Conflict & Justice

Rapid Urbanization Partly to Blame for Violence Against Women in India

Feminist writer and publisher Urvashi Butalia says rapid globalization, competition for jobs and class and caste differences begin to explain what motivates the recent acts of brutal violence against women in India.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.)

She says that the competition between Indian men and women for scarce jobs adds to the tensions.

But Butalia tells host Marco Werman that deeply held traditional beliefs about women in Indian society can be challenged.

"A lot of the time we say changing mindsets is really difficult," Butalia says. "But the speed with which globalization has changed mindsets makes me feel that it's possible and that it can be done. If Coke and Vodafone can reach every village in India, why can't state policies, why can't governance, why can't the sort of changes the society really needs? There has to be a will behind that."

  • Coke_Mideast1.jpg

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    © Reuters Photographer / Reuters

    An elderly Arab man tries the first Palestinian Coke productin Palestinian-ruled Ramallah August 1. The Palestinian producer of Coca Cola products began distributing soft drinks in the West Bank and Gaza on Saturday in Coke's first partnership with a private Palestinian firm. Coca Cola's Israeli bottler previously supplied the Palestinian market.

    RH

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    REUTERS

    A participant leaves a candle next to a sign during a candlelight vigil for the Indian rape victim, who passed away last Friday, in Singapore January 2, 2013. The death of the 23-year-old woman, who has not been named, prompted street protests across India, international outrage and promises from the government of tougher punishments for offenders. About 150 people took part in the vigil in Singapore. REUTERS/Edgar Su (SINGAPORE - Tags: OBITUARY SOCIETY CIVIL UNREST)

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