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Violence Against Women , World

Dispatch From Jaipur: ELLE Embeds With India’s Female Motorbike Police

by Louise Donovan, Smita SharmaAug 10, 2018

This article was originally published in Elle.

Sitting on the back of police motorcycles, we held onto the thin-framed women steering in front of us as we zoomed down Jaipur’s bustling streets. It was a bright, hot day in April, and we were filming for our ELLE feature story on Indian police women fighting sexual harassment and assault, produced in collaboration with the Fuller Project.

Women drive motorbikes in many cities and towns of India. But to sit behind a woman dressed in police uniform while she patrolled the streets—an uncommon sight in India—felt empowering. Onlookers gazed at the women police patrol with respect and curiosity. No one, it seemed, wanted to mess with them.

Members of the female police patrol unit during training at the Reserve Police Lines in April. (Photo credit: Smita Sharma)

Amid a rising wave of violence against women in India, women constitute just
over 7 percent of the police force . Girls are traditionally conditioned to work in desk jobs. But not these women.

Crimes against women in India have increased at least 34 percent in the past four years, according to data from the 2017 National Crime Records Bureau. The statistics only tell us part of the story—hundreds of cases go unreported.

Our reporting coincided with upheaval over a series of violent attacks against women, including one rape-murder case in which a group of men—including police officers—gang raped and killed an 8-year-old girl.

Photo credit: Louise Donovan

Read the full article here.


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