A Mumbai based NGO filed a complaint in December 2020 stating that the Myntra logo was offensive and insulting to women. According to the activist, Naaz Patel, the logo was made to look like a naked woman. Upon meeting up with the police, the popular e-commerce company decided to change its logo. This entire incident had the internet in splits. While there were people who thoroughly enjoyed this new development, there were others who called out this whole situation as an act of performative feminism. However, while we are talking about issues that are insulting and offensive to women across the country- we’ve got you covered for more.
Here is a list of issues that would have been taken seriously if they were a logo:
1. MARITAL RAPE
Only 36 countries across the world have not criminalized marital rape and unfortunately, India is one of them. According to the current Indian legal framework, a wife is presumed to deliver perpetual consent to have sex with her husband after entering a marital relationship. The entire notion of ‘perpetual consent’ is rooted in the sanctity and purity of the idea of marriages in India. However, our legal and social attitude pertaining to marital rape continues to endanger and marginalize millions of women across the country. In 2019, the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Mishra assured the women across the country by his encouraging words, “I don’t think marital rape should be an offence in India”
According to the National Health and Family Survey for 2018, 83% of married women between the ages of 15 and 49 have ever suffered sexual abuse cite their current husband as the perpetrator. The government of India has the data that highlights the prevalence of marital rape- so what is taking so long for them to take any action on it?
The question of women safety has been a subject of many heated debates. However, rape cases in the country continue to significantly rise. In 2019, India recorded an average of 87 rape cases daily. New stringent laws have been proposed, speeches of solidarity are given to the daughters of the country. However, the implementation of such laws remains extremely poor and there is no conversation regarding the prevalent rape culture in the country. In times of emergency, women tend to turn towards the state authorities to provide them support. Unsurprisingly, women do not rely on police officers because they fear severe repercussion for reporting the crime. Such beliefs are legitimized when rape survivors are on the receiving end of threats and state authorities are unable to protect them. According to a survey conducted by Neta App in 2019, 78% Indian women felt authorities aren’t doing enough to ensure their safety.
In 2020, the government stated that there is over 2.4 lakh pending cases in court related to rape and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO). Does this inspire confidence?
3. ECONOMIC GENDER GAP
In 2018, India slipped four places to rank 112th globally in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index 2020. According to WEF, economic opportunities for women are extremely limited in India (35.4%). Along with this, the report has highlighted the staggeringly low representation of women on company boards (13.8%). Despite a growing commitment towards women empowerment, women continue to face harsh discrimination in their workspace and are given lesser opportunities.
According to Monster Salary Index 2019 (MSI), women in the country earn 19% less than men. IT services showed a sharp pay gap of 26% in favour of men. This survey doesn’t account for women working in the unorganized sectors, who are mostly being severely underpaid to work in an unregulated work environment.
4. HEALTH CARE
A study conducted by All India Institute of Medical Science and Harvard University reported that women in India suffered from gender bias while accessing health care. According to their report, only 37% women received health care as compared to 67% of men.
While health care schemes exist, they are largely inaccessible for women in the country. Within our socio-cultural setting, a woman’s health is not a priority. Due to the dearth of medical facilities in rural India, families have no option but to travel long distances to get basic treatments. The study highlights that the cost incurred on travel has a direct bearing on access to health care for women. From Bihar alone, 200,000 men visited AIIMS for treatment, while only 84,926 women were recorded. To make the situation worse, due to the social stigma attached to women bodies, women tend to never speak up about issues pertaining to their health.
Women bodies, with all their complexities, deserve affordable and accessible health care. In the healthcare Access and Quality Index 2018, India ranked 145th out of 195 countries.
All of the enlisted issues require a grassroots level campaign by the government and organizations to raise awareness and work towards an attitudinal change in the country. Women are losing economic opportunities, decent health care facilities and in most cases, their lives due to our country’s attachment to conservative notions regarding women bodies and lives. People have to raise their voices and demand for better policies and their implementation. Feminists are tired of hearing, “Oh, this what it’s like, this is normal for our country”. Well, your normal is killing us.
So yes, Myntra’s newfound logo was not on our agenda.