Women’s safety in India has not improved since the fatal gang-rape of a student in New Delhi, the victim’s parents said Tuesday on the anniversary of the attack that sparked international outrage.
Candle-lit vigils along with a public meeting on women’s safety were planned in New Delhi to mark the second anniversary of the attack that unleashed a wave of public anger over levels of violence against women in India.
The mother of the 23-year-old student said she was disheartened by what she feared were still high numbers of attacks, despite a tough new law against rapists.
“There are attacks happening everyday,” the mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told NDTV news channel.
“Seeing this (daily reports of attacks), it does not feel like anything has changed. Everything is the same.”
A survey published Tuesday said 91 percent of women also saw no improvements in safety despite a slew of measures rolled out in the aftermath of the attack including improved policing, women’s helplines and fast-track courts as well as the new law.
The survey by the Hindustan Times newspaper of 2,557 women also found that 97 percent had been victims themselves of some kind of sexual harassment.
The student was savagely attacked by six men including with an iron rod after boarding a private bus on her way home from the cinema with a male friend on December 16, 2012.
She died from her injuries 13 days later. The brutality of the assault and her determination to survive so she could report her attackers to police sparked large-scale street protests.
Four of her attackers were convicted and given the death penalty in September after the case was fast-tracked, while a juvenile was sentenced to a correctional facility.
Another died in jail after apparently commiting suicide.
The case sparked soul-searching about India’s treatment of women and also led to initiatives to educate men about respect and equal gender rights in the deeply patriarchal country.
But activists say this month’s case of a female passenger allegedly raped by an Uber taxi driver with a record of sexual attacks shows the country still has a long way to go two years after the 2012 incident.
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