Congress President Rahul Gandhi has said Indian men do not view the women in the country as equal and they should change their outlook towards women. He, however, disagreed with the view that ''India was the most unsafe place for women''.
Addressing a gathering at Bucerius Summer School on Wednesday, Mr Gandhi said: "I would disagree with the idea that India is the most unsafe place for women. But it is true there is a huge amount of violence against women in India. A lot of it is visible, lot of it is on the streets, but huge amount of it is invisible."
"It happens in houses. A woman never talks about it. I think it is a cultural issue, it is a issue of how Indian men view Indian women and I think it requires a huge amount of work to fix that problem," he added.
The leader said the other component is that the level of violence in India is increasing. "Whenever the levels of violence increase, the people who are weakest, bear the consequences the most. The fact that violence is increasing dramatically in India, women are actually getting a huge share of it."
"It is a tragedy. It is the single most important thing that India needs to do is to change the way its men view Indian women. Frankly, it is going to take a huge effort, but it is the duty of every single Indian to do it," he added.
Talking about women representation in legislatures, Mr Gandhi said: "When I look at political parties, we don't see women representatives... when I look at the parliament, assemblies. I don't see the number of women that I should. If you don't put women in positions of power, you won't get their voice into the system."
"I do a lot of work to try and get women into the system, try and get women into the party, Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and assemblies. We are championing right now a bill on reservation for women in parliament.
"So that should be big step going forward. A lot has been done at the lower levels in the elections, places are reserved for women. But at the end of it is a cultural issue as well. It is literally the way the Indian male view the women. He has to start viewing her as an equal, with respect. He has to start treating her with respect. I am sorry to say, that he does not," he added.
"You cannot build a successful country, if you do not involve its women in the process of building," the Congress leader said.
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