Changing laws and unchanging statistics: Rape and rape laws in India

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Several high-profile rapes in India have made headlines around the world and have drawn attention to the need for change in laws and attitudes on the subcontinent.   Much of the call for change is coming from Indian women themselves.

Poonam Kathuria is an Indian woman who has been working for change from her home base in Gujarat, India. She is the founder and director of SWATI -  the Society for Women's Action and Training Initiatives, a major feminist advocacy, education and research organization. SWATI works for change at the state and national levels on issues related to violence against women, adolescent and women's health, right to information and governance.

She is  involved in policy formulation, has written widely for newspapers and magazines and has published numerous research reports. A holistic and cross-sector approach to responding to the complex nature of development challenges has been central to her work. She is recognized for her innovative ideas, strategic thinking and conceptual skills in bridging the divide between practitioners and academia.

In this talk, she speaks of the changes in rape laws in India over the past 20 years, and highlights the need for yet more change.  She spoke at the 17th Annual Dame Nita Barrow Lecture, organized by the Centre for Women's Studies in Education and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. The event took place in Toronto last week, July 22, 2014.

Recording by: Steff Pinch.

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