Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 29 (IANS) Hundreds of women activists from various organisations Saturday carried out a march here, waving black flags and demanding stringent laws to protect women following the death of a young woman in Singapore who was gang-raped in Delhi.
"We have been demanding for long that separate fast-track courts be set up to deal exclusively with cases relating to women. But despite several incidents, nothing has happened so far. We hope at least now the authorities will wake up," former legislator K.K. Shailaja said.
Similar protests by women were also reported from other parts of the state.
Voicing concerns over atrocities against women, legal experts said that public awareness, stringent laws and speedy court trials would go a long way towards checking crimes against women.
"The need of the hour is to start a state-wide awareness campaign in schools and colleges to ensure that women are treated with respect," J.B. Koshy, a former chief justice of the Bihar High Court, told reporters here.
Koshy pointed out that speedy trial in cases of atrocities against women would also help in bringing down such cases.
K.C. Rosakutty, chairperson of the Kerala State Women's Commission, said that majority of atrocities against women are committed in homes.
"Immediate measures should be taken in crimes against women that occur at home. Another step that the governments should take is to rewrite the present set of laws and make them more stringent," Rosakutty said.
Communist Party of India-Marxist MP P. Rajeev questioned the move to transport the gang-rape victim to Singapore.
The Congress party in Kerala, meanwhile, decided to cut-short the first meeting of the party's newly-formed state executive here as a mark of respect for the woman who died in Singapore after struggling for life for 13 days.
Kerala is the only state in the country where the sex-ratio is favourable to women. According to the 2011 Census, there are 1,084 females for every 1,000 males in the state.