India Tour 2013

In February 2013, at home in Sydney, Australia I got a call from the US Embassy in New Dehli, India. “Would I run a workshop for the female embassy staff to help them prevent violence and become more empowered?” A recent survey had India as the fourth most dangerous place to be a woman – after wartorn Afghanistan, Congo and Pakistan.

India is even more dangerous for women than Somalia. Here’s why:

1. A culture of Victim Blaming eg the women are often blamed because of the clothes they wear 

2. Very few female police – so rapes don’t get reported as often as they should be  

3. Lack of Public Safety – the streets don’t have enough Police

4. Slow Court System – with a 466 year backlog!

5. Women are treated as second class citizens.


We ran a breakfast fundraiser at my local sports club. It was a ‘Jab for Justice for a Dash to Delhi.’ 3 days later, I landed there – my first time in India. Then, as I was about to board the plane back to Australia, I had a chance meeting with a well known Indian businessman and Member of Parliament, Naveen Jindal. This man had once fought the Indian government in the highest court, for the private right to fly the flag. He won.  

This time he had an even tougher fight on his hands – that of the oppression of women in India, starting in his own electorate in the state of Haryana. Instead of flying back to Australia I was on the road – with a crew of 10 we travelled from college to village to school where we ran violence prevention and empowerment workshops.

After three workshops a day in schools, colleges and over filled, over heated village halls, I returned to Australia. I would love to return to India. The women in India have fire in their eyes. We must encourage the female spirit, because without it India will wither.