The All India Democratic and Women’s Association (AIDWA) will step up its campaign in the New Year against crimes against women to put pressure on the Union and State governments to take speedy steps to ensure a safe and secure environment for women.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, State vice-president G. Vijayalakshmi said, “We have lined up programmes to rope in students and women at the grassroots level to broad-base the movement and press for more stringent punishment for crimes against women.”

She contended that increase in crimes against women was as a result of the government’s policies of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation and growing pub culture due to western cultural onslaught.

The women had been turned a commodity due to indiscriminate pursuance of the neo-liberal economic policies both by the Union and State governments, she lamented.

“We will keep on exerting pressure on the governments to awardthe maximum sentence of rigorous life imprisonment till death for rapists, speedy trial through special fast track courts and rehabilitation of victims,” she said.

They also said it was unfortunate that politicians were putting the blame on women for going out during midnight and suggesting dress code.