Alumni profile: standing up for women’s rights in India

January 20, 2015

Rachel Kilner has seen the confronting reality of domestic and sexual violence against women in India and has lent a hand to helping victims of insidious brutality.

Fresh from a three-month stint working as a volunteer lawyer with the Lawyers Collective in Delhi, Rachel (BA/B Laws 2014) was part of a team charged with educating Indian women about recent law changes to improve women’s rights.

“The laws have been changed and improved remarkably but there are still areas of law that put women at a disadvantage,” she said.

“A lot of them are victims of domestic violence, but also dowry violence. Women who have not been able to provide an adequate dowry are often subjected to abuse by in-laws and family members so a lot of the cases involved women trying to escape that type of abuse.

“A lot of our day-to-day business was researching different cases and tracking cases that were coming through the courts with these new laws and identifying where women were still at a disadvantage.”

Rachel said the experience has had a lasting effect on her, piquing her interest in human rights law.

“It prepared me in terms of the degree in which bureaucracy can affect the provision of aid and assistance to these women. A lot of the time our efforts were stymied in that regard,” she said.

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Media contact: Pepita Smyth
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Categories: General, Teaching and Learning, Future Students, International students, International
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