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New Delhi 'Slut Walk' Brings Global Sexual Violence Protest Phenomenon To India

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SLUTWALK CLEAVAGE
AP

India's most dangerous city for women will be the setting for the nation's first "Slut Walk," the latest such display in what has become a global phenomenon to protest sexual violence.

As the AFP is reporting, scantily-clad women will take to the streets of New Delhi, a city of 16 million residents, where a woman is allegedly raped every 18 hours or molested every 14 hours. Inspired by the original Toronto-based Slutwalk, New Delhi's colorful June 25 display will join similar protests which have taken place around the world, including in the U.S., the Middle East and Europe.

“Things are getting worse in Delhi for women and we haven’t been doing anything about it,” Umang Sabarwal, a 19-year-old theater student at New Delhi's Kamala Nehru College, tells the Toronto Star. “You get on a metro (subway) car here and men stare like animals at you, like you’re meat. It’s weird and yet most women are just silent about it.”

The international "Slut Walk" movement began in Toronto in April, after a local police officer reportedly told students at Osgoode Hall Law School that women should "avoid dressing like sluts" in order to avoid being sexually assaulted. The first Toronto-based demonstration reportedly drew 1,000 people, while similar demonstrations in 60 cities across the U.S., Europe and the Middle East have also been successful.

"Historically, the term ‘slut’ has carried a predominantly negative connotation," the website for Toronto's event reads. "Aimed at those who are sexually promiscuous, be it for work or pleasure, it has primarily been women who have suffered under the burden of this label. And whether dished out as a serious indictment of one’s character or merely as a flippant insult, the intent behind the word is always to wound, so we’re taking it back. 'Slut' is being re-appropriated."

The concept is extremely relevant in New Delhi, where a 2010 survey found that four out of five women claimed to have been verbally harassed and one-third were victims of physical assault, the New York Times is reporting. Judging from the event's Facebook page, the Indian event looks set to be a smash success, with over 5,000 attendees.

"The woman is always blamed for bringing on the rape," Sabarwal told the AFP. "We cast aspersions on the character of the woman, and her morals. It has to be her fault, doesn't it? The men are not at fault."

Around the Web

New Delhi is latest city to organize SlutWalk - thestar.com

'Slut Walk' to make its way to New Delhi - RTÉ News

Slut walk parade planned for New Delhi on June 25, 2011

Now, India gears up for a 'slut walk' - Hindustan Times

SLUT WALK DELHI

India gears up for maiden 'Slut Walk' - Yahoo! News