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Rape Victims and ‘Knees-Together’ Judge: Women’s challenges and 25% quota

8 March 2021 02:21 am - 1     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Have They Helped Cure this Malignancy? 

Focusing on women’s rights around the world, an International Women’s Day [IWD] is celebrated today.  Socialist Party of America on February 28, 1909, organized a Women’s Day in New York, leading to establishment of IWD, and its first celebration 111 years ago on March 8, 1910. With Soviet Union granting suffrage to women in 1917 and making March 8 a national holiday, the day was predominantly celebrated, rather Commemorated  by the  communist countries until it was adopted by the United Nations only in 1977, after three decades of UN’s existence.


Only a few are aware that there is a day allocated for men as well! An event celebrated on November 19, called International Men’s Day (IMD). The objectives of having an IMD are spelled out in  ‘The Six Pillars of IMD’, and restricted only to celebrate men’s and boys’ contributions to nation, community, union, society,  marriage, family,  and childcare. This objective itself is proof of that there are no grievances a man possesses for being born a male and further emphasizing the fact that the society is one of male-dominant. 

Women and Religion

“If I am worthy of any affection, Surely, Sidhuhatt will come and see me”, said Yasodharavo. Gautama Buddha having made inquiries, and being learnt that she had declined to appear, straight away walked to her chambers accompanied by two chief disciples demonstrating his respect for the lady. During the enlightened one’s first visit to Kapilawastupura castle, the king and others seniors in the kingdom received the lord with great reverence, except Yasodhara, his wife in his lay life, who did not make her presence, but remained inside her chambers. For a moment she forgot that the man whom she loved most was now an enlightened one, the lord of the world, she held him by his feet and cried desperately. 


Visit any temple on a full moon poya day; one would surely witness the presence of a huge majority of female devotees compared to their male counterparts.  Inspirational women belonging to religious sects and living according to vows, provide a more powerful view of women and their role in life, to inspire and encourage women to step out of limiting self-beliefs that keep them trapped in roles of victimhood, lack of power, submissiveness, abuse and lack of self worth. Historical characters like Mahaparajapathi Gothami and Saint Mother Teresa are foremost in this respect. 

"Inspirational women belonging to religious sects and living according to vows, provide a more powerful view of women and their role in life, to inspire and encourage women to step out of limiting self-beliefs that keep them trapped in roles of victimhood, lack of power, submissiveness, abuse and lack of self worth. Historical characters like Mahaparajapathi Gothami and Saint Mother Teresa are foremost in this respect."

Gonxha Agnes Bojaxhiu, an Albanian origin and was born in Macedonia, in 1910. In 1928, Gonxha entered the order as a Catholic Loreto nun; finishing a three year training in Ireland. Named Sister Mary Teresa, she was later posted to Calcutta, India, where she was called to rest on September 5, 1997. Church granted her permission to open her own order, “Missionaries of  Charity” in 1950 to engage in serving the poorest of the  poor  in the poverty-stricken city of  Calcutta with ‘selfless’ and caring work. 


“O’ Gotami perform a miracle and dispel the wrong views of foolish men who are in doubt with regard to the spiritual potentialities of women”. Gautama Buddha requested Maha Prajapati Gotami when she visited him just before death illustrating the spiritual strength of woman. Gautama Buddha accepted an invitation for alms by Ambapali the lady sex-worker of Vaisali, and accepted a donation of ashram by. On another occasion the Gautama Buddha used a corpse of a prostitute to convey a message to those who sought  her services. He auctioned the carcass, there were no bidders—offered it free, yet there was no response: perhaps they gained insight over the repulsive nature of human body. 

Prasanna Vithanage’s  ‘Usaviya Nihandai’-

 ‘Courts in the Silence’ produced by H. D. Premasiri is a Sri Lankan  Feature/documentary [belongs to which  film category?] runs through narration of a true incident involving judge Lenin Ratnayake and his alleged sexual abuse of a wife of an accused on the promise of leniency to the accused. The 2015 film was screened at many international film festivals.  District Judge Colombo temporarily halted the screening of ‘Usaviya Nihadai’ consequent to a lawsuit filed by former Judge Rathnayake, seeking a permanent injunction to thwart the screening of the film based on the story of a woman sexually abused by a District Judge, was causing damage to his character and the reputation of the entire judiciary. Later the film was released.


The women, who would feel justice was deprived as they didn’t have the means to have their rights recognized. Prasanna Vithanage says “When I read ‘Unfinished Struggle’ by Ivan, the story about two women made me think about my existence as a passive bystander in the same system that failed to deliver justice.” The Director, Producer of film traced stories of these unfortunate women, the fearless journalist and the dedicated human rights lawyer, through records and articles, uncovered this scandalous miscarriage of justice and the disgusting manner how the influential conspired to cover up for each other’s misdeeds. The two unfortunate women had no option until finally, Victor Ivan and human rights lawyer Thiranagama, meted some justice to them. The Judge was subject to an internal inquiry and interdicted. None of the so-called women’s lobbies came forward at least to create a public awareness.

Rape Victims and ‘Knees together’ judge, Robin Camp 

Federal court justice Robin Camp while presiding over a 2014 trial, asked a complainant in a rape case why she couldn’t keep her knees together.  The Calgary trial received unprecedented publicity making headlines after it surfaced that Camp the 64-year-old South African-born judge had continually asked the 19-year-old victim in a manner humiliating and disrespectful, why she could not prevent the alleged rape. “Why couldn’t you just keep your knees together?” The judge commented in open courts at the young indigenous, homeless woman [at the time of the assault], continuing that “sex and pain sometimes go together”. When she replied that the alleged rape took place in a bathtub, Camp asked her why she hadn’t sunk her bottom down into the basin so the rapist couldn’t penetrate her.


Camp acquitted the rapist Alexander Wagar telling the defendant, “Tell your male friends, that they have to be more gentle with women, to be patient, and to be very careful to protect themselves.” 19 of the Canadian Judicial Council’s 23 judges quoting laws enacted by parliament in respect of sexual assault issues recommended that the justice minister sack Camp from the bench. Disciplinary body for judges in Canada recommended removal of the judicial officer from the bench. The report said “judge’s was so manifestly and profoundly destructive of the concept of impartiality, integrity and independence of the judicial role that public confidence is sufficiently undermined to render the judge incapable of executing the judicial office”. The story reminds the ‘dirty’ anecdote, which says, ‘if you can’t help being raped, just lie down and enjoy it!’ 
Strangely, not single women’s fora, Canadian or International made any moves against the culprit.

Criticism welcome--
kksperera1@gmail.com

 

  Comments - 1

  • mp Monday, 08 March 2021 08:25 AM

    People celebrate various days during an year. Likewise March 8th is commemorated as Women's Day. All these celebrations are meaningless. Is there any benefit for women? The status of women is still the same. All these days are an opportunity given for media show off!


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