Being A Woman in India

The role and treatment of women in society has recently become a hot political issue in the country after several rape cases in the past two years has led to widespread protests in the region against violence against women. [18 photos total]

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1
Demonstrators take part in a protest for a gang rape victim who was assaulted in New Delhi December 29, 2012. A woman whose gang rape provoked protests and a rare national debate about violence against women in India died from her injuries on Saturday, prompting promises of action from government that has struggled to respond to public outrage. (REUTERS/Ahmad Masood) #
2
Chandravati, 30, poses with trousers belonging to her missing three-year-old daughter Muskaan inside her house in New Delhi April 28, 2013. Muskaan went missing while playing in the neighbourhood on October 30, 2010, according to her family. Between January 1 and May 8, 2013, 725 children in Delhi were reported missing and are untraced, according to data from India's Zonal Integrated Police Network website. (REUTERS/Ahmad Masood) #
3
A HIV/AIDS patient stands in her hut in the northeastern Indian city of Siliguri July 23, 2005. At least 7,200 people have died of AIDS in India, the world's second worst affected nation, since an official count began two decades ago, a top health official said. The United Nations estimates around 5.1 million people are HIV-infected in India, second only to South Africa. (REUTERS/Ahmad Masood) #
4
Bejeweled brides attend a mass marriage ceremony at Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi December 17, 2011. A total of 101 couples from across India exchanged wedding vows on Saturday during the mass wedding ceremony arranged by a voluntary organisation, organisers said. (REUTERS/Ahmad Masood) #
5
Female National Cadet Corps (NCC) members embrace during the full-dress rehearsal for India's Independence Day celebrations in Srinagar August 13, 2013. India commemorates its Independence Day on August 15. (REUTERS/Ahmad Masood) #
6
Demonstrators shout slogans during a protest outside police headquarters in New Delhi April 20, 2013. Hundreds of angry protesters gathered outside the headquarters of Delhi police on Saturday after a five year-old girl was allegedly raped and tortured, reviving memories of a brutal December assault on a woman that shook the country. (REUTERS/Ahmad Masood) #
7
Simrat, 24, who works for a non-profit arts organisation, travels in the women's compartment of a metro in New Delhi January 12, 2013. "I made the decision to use public transport as my primary way of moving through the city because I really believe that it is my right to be able to use public space, just as much as it is of any man's", Simrat said. "Not using the metro or an auto or a bus or a cycle rickshaw (because it might not be a safe thing to do) is not an option in my mind because if I stop myself from living my life in ways that are most convenient to me, I'm giving into fear and ceding my independence. I use the metro because it's the most convenient travel option for me and I will continue to do so". Since a medical student died after being gang raped on a bus in New Delhi, the issue of women's security in India has been under the spotlight. (REUTERS/Ahmad Masood) #
8
Surrogate mothers (L-R) Daksha, 37, Renuka, 23, and Rajia, 39, pose for a photograph inside a temporary home for surrogates provided by Akanksha IVF centre in Anand town, about 70 km (44 miles) south of the western Indian city of Ahmedabad August 27, 2013. India is a leading centre for surrogate motherhood, partly due to Hinduism's acceptance of the concept. The world's second test tube baby was born in Kolkata only two months after Louise Brown in 1978. Rising demand from abroad for Indian surrogate mothers has turned "surrogacy tourism" there into a billion dollar industry, according to a report by the Law Commission of India. (REUTERS/Ahmad Masood) #
9
Aspiring models wait for the results of the selection process during auditions for the upcoming Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai June 19, 2012. (REUTERS/Ahmad Masood) #
10
Shaswati Roy Chaoudhary, 23, who works for an online fashion company holds a bottle of pepper spray in a public park in New Delhi January 14, 2013. Shaswati said was given the pepper spray by a male friend for her self defence. "The recent spate of events that have come to light have left me all the more threatened and alarmed. To take the first step towards self defence I carry a pepper spray bottle. That apart, I can never relax on the roads once out of the house, almost always vigilant and looking out for trouble". Since a medical student died after being gang raped on a bus in New Delhi, the issue of women's security in India has been under the spotlight. (REUTERS/Ahmad Masood) #
11
Dancers dressed in traditional attires sit on a cot during a break while taking part in rehearsals for the "garba" dance ahead of Navratri festival in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad September 23, 2011. Navratri, held in honour of Hindu Goddess Durga, is celebrated over a period of nine days where thousands of youths dance the night away in traditional costumes. (REUTERS/Ahmad Masood) #
12
Nalini Bharatwaj, 37, chairman of a management institute, holds a gun while posing in her office in New Delhi January 16, 2013. "Half of the time I am alone with my children and sometimes I have to travel late at night from work. It is enough to shut up anyone trying to molest me or even pass a comment if I flaunt my gun", Nalini said. Since a medical student died after being gang raped on a bus in New Delhi, the issue of women's security in India has been under the spotlight. (REUTERS/Ahmad Masood) #
13
A demonstrator shouts slogans from inside a bus after she was detained by police near presidential palace Rashtrapati Bhavan during a protest rally organised by various women's organisations in New Delhi December 21, 2012. Thousands of protesters took to the streets in various parts of the country to demand urgent action against the men who took turns to rape a 23-year-old woman on a moving bus on December 16, local media reports said. (REUTERS/Ahmad Masood) #
14
Women try to enter the ladies' compartment of a crowded train heading towards Delhi at Noli Railway Station in Utter Pradesh November 10, 2012. In India some train compartments, or sometimes whole trains, are reserved specifically for female passengers in an effort to make their travel easier and more secure. The role and treatment of women in society has recently become a hot political issue in the country, since the Dec. 16 gang rape of a 23-year-old student in New Delhi, who later died of her injuries, and whose case has led to widespread protests in the region against violence against women. (REUTERS/Ahmad Masood) #
15
Female commuters travel inside the women's compartment of a suburban train while heading towards Mumbai November 3, 2012. In India some train compartments, or sometimes whole trains, are reserved specifically for female passengers in an effort to make their travel easier and more secure. The role and treatment of women in society has recently become a hot political issue in the country, since the Dec. 16 gang rape of a 23-year-old student in New Delhi, who later died of her injuries, and whose case has led to widespread protests in the region against violence against women. (REUTERS/Ahmad Masood) #
16
A demonstrator holds a placard during a protest outside a court in New Delhi January 21, 2013. India's Supreme Court will hear a petition on Tuesday by one of the five men charged with the gang rape and murder of a student in a bus to shift the case out of the capital on grounds that the atmosphere was too surcharged to ensure a fair trial. Last month's assault on the 23-year-old woman on a New Delhi bus triggered an outpouring of anger and grief and calls for swift punishment for the five men and a juvenile who will be separately tried. (REUTERS/Ahmad Masood) #
17
A woman sifts wheat crop in a field on the outskirts of the southern Indian city of Hyderabad March 23, 2010. India's wheat futures touched fresh lows on Tuesday as swelling stocks, bumper output and India's decision against export weighed, analysts said. (REUTERS/Ahmad Masood) #
18
A demonstrator standing on a barricade erected by police shouts slogans during a protest rally organised by various women's organisations in New Delhi December 21, 2012. Thousands of protesters took to the streets in various parts of the country to demand urgent action against the men who took turns to rape a 23-year-old woman on a moving bus on December 16, local media reports said. (REUTERS/Ahmad Masood) #

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