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You Won't Believe Why A Village In India Called For The Rape Of A 14-Year-Old Girl

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A young man from a village in Jharkhand, India, was accused of sexually assaulting a woman who was married, so as punishment, the village leader ordered his 14-year-old sister to be raped.

The person who carried out the rape was the husband of the woman who was allegedly sexually assaulted.

Villagers looked on while an innocent girl was raped as a reprimand for her brother's wrongdoing.

National laws prohibit "eye-for-an-eye"-style punishment against women, but unelected rural village leaders order these types of sentences, including rape, regardless.

Secretary of the All India Progressive Women's Association Kavita Krishnan says that rape as a punishment is deeply entrenched in these sorts of villages, even though rape in India is actually illegal.

Indian women are viewed as property, so rapes don't happen to punish them. Instead, women are raped to punish the men in their lives who they "belong" to.

When a daughter is raped, for example, she is no longer pure, and her father suffers because he can't marry her off; nobody would accept an impure woman as a bride.

And if a woman is married, someone raping her would mean the husband has lost his honor.

Krishnan says,

If you want to hurt the husband or hurt the father, or hurt the community, then you rape the woman to say, 'All right, I'm soiling your goods.'

It's difficult for women to secure rape convictions in India's legal system. According to British colonial rule, men can say that a woman gave consent to the sex solely by giving "evidence" of her "loose" character.

Krishnan wants to see more government effort. India has made some progress -- women's rights activists have begun a shift in how India thinks about rape, and now, Indian rapists can face capital punishment if their victims die or are left in a vegetative state as a result of the rape -- but it's not enough.

Underlying gender inequality issues still exist -- not just among India, but among the rest of the world.

via NPR, Photo Credit: Getty Images