The UN today said it was "extremely concerned" about the number of gangrape
cases in India and said the mindset towards women and girl child must change.
Condemning the gangrape and death of the student in Delhi, UNICEF in India also
said it is "alarming" that one in three of the rape victims is a child and the
"mind-set towards the girl child and women needs to change."
"More than 7,200 children, including infants, are raped every year. Given the
stigma attached to rapes, especially when it comes to children, this most likely
is only the tip of the ice berg," said Louis-Georges Arsenault, UNICEF
Representative to India said.
"We are extremely concerned about the number of rape cases throughout India and
the widespread pattern of violence against women," said Lise Grande, UN Resident
Coordinator in India.
"India is growing and advancing rapidly but it is deeply worrying that many
women have little say in their homes and communities and are viewed as
liabilities. Girls and women need to be valued, respected and feel safe, not
only within the confines of their homes but also in public spaces," the
officials said in a joint statement.
Noting that the steps being taken by the government to strengthen the safety of
women and girls are welcome and urgent, the two officials said that in the
months ahead, it will be equally important that the authorities and civil
society work together to address the underlying causes of violence against women
"The UN stands ready to provide support to the Government and civil society to
address violence against women. As we enter the new year of 2013, there is no
higher priority," they added.