    • Rob says:

      01:26pm | 09/01/13

      Marley. yet another social issue that you are expert upon.

      You can predict the ICB on this article would lead to the ‘appalling’ abuse of women in Australia.

      The awful part of this philosophy to use any ambit story to sheet home accusations about Australia that do not occur but are needed to satiate some demented complex evident in women. The most pertinent is that it festers a hopeless realationship between men and women in Australia. One of animosity, distrust and contempt. That relationship is beyond repair because egalitarian consideration has been shelved to satiate some self serving goulish mentality .

      Of course comments that are against hte flow will need to survive the local censorship of male opinion. Unless we have changed since yesterday

    • NSS says:

      03:08pm | 09/01/13

      OMG. More demented MRE rubbish in response to a positive article about a much needed and desirable wind of change on the Sub-Continent. It never ceases to amaze me how such nastiness raises it’s head on this site so frequently.

      Get this straight, fellas. Male violence against women still happens in this country too,deny it or minimise it all you will.  It’s time for it to end. Full stop.

    • James says:

      03:44pm | 09/01/13

      I love it, it balances out the feminist sexists rubbish and they have a right to be heard. Equal opportunity rules.

    • Ridge says:

      04:10pm | 09/01/13

      Whether it happens isn’t being disputed, it’s how much -really- happens, when you look beyond skewed statistics by individuals or organisations which have been demonstrated to push agendas.  What violence does occur, of course, should end.

      But also when the suffering of some is promoted beyond that of others, completely disgracing the concept of equality.  As if some animals are more equal than others.  That is utmostly offensive.


Facebook Recommendations

Read all about it

Punch live

Up to the minute Twitter chatter

Recent posts

The latest and greatest

The Punch is moving house

The Punch is moving house

Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…

Nosebleed Section

choice ringside rantings

From: Hasbro, go straight to gaol, do not pass go

Tim says:

They should update other things in the game too. Instead of a get out of jail free card, they should have a Dodgy Lawyer card that not only gets you out of jail straight away but also gives you a fat payout in compensation for daring to arrest you in the first place. Instead of getting a hotel when you… [read more]

From: A guide to summer festivals especially if you wouldn’t go

Kel says:

If you want a festival for older people or for families alike, get amongst the respectable punters at Bluesfest. A truly amazing festival experience to be had of ALL AGES. And all the young "festivalgoers" usually write themselves off on the first night, only to never hear from them again the rest of… [read more]

Gentle jabs to the ribs

Superman needs saving

Superman needs saving

Can somebody please save Superman? He seems to be going through a bit of a crisis. Eighteen months ago,… Read more



Read all about it

Sign up to the free newsletter