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Factors Responsible: Crimes Against Women In India

Every human being is born free with various inherent rights like that of right to live with dignity and honor .so its basic human right of every human to live a life of dignity ,but since time immemorial women section of our society is subjected to certain inhumane treatment by committing various offences against them and curtailing their right of having a dignified life .women Is the most vulnerable section of almost every society in the world and same is the case with Indian society. In India women fell prey to end number of crimes among which some of the crimes even go unrecognized.

However the various major crimes against women are Rape, Dowry death, female feticide, Sexual harassment, Domestic violence, Acid attack etc. Now the basic question that arises here is why women are being subjected to such crimes ,why don't they receive due honor, why are they being curtailed of their freedom. There are indeed various factors or root causes responsible for this and its very important to go through the root cause to understand any problem and to work on them to reach towards any end or to get desired result.

Major Crimes Against Women:

Crimes against women start even before her birth and continue till his last breath. No matter in what stage of life she is, she fell prey to the male dominated society. Like when she's not even born, the crime of female feticide is being committed, when she's child she faces the gender discrimination ,inferior treatment, no free access to studies ,when she's young ,sexual harrasment, eve teasing rape is being committed ,when she's married crimes like dowry death, domestic violence are being committed ,which means that women is safe nowhere, and she nowhere gets due regard and respect.

Female foeticide:

The concept of patriarchal families is there from the existence of human life in society, males are being given preferences over females on different grounds like they are considered as dominant, bread earners for family and support of old age for parents. Female feticide means a process where the foetus is being removed or aborted because of sex of foetus. Female feticide is being done despite having the regulatory does include various factors like that of preference to male children, girls being considered as burden upon parents etc.


One of the brutal crimes against women prevalent in our society is rape. Its most gruesome and barbaric act of violating bodily integrity and honor of women .Rape is one of the most growing crimes and is growing at an alarming rate. Rape is forced and unwanted. Rape means unlawful sexual activity and usually sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against a persons will.

The comprehensive definition of rape is provided in Indian penal code 1860 which means that the crime of rape is not new and laws have been there to deal with this crime .section 375,376 of IPC deals with rape and rigorous punishment is there for rapists .There have been subsequent amendments and main issue of focus remained definition of rape. Rape of women by men has occurred throughout recorded history and across cultures and religions.

Sexual harassment:

Sexual harassment of women is growing expeditiously .its very unfortunate that women are safe nowhere ,sexual harassment is being done at almost every place be it workplace, public transport ,public gatherings etc. sexual harassment is any unwanted sexual behavior that makes someone feel upset ,scared, offended or humiliated, or is meant to make them feel that way.

There are different laws governing sexual harassment of women in public spaces in India. Section 354A of Indian penal code defines sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment .. Also prevention of women sexual harassment act of 2013, commonly known as POSH act has been passed to give protection to women from sexual harassment at workplace because its mostly done in workplaces and also In public transport, eve teasing has become a norm now and unfortunately victims of unware.

Acid attack:

Acid attack ,one of the most inhuman, barbaric act done against women. Acid attack means throwing acid on girl usually on face to ruin her beauty, pride and confidence as beauty is always being connected to face. The cases of acid attack are rising day by day. The main cause of acid attack is male ego. In most of the cases its found that the reason of acid attack is rejection of male like rejection of proposals, any other favors and in order to take revenge girls are being attacked with acid that satisfies the male ego.

Acid attack is penalized under section 326A of IPC that provides for minimum 10 years imprisonment for this offence that is extendable to life with fine. Also the offender wants to disrupt the socio-economic life of such a woman. This section was inserted by criminal law amendment act, 2013.

Domestic Violence:

Domestic violence is any sort of violence committed by someone in victims domestic circle. It includes mental, physical and sexual abuse in a domestic setting .its also termed as domestic abuse or intimate partner violence . It's a serious threat that leaves life long effect on most of the cases women are victim of this crime. So, The protection of women from Domestic violence act 2005 has been passed to regulate this crime. This act provides protection to women from ,from men in domestic sphere.

Dowry death: Dowry one of the biggest menace in our society dowry Is an age old concept. Dowry is one of the main reasons of female foeticide as parents conceive girl child as burden upon them as they could not provide dowry. Dowry means giving of cash ,good, or any sort of property by brides family to groom's family at time of marriage. Its an social evil that has ruined the life of end number of women and has led to the tortures and crimes against women. Dowry also lead to late marriages that in fact is another major issue of current era. Dowry makes parents vulnerable to commit crimes as they go to any extent to get their daughters married and fulfil the demands of grooms family.

I want to site an incident here; a drug peddler was caught by police in my nearby village and during investigation he made a statement that I was left with no other option because I have to collect dowry and get my daughters married. Marriages nowadays have become a trade where a person marries not only to get a partner but to get the hefty amounts. Women are being subjected to ill treatment by husband or in-laws for dowry demands and are often being beaten to death, attacked with acid, driven to suicide or any other inhuman treatment is being done to them for non fulfilment of dowry demands.

Section 304B of Indian penal code deals with dowry death and this offence is punishable by imprisonment of seven years which may extend to life imprisonment. Also ,Dowry prohibition act 1961 prohibits demand ,receipt, or payment of dowry in marriage and provides for imprisonment of 6 years and fine equal to dowry amount .

