Source: The Guardian
NEW DELHI, INDIA, May 9, 2001: This heart-wrenching article exposing the injustices against Dalit ("untouchable") women in the feudal states of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, is based on a study done by Amnesty International. Reportedly women from the untouchable class are routinely raped and harassed by upper caste villagers and landlords. To make matters worse, if rape victims report the attack to the police they could be assaulted, their families threatened, or their statement ignored and dismissed as false. Police have also been known to participate in the rape assaults. As a result, less than five percent of cases make it to court. Besides sexual assaults, the whole untouchable class have been treated poorly for years. Dalits riding a bicycle, wearing shoes in front of a upper-caste person or drawing water from a designated upper-class well could be harassed or beaten. Spokeswoman for Amnesty International, Emma Blower, is quoted as saying, "There is a hideous amount of violence against women in rural areas."