Indian bishops: Total condemnation of rape and murder of young Dalit woman
by Nirmala Carvalho

Jisha was a 28-year law student. She was raped, stabbed 38 times and then killed. The the Indian Bishops' Conference Office for Women joins protests of civil society. Catholic physician: "The life of women is considered less important than that of men. Their exploitation starts even before birth, with sex-selective abortion; then continues with the industry of wombs for rent ".

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - The Catholic Bishops' Conference has strongly condemned the rape and murder of a young dalit law student of 28 years of age. The rape and murder took place last April 28 in the Ernakulam district, Kerala.

The CBCI (Catholic Bishops' Conference of India) Council for Women issued a statement saying: "We condemn this barbarous and horrific act against a woman and expresses its deep concern for the life and dignity of women in the country. It appears ironic that a woman is taunted, molested and abused at every walk of life and she is not safe even in her own house and arises questions as to how far women are safe and secure today in India. It is more vulnerable in the case of women from economically and socially backward sections".

The Indian bishops have joined the condemnation of the civil society, which has been protesting the savage aggression against the girl. Jisha was raped and murdered on the evening of April 28. Doctors report that they found 38 wounds on her body.

Indian press are calling the case "Kerala’s Nirbhaya ", since Jisha’s case closely resembles another case of violence that became famous around the world: that of Nirbhaya, the nursing student raped on a Delhi bus in 2012. On that occasion, the girl died several days later in a hospital in Singapore, after terrible suffering.

Dr. Pascoal Carvalho, a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, told AsiaNews: " Violence against women is not only the most widespread example of a human rights violation ,Gender bias is all too prevalent in India, causing grave concerns for women’s safety in India.  This horrific and brutal assault on the young women is another shame on the safety of our women and also a blot on the way we treat our women in India".

According to the doctor, The patriarchal society and patriarchal mind-set of the people is a big concern and linked to these heinous crimes against women both  inside as well as outside the home or working place are increasing  domestic abuse, violent victimization, dowry deaths,, and molestations are regrettably not uncommon in our country”.

Dr. Carvalho, who is also a member of the Diocesan Commission for Life (DHLC), argues that the attacks against women ".  However, the attack against women begin even before her birth, the anti-Life mentality against the girl child -the practice of sex-selective abortion is the result of cultural norms that value male children over female children, additionally, female foeticide are all  attacks against the very Life of the girl child According to report by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), a crime against a woman is committed every three minutes".

"Even the surrogacy is another form of exploitation - concludes the doctor - which is a thriving industry in India, which is estimated to    be    over      billion.   Surrogacy business not only reinforces the gender stereotype that women are commodities, but also leads to the exploitation of surrogates who often do not understand what they are signing up for ."