United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has become the latest international figure to weigh in on sexual violence against women in India, appealing to Indians to reject “destructive attitudes”.
Mr Ban described continuing attacks against women in the country a “peace and security issue” as well as a human rights concern.
“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 told reporters in New York.
“We say no to the dismissive, destructive attitude of ‘boys will be boys'”, Mr Ban added, referring to comments made last month by politician Mulayam Singh Yadav who publicly opposed capital punishment for gang rapists saying, men make “mistakes” because “boys will be boys”.
Mr Ban’s comments come after a number of shocking attacks on young girls, including the gang rape and murder of two teenage sisters in Uttar Pradesh and the case of a 22-year-old woman who was gang raped and strangled to death before the attackers threw acid on her face in a bid to hide her identity.
The Secretary General is spearheading a new United Nations campaign which aims to raise awareness and advocate against violence against women around the world.
“I will be raising my voice – and I count on all of you to join our chorus demanding action around the world.
“We must put an end to these unacceptable, intolerable acts”.