Young politicians discuss gender violence

New Delhi, Jan 28 (IANS) Youth representatives of political parties and members of student unions, Monday discussed steps to be taken to stop violence against women, and came up with a host of suggestions, including police reforms.

This is the first time that such a meeting has been held by the youth organisations of political parties.

"It is strange that no policeman took responsibility for the heinous gang-rape on Dec 16. There should be police reforms," Rohit, a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), said at the national consultation here.

The consultation on "Engaging Male Politicians From Youth And Student Organisations On Violence Against Women" was held by the National Commission for Women.

"Commodification and objectification of women is another major cause leading to recent increase in crimes against women," said M.B. Rajesh, member of parliament from Palakkad, Kerala.

Cultural policing has in itself become a form of violence against women, he added.

Claiming that western influence has corrupted people and was leading to increased violence against women, Rohit said that one way to ensure the safety of women would be to have larger numbers of them in the police force.

Another student union leader, Shivshakti Bakshi said: "We should try and change the mindset of the people first".

NCW member Shamina Shafique said that instead of looking for excuses, "we should introspect on the moral degradation the country has undergone".

Ashish Roy of the Lok Satta Party said: "We should try and cleanse ourselves first".

The consultation was part of initiatives taken by the NCW to sensitise society in the wake of the Dec 16 gang-rape in Delhi of a young physiotherapy student who later died of her injuries. That incident led to widespread protests across the country.