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Group protests violence after India rape

Sunday 6 Jan 2013 6:08 p.m.

The identity of the victim of a fatal gang rape in India has, until today, been a closely guarded secret, thanks to legal restrictions. But today her father said he wanted the world to know his daughter's name. She was Jyoti Singh Pandey.

A court heard today that DNA tests of blood stains on clothing have linked five men and a juvenile to the fatal gang rape of Ms Pandey.

The crime against her has inspired protests in India, and now in New Zealand too. Shakti, a group working with Asian women who have suffered abuse in New Zealand, met with some of the survivors and local Asian feminists today to plan an Auckland protest.

“In Indian culture, status of women is very low,” says Shakti spokeswoman Suman Ramavat. “It’s a kind of objectification of women. They treat them as an object not as a human being, so whatever crimes, whatever happens against them, they take it very lightly.”

Shakti says these cultural ideas are travelling with migrants to New Zealand

“They are definitely coming to New Zealand, working with Shakti I come to know that women are going through the same thing.”

The organisation deals with around 600 calls a month from Asian women living here who may be struggling with abuse and says it's time for change.

“They have to leave their insensitive behaviour toward women,” says Ms Ramavat. “They should treat them also as human beings and laws shouldn’t be only written, they should be implemented.”

So while desire for a change of attitude in India continues, a silent protest will take place in Auckland City next Saturday.

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