The conviction of five men for the gang rape at the Shakti Mills compound could engender change at the macro-level, feel women’s rights activists.

“There is still a long way to go for changes to occur at the micro-level. However…one hopes that verdicts like this make men stop in their tracks,” said sociologist Nandini Sardesai.

The verdict is a welcome one for a city that has seen 1,848 cases of sexual assault, including rape and molestation, from January 2013 to February 2014. The police have arrested 1,675 offenders.

However, everyone agrees that laws and judgments alone cannot solve the problem of women’s abuse. “We have seen that capital punishment has not stopped murders. So for sexual assault to really stop there has to be a complete attitudinal shift,” said Ms Sardesai.

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