They called her Braveheart, a name that symbolizes a fighter. People have also called her Fearless and India’s Daughter. Due to Indian law, the real name of a rape victim is withheld from the press. For some reason the name Braveheart seemed to stick.
Months after her tragic, horrifying death Delhi’s Braveheart continues to tear away at Indian society and many Indians’ cry for change. Braveheart’s December 16th gang rape on a moving bus has gained worldwide attention, outrage and grief. Further high-profile rapes such as the recent rape of a Swiss and American tourist have continued to push the not so pretty truth about the status of women in India into the forefront. Meanwhile, India’s tourist industry has been reeling with a 35 % decline in female tourists for the first three months of this year compared with the same period last year (Source: Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry in India). It is evident that foreign women travelers are concerned about the dangers of traveling to a place with such a tarnished reputation for women’s rights and safety.
In a country where a rape is reported every 21 minutes, and gruesome rapes of young children are inundating the news, you would think that it would be enough to push for societal and governmental change. Yet has anything really truly changed for the millions of women in India and around the world who are faced with violence, discrimination, harassment, intimidation, neglect and unworthiness every single day of their lives?