Year 2015 has been a bumpy ride for human rights – a mixed bag of both laudable as well as revolting set of events. Not losing hope, we wish that 2016 can do without some of the following things:
1. Moral Policing
Enforcing your morality on others often leads to conflict. But when that morality comes in uniform, ordinary citizens suffer. It’s 2016 may be its time that we traded in our morality for a little more sensitivity.
2. Irresponsible Journalism
When reporting becomes judgement, we get outrage instead of coverage. When reporting on gender and sexual harassment, we hope that in the new year, our media will become more responsible and less pervasive.
3. Prison-like hostel rules
At 18 years of age, you can drive, vote in the next prime minister and even get married. Yet for lot of women at this age, regressive college hostel rules dictate what we should wear, when we are allowed to leave our rooms, who to talk to and how to behave. In 2016, it’s time that people are treated as people and not property.
4. Regressive statements from politicians
As our representatives, politician need to understand that victims of sexual violence are never asking for it. A little sensitivity combined with their influence, can become a great source of positive change in our society.
5. Section 377
2016 should be the year, when this draconian law is finally thrown out of this land.
6. Opposition to anti-sexual harassment committees in organisations
By obfuscating the workplace harassment panels, the Government is making it harder for women to report incidents of sexual harassment and hold perpetrators accountable. In 2016, this needs to change.
7. Unsafe education spaces
Education is our greatest to foster gender sensitivity and remove sexual harassment. In 2016, we must ensure that places of education no longer remain breeding grounds for perpetrators.
8. Advertising reinforcing stereotypes
While we hope for a more equal society, advertising seems intent on reinforcing gender stereotypes. These stereotypes support and push societies regressive views on women and their role. With 2016, we hope advertising will finally grow up!