Jaipur, Jan 20 (IANS) Congress president Sonia Gandhi Sunday said the Delhi gang-rape victim "embodied the spirit of an aspirational India" and the government would ensure her sacrifice did not go in vain.
"The barbaric gang-rape of a young woman in the nation's capital has shaken the entire country. People are rightly demanding answers and action. This brave young woman in many ways embodied the spirit of an aspirational India. We will ensure that her death had not been in vain," Sonia Gandhi said on the final day of the party's 'Chintan Shivir' (brainstorming meet) here.
She said she would continue to press for passage of the bill for one-third reservation to women in assemblies and parliament.
"I assure you I will personally continue to press for the passage of the law that would provide for one-third reservation for women in parliament and in state legislature," she said.
She said the rape victim was "tragically" a symbol of "thousands of women and children throughout the country who face a similar fate, whose lives are ruined or worse, and who are denied justice".
"Every woman and every girl in our country has a fundamental constitutional right to feel safe and secure, to enjoy full equality in every respect," she said.
The Congress president also said the government was taking a series of steps to ensure higher gender equality, and counted legislative reservations as a major step.
"Their (women's) growing involvement in panchayats and local administration is giving them a new voice and confidence. Making people aware of such legislations and demanding its enforcement must become a priority in our political activities," she said.
Sonia Gandhi also slammed the series of anti-woman statements that have come out recently, saying it reflected a shameful mindset.
"We cannot tolerate the shameful social mindset that leads to unspeakable atrocities on women and children.
"In the last few weeks, some public figures have come out with truly shocking statements reflecting on these completely unacceptable attitudes. The Congress party has always been on the forefront, in the struggle for full empowerment of women and we will continue this campaign," she said.
Sonia Gandhi said several new laws have been enacted and amendments made to ensure equal rights of inheritance, protect women from domestic violence and prevent sexual harassment at workplace.
She also mentioned a World Bank-aided project, Aajeevika, for expansion of women self-help groups and said enhanced focus on sanitation would have a positive impact on the dignity of women.