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Accepted Paper:

Protest for Change: Sexual Violence in Campus and Women's Collectives in Delhi  
Mallarika Sinha Roy (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Paper short abstract:

Following the gang rape of a student in Delhi in December 2012, a widespread wave of protest happened. University students took a lead in these mobilisations. This paper explores female students' experiences of sexual violence in university campuses and their modes of protest.

Paper long abstract:

Following the gang rape of a medical student in Delhi in December 2012, a widespread wave of protest happened against sexual violence, and students in Higher Educational institutions took a lead in these mobilisations. Night marches with feminist slogans began to ascertain women's freedom of mobility in the urban space. The huge participation of young women and men in these mobilisations reflected entry of a new generation to the women's movement in India.

This paper is an exploration of female students' experiences of sexual violence in university campuses and the ways in which their modes of protest have consolidated in the last decade. It is important to note that mass mobilisation against an incident of gang rape founded a collective to fight against restrictions on women's mobility and resulted in political expressions like kissing in public or pasting sanitary napkins with slogans across university campuses. The basic commonality in such modes of activism seems to be on using the body - bearing different inscriptions of femininity - as both site and sight of resistance. Activists are challenging the modes of 'looking at' women by choosing to be 'seen' in the ways they want. The paper also refers to my own experiences of being a part of the gender sensitisation process in my university as a woman faculty member and sustained conversations with friends, colleagues and students on the issue of women's safety in urban campuses.

Panel P16c
Gendered Violence and Urban Transformations in the Global South III