Delhi female police officers learn karate in move to improve women's safety

They are being given self-defence lessons so that they can protect themselves

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The Independent Online

Female police officers in India’s capital are being trained up in the ancient Japanese art of Karate as part of new measures aimed at improving women’s safety in Delhi.

The group of women are being taught self-defence so that they can protect themselves when out on duty.

The team have been taking lessons over the past six months and it is hoped that they can share their skills with other women.

The Head Constable of the Special Unit for Women and Children for the Delhi Police, Bharti Wadhwa, said “We’ll teach students in schools and colleges and we’ll go to residential areas, where 50 to 100 people can gather, we’ll teach them. So this way an entire women’s army will be created for their defence.”

The move has been prompted by a string of high profile sexual assault cases against women in the city and the growing number of reported rapes, which has earned Delhi the title of “India’s rape capital”.

The fatal attack and gang rape of a 23-year-old student on board a bus in Delhi December 2012 was the turning point for women’s rights in India. The incident received significant worldwide press coverage and global condemnation.

In addition to teaching women self-defence skills, male rickshaw drivers are going on courses to learn about how to respect female passengers.

Despite measures to improve safety for women in Delhi, there have still been a number of incidents across India. Back in December a woman was allegedly raped by a taxi driver working for Uber.

While only last month two police officers in the state of Uttar Pradesh went on the run after allegedly kidnapping and raping a 14-year-old girl at a police station.

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