Thursday, September 17, 2009

19. "Eve Teasing"

Dear Followers,

I'm happy to report that over 100 copies of The Self-Empowered Woman have been sold since it went on sale two weeks ago. Even though I'm delighted by that number, it seems insignificant when compared with the fact that Dan Brown's new novel (The Lost Symbol) sold 1 million copies in only two days. Bravo to him and big dreams for me...

Today I wanted to share with you an article by Jim Yardley, who writes for The New York Times. While in Palwal, India (about 100 miles from New Delhi), he wrote about a gender problem in India that has caught everyone off guard.

India has (possibly since the days of Indira Gandhi) been considered a country where women had successfully shattered the glass ceiling. After all, consider this list of positions held by women: President of the powerful Congress Party, President of India, Foreign Secretary, Chief Minister of India's most populous state, and new minister of railways. Additionally, equal pay is mandatory and sexual harassment is illegal.

In spite of this "progress," women who travel on commuter trains to get to their jobs are often pinched, groped, or the object of insults and catcalls. This form of daily commuter taunting has been labeled Eve Teasing, and has prompted the government to enact "Ladies Specials" trains so that women can travel without the presence of males. In this patriarchal country the number of working women - most of whom travel to work by train - has almost doubled in the past 15 years. Unfortunately, so has crimes against women. According to Yardley, rape rose by more than 30% between 2003 and 2007, kidnapping increased by more than 50%, and molestation and torture rose sharply...

Today's quiz asks what do actress Jessica Alba, author Isabelle Allende, dancer Judith Jamison and Margaret Thatcher have in common?

Looking forward to your comments...

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