Please see below for MARUAH’s letter to the Indian High Commissioner to Singapore.
We, members of a human rights group called MARUAH which is based in Singapore, would like to offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and the people of India over the sad passing away of the 23-year-old woman who was brutally gang-raped. We are sorry that every effort made to save her life has failed.
Please do accept and do convey our sympathies to the family and the injured boyfriend of this brave young woman. Sir, we have been admirers of the civil society in India. We have been in dialogue sessions with non-governmental organisations that do remarkable work at the grassroots level to improve the lives of people in India. Coming from Singapore, it has always been refreshing to learn from their advocacy campaigns. However, from time to time, it is also evident that they face severe challenges in carrying out their work in this area of violence against women and the girl-child.
We are writing to seek support for their work and for our sisters in India. We endorse the sentiment that the death of this 23-year-old ought not to be in vain and needs to become a tipping point to bring about better protection for women and children. We ask humbly that the Government of India, indeed, will ensure that women and girls receive adequate legal protection, sensitive enforcement officers, support systems and expedient prosecution processes. We also hope that there will be more support for gender-sensitive public education through the mass media and through school curriculum.
We have our challenges too in Singapore. But as fellow travellers it has been painful for some time to read about the acid attacks on women, the Eve Teasing against women and girls, the sexual harassment, the sexual assaults and the general demeaning of women.
Women’s rights are human rights.
We hope that 2013 will be a better year for women and girls all over the world, including those in India and in our own country, Singapore.
Braema Mathi (Ms)