Factors responsible for these crimes:

There are various factors responsible for these crimes. Some of the main reasons are quoted below:
  • Gender discrimination:
    All these crimes have their root in gender discrimination. Women folk is considered as inferior to that of men. Women from their childhood are being compared to men, they are restricted in every sense may it be education, freedom to go anywhere, freedom to make decisions ,freedom to choose life partner. The will of men are being thrusted upon women. This sense of superiority make men free to commit any crime against women and to treat them like anything they want.

    Children are being raised in a set up from their childhood ,where they are taught that women are weak, dependent, meant to do household chores only, this ultimately gives male child a sense of superiority due to which they grew up with a mind set that women are dependent inferior to them and they hold a total control over them. This mind set of being superior ultimately lead to crimes.
  • No proper implementation of laws:
    Even though there are numerous laws to deal with the crimes against women happening in society but the crimes are still raising at an alarming rate and scale of crime continues to go up. Lack of proper implementation of laws is one of the main factors responsible for these crimes.
  • Lack of legal knowledge:
    People don't know about their rights ,laws, regulatory mechanisms that are provided by legal system. If people have been well versed with the legal knowledge ,these crimes wouldn't have gone so high like if a victim is aware of laws she uses approaches to competent authorities to get her rights and make every possible step to get victim punished.
  • No moral education:
    lack of moral education is the biggest factor responsible for the crimes in society .children are not being inculcated with ethical and moral values from their childhood that leads them to do these crimes and treat women with no respect at all.
  • Media and television:
    women are being portrayed as a thing of attraction and lust that automatically develops a thinking in men that they are meant to be treated like a thing of pleasure .Also indecent things are being normalized by television and media like that of stalking ,drinking alcohol etc that automatically leaves an impact on peoples mind and is structuring minds of next generation.
  • Lack of awareness:
    Many individuals don't know about these crimes and their punishment, most of the victims are under fear of social stigma and under threat of criminals due to which many of the crimes go unreported that creates a room for criminals to commit these crimes again and again and crimes keep on rising .Also people of unaware of these crimes as they are being normalized and people have become used to them.
  • Substance abuse:
    substance abuse has also became the factor responsible for crime's against women .substance abuse makes person intoxicated and a person couldn't differentiate between right and wrong .Most women fell prey to intoxication of men as they are being raped, beaten by men when they are intoxicated .substance abuse makes a person go to any extent like if we see a recent example in Kashmir ,a boy killed her mother and stole her jewellery for drugs.
  • Stigmatization of victims:
    victims are being stigmatized on reporting of crimes ,they get a social stigma that hinders them to report the cases or raise their voice against the crimes happening with them. This encourages criminals to repeat the crimes and scale of crimes keep raising and women keep on suffering.
  • Subservient role of women:
    Female submission has been endorsed as inborn/natural to women's nature. women are expected to obey men unquestioningly that deprive them of their rights .The men are raised to lead and take charge while women are taught to take responsibility of maintaining peace in home. This again leads to ill treatment of women. Women find safety in allowing the male to dominate the relationship and because the submissive role is automatically expected women fear changing the situation.
  • Economic instability of women:
    women are mostly economically dependent on women due to various factors ,they are not given free hand to education, job etc. less wages are paid to them as compared to men for same work .this dependence gave men a sense of superiority as they perceive women as helpless and subject them to different crimes.

Recently, during our industrial tour to industrial sector while talking to the female workers they made some statements that were enough to describe their situation of being deprived of their rights, they said that for same work for which men are paid 9k we are paid 4k,while questioning about sexual harrasment or being treated as inferior ,they remain silent and one among them said ,we are destitute they are not .This statement was huge and described the miserable condition of women folk in society.

The NCRB report also shows that the rate of crime against women (number of Incidents per 1 lakh Population) increased from 56.5 per cent in 2020 to 64.5 per cent in 2021.Crime against women Rose by 15.3 per cent in 2021 from the previous year, according to latest data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), with 4,28,278 cases registered last year following 3,71,503 cases in 2020.

A total of 4,28,278 cases of crime against women were registered during 2021, showing an increase of 15.3% over 2020 (3,71,503 cases).Majority of cases under crime against women under IPC were registered under 'Cruelty by husband or His Relatives' (31.8%) followed by 'Assault on Women with Intent to Outrage her Modesty' (20.8%), 'Kidnapping & Abduction of Women' (17.6%) and 'Rape' (7.4%). The crime Rate registered per lakh women population is 64.5 in 2021 in comparison with 56.5 in 2020.

A total of 43,414 cases of crime against women were registered during 2021, showing an increase of 22.9% over 2020 (35,331 cases).Majority of cases under crime against women were registered under 'Cruelty by Husband or his relatives' (33.0%) followed by 'Kidnaping & Abduction of Women' (20.0%), 'Assault on Women With Intent to Outrage her Modesty' (17.5%), and 'Rape' (7.4%).
Crime Factors responsible
Rape Rape culture.
Biased definition of rape .
Victim blaming.
No sex education.
Gender discrimination.
No proper implementation of laws.
Female foeticide Preference to male child.
Dowry culture.
weak social security.
taking females as burden
Sexual harassment Lack of moral education.
No proper sensitization.
Power disparity.
Lack of awareness.
Social-stigmatization of victims.
Acid attack Male ego.
Lack of awareness.
Lack of education.
Unregulated and unchecked sale of acid.
Dowry death Dowry culture.
Lack of awareness.
Social influence.
Traditions and customs.
Domestic violence Gender discrimination
Poor behavioral control.
Substance abuse.
Social shame of victims.
Lack of education.
Written By: Masrat Riyaz, B.A-LLB 6th Semester - Central University Of Kashmir

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