India's Fight Against Rape Faces Another Setback

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Excuse me, what?

A high profile Indian politician, Abu Azmi, sparked outrage when he made a comment that, "women who have sex before marriage should be hanged", regardless of whether or not it was consensual. What does he mean, you ask? It is as simple as this; he argues that women who have pre-marital sex, including those who were raped, should be punished. And the punishment he deemed righteous for the "crime"? Death. 

Azmi's comments come after the controversial remarks that were made by his party chief, Mulayam Singh Yadav, who stated in an election rally the week before that the death penalty for rape is unfair as "boys make mistakes."

 

For obvious reasons, Azmi, who represents India's Socialist Party, has received a tremendous amount of backlash on his comments. In fact, the 11,000 responses posted on Twitter to Azmi include one from his very own daughter-in-law, Bollywood actress Ayesha Azmi, who said that if the comments turned out to be true, she and her husband were "deeply embarrassed and ashamed." Women’s rights groups have reacted, stating that Azmi's comments were insensitive and shameful.

Women from across the globe are also demanding a public apology (and rightfully so!). Susieben Shah, a women's rights group leader released a statement in response to Azmi that says, "His statements are deplorable, irresponsible and condemnable… When you are in a position of power, you are duty bound to protect women."

Looks like this is another setback in India's fight against rape.

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