Strangers Make Easy Victims
Living in a densely populated area, people quickly learn to ignore those who are not important. Our brains are programmed to do this. In a culture were caste systems, and sexual inequality are still part of a local idiom, it is only too apparent how easy it is to humiliate or threaten a woman/girl. Because she is a stranger, she is easy to disrespect; she is 'just' another person in a crowd.
Harassing or abusing a stranger is easy on your conscience.
A few more Considerations:
• Better education and access to information for teenagers and young adults is a first step. In south asia, part of the problem can be linked to the cultural hypocrisy in dealing with matters related to sex and the opposite sex. Sexual education is limited and even discussing such topics is almost taboo within many families and groups.
• A safer and more supportive envornment can foster better communication. Sexual harassment and abuse is not tolerated but it is most often blamed on women. Victims get scared or too embarassed to tell someone what happened.
• Create a movement that is funded by local culture and history. The civil rights movement and particularly the womens rights movement in the US is an inspirational landmark for western women. What/where is the history of the women rights movement in South Asia?