We live in the world’s fastest-growing region, where change occurs on a regular basis. Nonetheless, the plight of women in our culture is not improving at a rapid rate. We constantly witness horrible crimes against women taking place around us, but we do not give a damn unless it happens to us. Almost every woman in modern society is subjected to sexual harassment, which begins at a young age and often goes unnoticed.
The sense of pride and honour is so strong here that even families kill their own kin and relatives in the name of honour killing. We come across these kinds of offences on a regular basis. According to recent statistics, 89 rape crimes are reported every single day, with minors accounting for 27.8% of the total. Despite the anguish that women experience during rape or any other form of sexual harassment, society continues to blame women rather than men. As a result, many victims remain silent and never dare to speak up.
It was in the year 2012 that the Delhi gang-rape case shook the entire country, causing widespread protests and indignation. That is when a special committee called the JUSTICE VERMA COMMITTEE was formed to look into the laws affecting women. According to the committee’s report, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2013, was introduced to change current criminal law provisions in order to promote women’s protection.
The Indian Penal Code has been amended to include new offences such as an acid attack, sexual harassment, voyeurism, and stalking. Voyeurism is defined as the intrusion into the victim’s private area without his or her permission when the victim thinks no one is to be watching him or her while committing such an act. A voyeur is a person who gets sexual enjoyment from secretly watching others undress or engage in sexual activity.
We now live in a digital world, in which individuals are constantly connected via the internet and cell phones. A substantial portion of the population can now easily access the internet, thanks to the rise of smartphones and low internet pricing. There were also several digital revolutions, such as Jio’s data revolution, which made the internet available to everyone. Because of these rapid changes, the IT (Information and Technology) Act of 2000 was enacted, which covers a wide range of cyber offences.
Under this act, electronic voyeurism is likewise covered. By the impact of Provision 1801 of the Video Voyeurism Prevention Act of 2004, a Federal Law of the United States dealing with the felonious act of video voyeurism, a distinct section was inserted in the IT Act, 2000 by the Information Technology Amendment Act, 2008.
ORIGIN OF THE TERM: The word voyeurism comes from the French word voir, which means “to look at.” Peeping Tom or a Jags are two terms used to describe a male voyeur. However, that term is most commonly used to describe a male who observes someone surreptitiously and not in a public place. The term voyeur refers to someone who observes. It is the practice of spying on persons who are engaged in activities that are normally considered private, such as sexual engagement or undressing. The person being viewed in voyeurism may or may not be related to the voyeur in any manner.
DEFINITION OF THE TERM: Voyeurism is defined as a desire to see others while they are undressed, naked, or engaged in sexual acts. The individual who is watching is known as a voyeur. Peeping toms is a common name for them.
The fact that the person being seen is unaware that they are being watched is a crucial aspect of voyeurism. The individual is usually at a location where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as their home or another private location.
PROVISION UNDER IPC: (section 354C) Voyeurism.-Any man who
a) watches, or captures the image of, a woman engaging in a private act in circumstances where she would usually have the expectation of not being observed either by the perpetrator, or
b) by any other person at the behest of the perpetrator or disseminates such image shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than one year, but which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine, and be punished on a second or subsequent conviction, with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than three years, but which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.
CONCLUSION: Despite the numerous legal procedures in place to prosecute perpetrators of crimes against women, cases involving women (such as rape, outraging a woman’s modesty, sexual harassment, dowry deaths, and so on) are increasing at an alarming rate.
According to the second report released by Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS) in 2019, India is ranked 133 out of 167 countries and is not considered a safe place for women, based on three main factors: inclusion, justice, and safety of women, as well as 11 sub-indicators.
The inclusion of voyeurism as a crime under section 354C of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, as well as improvements in information technology, can help to improve women’s safety in our society.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.
We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge