Indian men don skirts to protest against rape culture – video

Bangalore protest draws attention to 'absurd idea that what a woman wears invites sexual assault'

LAST UPDATED AT 14:39 ON Wed 16 Jan 2013

INDIAN men attending a rally against sexual violence in Bangalore at the weekend donned skirts in a bid to highlight that whatever a woman wears does not mean they are inviting sexual assault.

One of the men told NDTV : "Please don't judge our women for what she wears. Judge her by her character."

The rally was held in the wake of the murder of 23-year-old medical student Jyoti Singh Pandey who died of organ damage after being brutally gang-raped on a Delhi bus.

The Facebook page for the Bangalore event, which organisers say was attended by about 200 people, asked: "Why does wearing a skirt make a difference? It's a satirical take on the issue to draw attention to the absurd idea that what a woman wears invites sexual assault.

"Wear that skirt as a symbol of your support to a woman's right to wear what she wants, be who she is, exercise her rights, and be safe in her city. Nothing shows more solidarity with women than breaking barriers and boundaries of 'his and hers'.

Not all Indian men are taking such an enlightened view. Banwari Lal Singhal, a politician in Rajasthan, demanded there should be a ban on female students wearing skirts as part of their school uniform so they could avoid "men's lustful gaze", the Indian Express notes.

Jyoti Singh Pandey's rape sparked a debate about sexual violence acorss India, with UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon urging the government to take urgent action. He said every girl and woman should have the right to be "respected, valued and protected".

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