Saturday, December 29, 2012


I heard the news over breakfast early this morning that gang-rape victim 'Amanat' (not her real name) had passed away at 4.45am today. She had been flown to Singapore and admitted to Mount E barely 24 hours ago in a critical condition. Yesterday the doctors had announced that 'the vital signs of the 23-year old paramedical student were deteriorating with signs of severe organs failure', and her parents had been told to be by her bedside to comfort her.

Her demise will certainly re-ignite protests and demonstrations worldwide that violence against women should not be tolerated, that women are to be respected and anyone found guilty of abuse against women should be severely punished. The term 'women' here includes little girls as well for they are tomorrow's women.

Source: Associated Press

Enough is enough. For too long rapists have managed to get away either scot-free or given only a light sentence. This makes a mockery of justice. Our world is pretty much a patriarchal one. Policy-makers are still overwhelmingly male. It's about time we had more women representation in governments and public organizations. Only women can truly know what it is like to be treated less worthy than a man. Only they know what it feels like to be treated as objects of sexual pleasure for men or traded as commodities by them.

The Straits Times published a poignant letter today that deserves to be shared. It was written before the announcement of Amanat's passing. Do read it to appreciate what it is like to be a woman living in a country where you feel safe no matter where you go on your own. It is a 'Tale of Two Countries'. I am writing this in Singapore, and I echo the sentiments expressed in the letter.

Over to you, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. You know what needs to be done. A pledge means nothing if it is not honoured.

From today's Straits Times

Isn't it ironic that women bear the two most iconic symbols of liberty and justice? Statues are mere tourist attractions if the values they represent are not embraced by men and women everywhere.

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