Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif says women should not silently face atrocities and must speak up about issues like martial rape and other crimes committed against them.
The actress says sometimes even educated women succumb to the pressure of societal norms and remain silent on issues which should be raised. "I know of educated women, who remain silent in the face of violence, because they are afraid to confront societal norms and have fingers pointed in their direction. Specially when the majority of our society fails to recognise martial rape as a crime," Katrina said.
"I would urge more women to speak up. It is not okay to feel inferior or weak, because we are not the weaker sex by any stretch of imagination," she added.
The 33-year-old actress was speaking at the 'WeUnite' conference, which marks UN Women's partnership with the IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry. "The world has largely been led by patriarchal societies and women have, through the years, largely remained quiet in the face of atrocities rather than speak out against them," the actress said. Katrina said it is sad to know that there is gender inequality in a country which had a woman as the head of the state.
"India had a woman as the head of state,way before the United kingdom, a feat United states of America has not managed to achieve as of yet. Which is why it is surprising to hear about gender inequality in India. And sadly we do," she said.
"On a daily basis there are shocking stories about the violent crimes made against women. Yet, I can only imagine how many other crimes against women in India go unreported," the actress added.
Katrina, however, says this is not an India specific problem and quoted a UN report saying this is happening everywhere.
"In India according to the data provided by the national crime records bureau, in 2001 the reported crimes against women were 1,43,795. In 2005, it were 3,27,394. More than a 100 percent in numbers.”
"However, I would like to believe that this increase in numbers is not an increase in crime against women. It is an increase in number ofwomen who are ready to come forward and report them," the actress added.