(En)countering sexual violence in the Indian city

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Over the past decade, incidents of rape, sexual discrimination, honour killing, acid attacks and sex-related murders in Indian cities have come under much media and public scrutiny, significantly impacting conceptions of gender, risk and women’s safety in urban spaces. The city itself has become a dominant trope for underscoring the anxieties, discourses and exegeses of sexual violence, as exemplified in the oft-cited designation of Delhi as the ‘rape capital of India’. This introduction to the themed section critically engages with ‘the urban’ in its attempts to understand sexual violence in India, and focuses on the multiple public (workplace, leisure, street lives) and private (domestic, intimate) arenas of urban life where sexual violence is encountered, and the resources they provide to counter it. The co-editors engage with the interdisciplinary research papers by contributing authors that show how sexual violence is ‘(en)countered’ in women’s right-wing politics, processes of cultural production, community health activism, experiences of aggressive relationships, and men’s growing anxieties about women’s self-determination in Indian cities. With a specific ethnographic emphasis on women’s experiences, rhetoric, representation and resistance to harassment, the theme section analyses sexual violence through the lens of urban, social and spatial transformations in the region.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGender, Place & Culture: A journal of feminist geography
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1-12
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2020

    Research areas

  • City, class, crisis of masculinity, gender, India, intersectionality, rape, sexual harassment, sexual violence, urban transformations

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