About a year ago, the cases of two young women, brutally gang-raped and murdered in different parts of the world received uncharacteristic national and international media attention. One was “Nirbhaya”, a 23 year old from India, the other was 17 year old Anene Booysen in South Africa. Both brave women fought for their lives till the last, demanding justice against their rapists. Both cases resulted in public eminence, though much more so in India, and with more notable political repercussions.
The way in which both cases rapidly galvanized public attention, particularly those from the media and political spheres, raises a series of questions that if profoundly unpacked and responded to may influence the development of enhanced strategies to tackling endemic violence against women.
Authors from India and South Africa reflect on national debates, the rethinking needed on the issue of sexual violence and whether the two societies offer learning from each other in combating sexual violence.