UN decries gangrape, says mindset must change

A woman walks past a billboard, calling for capital punishment against rape, in New Delhi. AFP/Raveendran

The United Nations in India on Monday expressed its sadness and grief over gangrape and death of 23 year-old student in Delhi.

“We are extremely concerned about the number of rape cases throughout India and the widespread pattern of violence against women,” said Lise Grande, UN Resident Coordinator in India.

Her colleague in UNICEF Louis-Georges Arsenault said it was alarming that too many of these cases were of children. “One in three of the rape victims is a child. More than 7,200 children, including infants are raped every year. Given the stigma attached to rapes, especially when it comes to children, this most likely is only the tip of the ice berg,” she added.

While welcoming the steps taken by the government to strengthen safety measures for women and girls, the UN representatives said it was important that different government agencies work together to address the underlying causes of violence against women and girls.

They also said that the mind-set towards the girl child and women needs to change and women should have bigger say in running their homes. “Girls and women need to be valued, respected and feel safe, not only within the confines of their homes but also in public spaces,” they said, in a joint statement issued on Monday.


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