NEW DELHI – Thousands of Indian women came out on the streets on Thursday on International Women’s Day to demand equal rights and an end to sexual violence.
Around 2,000 demonstrators formed a human chain around central Delhi’s Connaught Place in a protest convened by the “Rape Roko” movement, an initiative launched by the Delhi Commission for Women in January to raise awareness against such crimes.
“We are tired of being told that we bring rape upon ourselves,” DWC president, Swati Maliwal, told EFE.
She said it was a special day when women had come out to break their silence about rape, adding that the country’s women, including her, felt unsafe on the streets for fear of being assaulted and asked the government to impose harsher punishments for rapists.
At the protest, women of different ages and social status shouted slogans against inequality and sexual violence against women.
According to the data of the National Crime Records Bureau, 38,947 rapes were registered in the country in 2016, out of which 4,935 were registered in New Delhi alone.
In another demonstration, hundreds of people took part in a demonstration convened by the All India Progressive Women’s Association, demanding equality.
AIPWA leader Kavita Krishnan described the situation of women in the country as “difficult” and criticized the blatant discrimination in places where a Hindu woman could not fall in love with a Muslim man because parents did not allow their daughters to marry whoever they wanted or when a dress code was imposed on them.
“Women will continue fighting for liberation from the patriarchy,” she asserted.