One woman is raped every 20 minutes in India, according to the National Crime Records Bureau. Anti-rape protests swept the country in recent months, calling for strict and immediate action from the authorities after a 23-year-old medical student was brutally gang-raped in a moving bus in the capital December 2012.
As of March 2013, 24,000 cases of sexual violence were pending before state high courts and the Supreme Court of India.
In a move designed to prevent the growing number of sex offences in Mumbai, the city that records the second highest number of rapes in the country, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has supported a proposal to ban the display of bikini-clad mannequins in front of shops. The proposal still is not law and is currently waiting on approval from the head of the civic body.
The country’s richest civic body, which boasts 227 councillors from across political parties, has unanimously supported the plan put forth by a BJP councillor to ban mannequins with “indecent display” in public areas.
If approved, the proposal developed by councillor Ritu Tawade will legally empower civic officials to force shopkeepers to remove mannequins that are “underdressed”.
“Lingerie mannequins promote rapes. Skimpily clad mannequins can pollute young minds,” Tawade told the NDTV news channel. “After the Delhi rape case, I felt something had to be done.”
She strongly feels that mannequins, especially those wearing “the two-piece clothes (bikinis)”, impact the incidences of crimes against women in the state.