The brutal rape and death of a young woman in New Delhi, India, in December has raised the plight of poor women in the country across the globe, a mission organisation claims.
KP Yohannan, president of Gospel for Asia (GFA), said the ‘long-time abuse that women in India endure has now been highlighted’.
The statement says, ‘Women’s social stigma and inhuman treatment with impunity make them one of the largest unreached people groups. Conditions are worst among the women “untouchables”, or Dalits, who are the lowest castes and considered subhuman. Of India’s 1.2 billion people, one-fourth are untouchables’.
Figures from GFA, which runs safe houses and training for women, claim that of all married Indian women, 46 per cent are aged 18 or under. Marriage of girls aged 5-7, although illegal, is still practised in some rural areas.
Approximately 10,000 women are murdered annually when they cannot raise the required dowries for marriage. An estimated one in four rapes in India takes place in Delhi.
According to the BBC, the dead woman’s father told the Sunday people that he wanted the world to know her name so that it can be used for a new anti-rape law. However, it was later revealed he had not given consent for her name to be printed until the Indian government was committed to putting a law into motion.
The GFA statement added: ‘Positive steps are being taken. Education for women in the name of Jesus is bringing hope. Indian women, who are often the last allowed to eat and the first to be kept illiterate, are learning to read and write, and being educated on their human rights’.