How Do Media Representations Help and Hurt Women in India? PDF Print

15 August 2019

Country: India

by: Mikhail Yakovlev

Delhi_protests-India_Raped_says_one_young_womans_signDuring the last week of July, a lorry rammed into a car in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Tragically, two of the car’s five passengers died. Among the survivors was a 19-year old woman who had accused Kuldeep Sengar, an official from India’s ruling BJP Party, of raping her in 2017. Was Sengar behind this crash?

Ever since the allegations against him became public, the woman’s family has been "living in fear.” Her father died under mysterious circumstances in police custody. Legal proceedings into the allegations floundered for two years until India’s “Supreme Court took up the case suo moto” after the crash. Her case illustrates a deep-set structural problem – most rape victims in India face significant barriers to justice due to prejudice. Does media representation play a role?

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