Gandhi's granddaughter opposes death penalty for rapists


Natasha Chaku

Amid a debate in India over capital punishment for rapists, the granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, Ela Gandhi, Monday said death sentence is not the solution to end violence against women and society needs to promote gender consciousness.

"Capital punishment itself will not change the attitude towards gender. Nor will Anna Hazare-led stir on bringing a law against corruption alone change the system," said Ela Gandhi, a former South African MP during her visit to Australia.

The social activist, who is working to end domestic violence thinks the society needs to "become more gender conscious". "There has to be real community outreach programmes with parents, with young people in schools. Everywhere, gender consciousness needs to be a part of the syllabus of every child," she said.

She also expressed shock over alleged murder of model Reeva Steenkamp by gold medalist paralympian Oscar Pistorius. "Steenkamp's death by her boyfriend has reinforced the unfortunate fact that South Africa is battling with the deep-rooted culture of violence," she said.

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