The Straits Times
Published on Dec 29, 2012

Lessons from Delhi bus rape tragedy: Halimah


There are lessons to be learnt from the tragic death of the 23-year-old bus rape victim from New Delhi, said Minister of State for Social and Family Development Halimah Yacob on Saturday.

Women are still treated as 'inferior beings' in many societies not worthy of respect and dignity, she wrote in a note on her Facebook page.

She cited the example of a Malaysian friend, the head of gender equality in an international trade union organisation, who told off male trade unionists who cracked sexist jokes against women.

It was all about respect, said Madam Halimah. "People may think that this is just a small matter...over time, all the small things add up."

While education, employment opportunities and an effective justice system have raised the standing of Singaporean women, "we too have room to improve", she said.

The Indian paramedical student who was gang raped in New Delhi on Dec 16, died at Mt Elizabeth Hospital at 4.45am on Saturday morning. She was flown to Singapore for medical treatment on Thursday.

The incident cuts across barriers because it "touches on our humanity, and we feel a sense of outrage", she said.