India's Women Police Fighting Sexual Harrassment

October 23, 2018

October 23, 2018: India has a gruesome record on sex crimes, with nearly 40,000 rapes reported every year. But the real figure is thought to be much higher, with victims wary of how their complaints will be dealt with. All-female police units are shaking up the male-dominated force in conservative northwest India, hitting the streets to combat sex crimes and a pervasive culture of silence around rape.

One such squad in Jaipur has been patrolling bus stops, colleges and parks where women are vulnerable to sexual harassment. Jaipur’s 28 all-female units, among the first in India, are just one manifestation of a deep national soul-searching over the scourges of sexual harassment and gender-based violence – and police’s role in fighting them. Along with all-female police stations, they’re meant to encourage more women to come forward and report abuse. But the question for many women’s groups is whether such “all women” initiatives can change the underlying attitudes that so often allow it to go unchecked. Many argue they are little more than window dressing, letting top brass contend they are addressing women’s safety while in fact shunting it aside.

Read more from these articles: All-women police units take a stand on the streets of Jaipur (; Fighting sexism, India's police ask: When is 'women only' good for women? (

Video of Jaipur women's force from the BBC: India's all-women police fighting sexual harassment

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