Youth reaction to Delhi rape indicates India in for big change:Hillary
New Delhi, Jan 30 : Outgoing US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today said the way young men and women reacted to the gangrape of a 23-year-old girl in India gave indications that India was on the verge of a big change.
''I personally was very encouraged and even proud to see young men and women out in the streets protesting the way
against how women are being treated by men,'' Ms Clinton told an Indian questioner.
The Secretary of State, who lays down office on Friday, was answering questions from audience from across the globe at
town hall event in Washington.
She said these protest were against the men who do not understand or have never been taught to accept that it's not just their sisters and their mothers that they should respect, but all girls and women.
''So I'm looking for big changes in India in the years to come,'' said Ms Clinton.
Ms Clinton, however, said women in India still have to fight for rightful place despite the fact that the country
unlike the US had a woman leader and has a woman at the head of the current governing party.
She said there was still a tremendous amount of discrimination and just outright abuse of women, particularly uneducated women, women who can't stand up for themselves.
''The young woman who essentially was raped and then died of her terrible injuries, who knows what she could have
contributed to India's future? When you put barriers in the way of half the population, you, in effect, are putting brakes on your own
development as a nation,'' she said.
Replying to a question as to how difficult it was for women to claim their space in politics, even in progressive
societies like the USA, Ms Clinton said that having been in and around politics for many years now, there was still a
double standard, ''and it is a double standard that exists
from the trivial, like what you
wear, to the incredibly serious, like women can't vote, women can't run office, women are not supposed to be in the public sphere.
But there is a spectrum of the double standard, and of the both legal and cultural barriers to respect for women, for the full participation of women.''
She said she would continue to fight against this mindset even after she leaves the office of Secretary of State.