Written by CSP-Conlutas, Women in Struggle Movement and ANEL
Monday, 06 January 2014 15:09
To the General Consulate of India
São Paulo 3rd January 2014 – São Paulo
The Women in Struggle Movement, CSP Conlutas and ANEL stand in solidarity with Indian women’s struggle against sexual violence and the several deaths caused by this terrible reality.
The end of 2013 was saddened by the news of the death of a 16 years old girl from Madhyamgram, North India. Strong burns led this young woman to death. She is another victim of the terror that sexual violence imposes to women in India. She was raped twice by a gang. She was attacked again by the same gang when they knew she had denounced the crime to the police. After being severely burned by them on 23rd December, she died on 31st December.
Also in December 2013, India Supreme Court’s decision retroceded in centuries and has considered homosexuality an act against nature and a crime. Supreme Court overturned 2009 High Court of Delhi’s decision that declared article 377 of Indian Penal Code to be unconstitutional. This article criminalises “carnal intercourse against the order of nature”, including homosexual consensual acts among them. Here in Brazil, in 3rd January, we stand in front of India Consulate in the city of São Paulo to demonstrate our solidarity with the Indian women’s struggle and to demand Indian authorities to take an uncompromising attitude against violence so that Indian women are no longer victimised by this perverse and overwhelming crime against them and those around them. We also demand that LGBT rights to be respected by withdrawing the article that criminalises LGBT people’s sexuality and lives.
We are a working class women’s movement in Brazil. We were honored to guest in our 2013National Meeting an Indian activist for women rights who took part in the demonstrations facing violence against women that happened in the end of 2012 and beginning of 2013. We believe that the strength shown in those massive demonstrations is the same that has been enabled the articulation of the demonstrations against this new chapter of the barbaric history that led to the murder of this 16 years old girl.
LGBT people suffer a daily life of overexploitation, moral and sexual harassment at work, threats, torture and death. It’s unacceptable that an 1861act, introduced during British colonial occupation, to be used nowadays to criminalise LGBT people. The Supreme Court’s argument that homosexuality is not part of Indian tradition, that it is a “western” issue is unacceptable. “Western” companies (i.e. imperialist transnationals) overexploit Indian workers, but don’t receive this kind of treatment, as seen recently on the collapse of a Bangladesh building killing hundreds of workers. It’s clear that it’s not a question of eastern or western tradition. It’s a question of homophobia.
Unfortunately we don’t speak on behalf of a country where women wouldn’t suffer with violence. On the contrary, Brazil scores the 7th place in violence against women. On the LGBT issue, Brazil is number one in murdering, where at least one LGBT person dies every day. We fight to change this reality and we demand from all governments actions to punish the aggressor in order to prevent the practice of sexual, domestic and all kinds of violence. We demand to stop all criminalisation of homosexuality. On top of that, we demand homophobia to be criminalised. Last, we stand for public policies to fight back sexist and homophobic violence, which includes better wages, public healthcare and education, shelter houses for women, nurseries, high quality public transports.
Impunity is a stimulus for the increase of aggressions in Brazil, India and elsewhere. To say that homosexuality is anti-natural and to make it a crime exposes even more this part of the population who is already marginalised and suffers violence. Homophobia reaffirms the false idea of “true man”, who would be strong, straight and powerful, strengthening sexism and placing women and LGBTs in the position of a “second class people”, more exposed to violence. Therefore, we support the organisations calling the demonstration that will end up at the Madhyamgram Police Office to demand the Indian government to take a stand on the issue. And we reinforce the demands on social programs that can prevent this kind of crime in India.
Solidarity with Indian Women and LGBT people!
End all rapes and deaths!
Punishment to all aggressors!
Homosexuality is not anti-natural and cannot be considered crime!
Stop violence against LGBT people and women!
Movimento Mulheres em Luta (Women in Struggle Movement)
Central Sindical e Popular Conlutas (Trade Unions and People Center – Conlutas)
Assembleia Nacional dos Estudantes – Livre! ( National Assembly of Free Student)