Does it mean that empowering the women physically like imparting them fighting and defending skills will reduce rape? Obviously not. In fact, it sounds very insane, for the rapes are committed against children of small age where the question of physical empowerment doesn't even come into play. Every fourth rape victim is a minor according to NCRB data.
What needs to be done?
Whether it's to fight the power of a gun or the sword or the muscle, the state has a vital role to play. The state can be the sword of our women. In the Indian context many institutional mechanisms and legislations like The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act-2013, POSCO etcetera are already existing but the readings from the recent National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) present a complete failure of these mechanisms and there's no viable decrease in the intensity of crime. One woman reported a rape every 15 minutes on an average in India in 2018 according to government data.
Reforms as to why there is a lack of effective implication of these legislations are required. Steps must be taken to change the attitude of investigating officials during the investigation. Moreover, smart policing and the benefits of technology-driven infrastructure can be leveraged to help to curb the menace.
Deterrence was probably the most important role to play in fighting the rape culture in any part of the world. Imagine a country where the perpetrators of crime are sure that they will escape uncaught. It will only enhance the crime rate. It is not only the intensity of the punishment that has the lettering effect but the frequency of conviction and punishment that does the job. Capital Punishment for rape convicts is one of a kind that has the potential to discourage the rape culture. How many rapes and how much capital punishment for rape convicts till now? Many and none respectively. In this regard, death row of the Nirbhaya convicts on March 20 is going to send a strong message across the time and space that there is no tolerance against this heinous crime and no one can escape from the arms of the law. One day in a year should be fixed to hang the rape convicts and to be celebrated as the "Anti-Rape Day". All these acts, like strengthening institutional mechanisms, enhancing governance, speedy trials, generating deterrence are the type of measures that can create a force on a person from outside to abstain from committing such crime. But there is literally no scope for generating inner consciousness against the crime of rape being offered by these measures. And without the ignition of inner consciousness, it's almost impossible to stop this crime altogether. Because every therapy from outside can't change the behavior of wild animals. In this regard, the help and guidance from spiritual and religious leaders' sacred texts, civil society, the curriculum can be leveraged to give a better future to our women.