Pandemic Rape: The Corona Crisis, Informal Gendered Support and Vulnerable Migrant Women in India
Associate Professor Atreyee Sen has contributed to the biannual journal ‘L’Homme. Europäische Zeitschrift für Feministische Geschichtswissenschaft’ (the first German-language journal devoted to feminist historical studies) with the comment piece ‘Pandemic Rape: The Corona Crisis, Informal Gendered Support and Vulnerable Migrant Women in India’.
While lockdowns and quarantines are essential to suppressing the global spread of COVID-19, they are trapping vulnerable women with abusive partners. In her piece, Atreyee Sen, puts focus on the situation in India where the onset of the corona crisis has precipitated an exponential rise in marital rape, domestic violence and sexual assault on both upper and lower class women.
Based on two decades of conducting extensive ethnographic fieldwork among female casual workers in Kolkata and Mumbai and recent phone conversations with local interlocutors, she tells the stories of violated women and discusses various public responses to their crises.
Sen concludes that implementing pro-women policies during a global pandemic is a slow process, and it remains to be seen whether they reach women at the lowest rung of society. With that in mind, the commentary highlights the importance and vitality of pre-existing, more small-scale gendered solidarity groups that are also improvising, and generating more immediate and mundane strategies to support violated women against the backdrop of the corona crisis.
Read more about the latest issue of ‘L’Homme': Verstörte Sinne