Misogyny, despite the efforts of a select few, has been a tough set of shackles to break free from in India, a country ingrained with patriarchal prejudices for centuries. As a result, women there are left powerless, succumbing to an inherited system that has little disregard for their rights and well-being, so much so that the country has been plagued with an alarming increase of violence and rape in the last few years. And because of the nation’s natural contempt for females in general, victims are often not heard and sometimes, punished.
Such was the case that involved a teenage girl who was whipped by a village council for getting raped by her father and not telling anybody about it. But if that’s how they ‘help’ rape victims in India, can people blame these oppressed individuals for remaining silent about it?
Now, thanks to the advancements made in technology, these victimized women will finally have a fail-safe for such incidents as their country starts to get smarter about these atrocities by requiring a panic button to smartphones by 2017, allowing people to make a distress call that will automatically notify the police, as well as contacts predetermined by the user. When faced by a predator, users can simply press the power button thrice and a distress signal will be sent. Non-smartphone users can also do the same by simply pressing ‘5’ or ‘9’ on any regular cellular phone. As of this writing, India still doesn’t have national emergency numbers that its people can call, but thanks to these developments, at least they now have something that should help protect them from heinous acts.
And just to prove that India is determined to combat the attacks against women, the country would also be requiring cellphones to have a built-in GPS navigation system by 2018 that should help the authorities pinpoint the exact location of the phone that made the distress call.
Cellphone manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung are expected to abide by the new guidelines for products that these companies are planning to sell in India, aside from software updates for existing smartphones that will enable users to have the latest configurations. Also, units that are sold before the new ruling is in effect will be offered an upgrade at service centers for free.
This should help alleviate the violence and rape happening in India as of late. According to BBC through the National Crime Records Bureau, there were 337,922 reports made on violence against women in 2014, including 36,000 occurrences of rape. Of course, these are just rough estimates and those numbers are probably higher than what was indicated since many cases are left unreported.
India and its people have pushed for anti-rape laws since the 2012 gang rape of 23-year-old physiotherapy intern Jyoti Singh in a New Delhi bus that resulted to her subsequent death. This was followed by the rape and death of a five-year-old girl in 2013, and the gang rape and murder of a woman who was getting treated for depression in 2015.
The new requirements for smartphones do not guarantee that these transgressions against women will stop, but at least it’s a step towards the right direction and finally, India is getting smarter about it.
What do you think of the new steps that India is making to help combat the violence and rape against women? Let us know in the comments below and please share this article!
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