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India's justice system 'needs changing'

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Police are to formally charge a gang of men accused of raping a 23-year-old female medical student for an hour on a moving bus in New Delhi.

The crime has outraged and repulsed many and consequently thousands of Indian women have protested, conveying their anger, and are demanding changes to the laws on violence against women.

When speaking to reporter Andrew North, an anonymous Indian woman who survived rape said: "The medical examiner had no sensitivity at all, she was absolutely inhumane... I stopped existing as a person and I just became a person who was raped."

She was urged to marry the man who raped her. She described the Indian cultural perspective on sex.

"In India a lot of importance is given to a girl's virginity," she said.

"The moment you lose it, you've lost all the respect... if you're raped you're doomed."

Also on the programme, Indira Jaising, India's first woman additional solicitor general, discussed if she thought India had a particular problem with rape.

Ms Jaising said she had seen the problem of rape all over the world and that it was not "particularly an Indian phenomenon [but] the process of justice delivery is too slow and the rate of conviction is also low, so there is a problem there that we need to address."

One problems she sees at the moment is the percentage, believed to be around 90%, of cases that do not reach court.

"There are families who would discourage their daughters from complaining about rape," she said.

"The real challenge for us is going to be how do we move towards a society where women are treated equally. The law must rise to the occasion."


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