Citizens protest violence against and lack of security for women

A slew of protest rallies and demonstrations, condemning the lack of public safety for women in the wake of the gruesome gang-rape in New Delhi, were held across the city on Friday.

Women and men took to the streets to demand a renewed focus on safety of women in public spaces, better policies to tackle violence against women in society and more sensitisation.

A group of women, led by social activist Ruth Manorama and NGO network Women’s Voice, submitted a memorandum to the Governor. The memorandum demands fast-track courts, amending laws to award life imprisonment for rape and adequate special funds for dedicated programmes for women’s empowerment.

Students too

The All-India Democratic Women’s Association also held a protest at the Basavanagudi taxi stand. Hundreds of women, including students, gathered here to protest the lack of “safety and political will in ensuring women’s rights and safety in public spaces”.

AIDWA member Lakshmi said though the immediate trigger for the protest was the rape in New Delhi, which had generated large public debate on the issue, in the same week, four incidents of rape were reported across the State. “Our representatives went to each of these places and the situation was more or less the same. The legal system and the law enforcement system has failed these women and failed to ensure their safety, be it in public places or in homes,” she said. Women need to rise in protest and demand their rights, Ms. Lakshmi added.

Political will

Another AIDWA member said that this could only be achieved by sensitising society on gender, and needed stronger political will. “Neither the State nor the Central government is bothered,” she said. The AIDWA is holding another protest on Saturday in Rajajinagar.

City-based NGO Environment Support Group also held a protest here at the Town Hall.