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In a statement issued in the aftermath of Hathras and Balrampur incidents, the UN stated that these cases are reminders that women and girls from disadvantaged social groups are at greater risk of gender-based violence.
“The recent cases of alleged rape and murder in Hathras and Balarampur are another reminder that despite the impressive progress made on a number of social indicators, women and girls from disadvantaged social groups face additional vulnerabilities and are at greater risk of gender-based violence”, the Resident Coordinator of UN in India said.
“Entrenched social norms and behaviour of men and boys that lead to gender-based violence must be addressed”, it emphasised.
Further he added that “the steps being taken by the Government of India to strengthen safety measures for women and girls are welcome and urgent. We support the Prime Minister’s call for strict action against the culprits”.
It insisted that the authorities should ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice speedily and that families be empowered to seek timely justice, social support, counselling, healthcare and rehabilitation.
The UN said that it stands committed to providing continued support to the Government and civil society to address violence against women.
“As we fight the challenge of COVID-19 with the determination to build back better India, building respectful relationships devoid of prejudices and gender biases is a top priority”. it said in conclusion.
The Ministry of External Affairs didn’t welcomed the remarks by the UN Resident Coordinator in India and held it as “unwarranted”.
“Some unwarranted comments have been made by the UN Resident Coordinator regarding some cases of violence against women. UN Resident Coordinator in India should be aware that these cases have been taken extremely seriously by the government. Since the investigation process is underway, any unnecessary comments by an external agency are best avoided. The Constitution guarantees equality to all citizens of India. As a democracy, we have a time-tested record of providing justice to all sections of society”, Anurag Srivastava, Official Spokesperson of the MEA, said.