Last week saw two media flare-ups related to how we think and talk about rape. The first erupted over a statement made by Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN) to the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault.
As anchored in the UN Charter, the founding fathers of the UN expressed their determination to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war and reaffirmed the faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person. Based on this spirit, continuous efforts have been placed to promote human rights and democracy across the world since the inception of the United Nations. This is the right path into the future. However, we have to recognize the daunting challenge ahead of us on this journey. This is why the Human Rights Council must play a central role to ensure the success for mainstreaming human rights in the United Nations.
March 8 is an important day in the calendar, but it is rendered meaningless by the grim reality that India is still a state where the rights of women remain vastly unequal; where institutions work to assist those who have money and influence, but remain utterly impervious to the misery of millions of women.
While many may be struggling through aisles of candy hearts and bunches of roses, I invite you to flip this day of mandatory public expressions of love on its head. What if, along with romantic dinners and expensive chocolates, we celebrated those we love by committing ourselves against sexual and domestic violence?