Indian Women's Press Corps

The News Editor/ Chief Reporter

Subject: IWPC Press Statement on Rape

Dear Sir/Ma'am:
New Delhi, August 23, 2013.The Indian Women's Press Corps condemns strongly the gang rape of a young woman photojournalist by five men in Mumbai on Thursday. Accompanied by a male colleague, the journalist was on an assignment to photograph the city's old textile mills where she was assaulted and raped while her male colleague was tied up. Ironically, Mumbai has long been considered to be one of the safest cities for the working woman. It is with a growing sense of outrage that the IWPC −a professional body of 600 women journalists based in the capital−urges the authorities to take immediate and stringent action against the perpetrators of this brutal assault. We would also like to emphasise the need for the government to provide a secure environment for women on a priority basis. This recent incident brings back memories of the national outrage that was sparked by the rape of a young physiotherapist in Delhi last December. It has also been over a year when Tongam Rina was shot at in Manipur's capital, Imphal, yet her assailants have still not been brought to justice. Concerns about safety and security limit any woman's mobility and activities. Such heinous acts are a violation of the freedom of women; of their movement in their workplace and personal space. As more and more women join the media workforce, it behooves the administration and media organisations to ensure that women media practioners feel safe as they carry out their professional duties. Women are commonly threatened and attacked for the work they do. Such attacks range from sexual assault and rape to cyber-bullying to emotional harassment. Often such crimes go unvoiced because of cultural and professional reasons. But in cases where the attacks are in the public domain the authorities especially need to take immediate action. Though the police have arrested five men from the area in connection with the gang-rape, we hope that the authorities will ensure timely justice for a young journalist setting out on her career.

Mannika Chopra
Aruna Singh
(General Secretary)

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