Anti-rape bill just the first step, say women MPs

New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) With the Lok Sabha Tuesday passing a bill making the anti-rape laws stronger, women MPs said it was just the first step and the legislation’s efficacy depended on the way it was implemented.

Congress MP Girija Vyas said it was just a first step towards giving women a safer environment.
“This is just the first step. We had promised to pass the bill and we did that,” Vyas, a former National Commission for Women (NCW) chief, told IANS.
She, however, said there was some dilution in the bill due to pressure from different political parties.
“We had to make some compromises because we had to get the bill passed. Still, it brings hope for a better tomorrow for women,” Vyas said.
Bharatiya Janata Party MP Saroj Pandey said if the bill is implemented well, it would make a huge difference for women.
“This is a strong law, but it will be effective only if it is implemented well,” Pandey told IANS.
“We have had laws earlier as well… Non-implemntation is the problem,” she said.
Janata Dal-United leader Meena Singh told IANS that a change in social perception for women was also needed.
“It is good that this bill has been passed, but the difference will be that legal action was delayed earlier, now it will happen sooner and will be more stringent. The real issue is that the mentality towards women should change,” she said.