Badaun gang rape case: UN chief appalled, seeks action
Appalled by the brutal rape and murder of two teenaged girls in India, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has demanded action against sexual violence and appealed to the society to reject the destructive attitude of ‘boys will be boys’.
‘In just the last two weeks, we have seen despicable attacks against women and girls around the world ? from Nigeria to Pakistan and from California to India. I was especially appalled by the brutal rape and gruesome murder of two teenaged women in India who had ventured out because they did not have access to a toilet,’ Ban said here on Tuesday.
Decrying the recent attacks against women and girls around the world, Ban stressed that ‘violence against women is a peace and security issue. It is a human rights issue. It is a development issue.’
He said nations must respond on all fronts and achieve full equality for all women.
‘We say no to the dismissive, destructive attitude of ‘Boys will be boys’. Together, we can empower more people to understand that violence against women degrades us all,’ Ban said at the launch of a video campaign on ending sexual violence through gender equality.
Calling on the society to join the outcry against sexual violence, Ban said, ‘I will be raising my voice and I count on all of you to join our chorus demanding action around the world.’
He said violence against women and girls is ‘totally unacceptable’ but is unfortunately happening throughout the world.
‘We must put an end to these unacceptable, intolerable acts,’ the UN Chief said.
Ban referred to the recent killing of three women in California in a shooting spree by 22-year-old Elliot Rodger who was frustrated over being rejected by women as well as to the tragic killing in Pakistan of a pregnant woman who was stoned to death for marrying the person of her choice.
Earlier this week, the UN system in India had condemned the brutal gang rape and murder of the two teenaged girls in Uttar Pradesh’s Badaun district.
They were gang-raped and killed with their assailants hanging their bodies from a mango tree in their village.
The violence against the girls highlighted the dangers, girls and women all over India are exposed to due to the lack of toilets, the world body said.
UNICEF’s Representative to India Louis-Georges Arsenault said around 65 per cent of rural population in India defecates in the open and women and girls are expected to go out at night.
‘This does not only threaten their dignity, but their safety as well,’ Arsenault had said.
Resident Coordinator of the UN system in India Lise Grande had called for immediate action against the perpetrators and to address violence against women and girls across India.
‘There should be justice for the families of the two teenaged girls and for all the women and girls from lower caste communities who are targeted and raped in rural India.
Violence against women is not a women’s issue, it’s a human rights issue,’ Grande said. PTI