New Delhi: Condemning the recent Delhi gang rape, American astronaut of Indian origin, Sunita Williams, has said that the incident shows lack of respect for women in the country.

Interacting with students through a videoconference in Pune on Thursday from NASA headquarter in USA, the astronaut denounced the behaviour of men towards women in India.

"I guess my bottom line thoughts on this is, I think it is irresponsible not to honour women as equal as men in all fields. Why not? I don't even see a reason why anybody would think any differently,” She had said.

The case also cast a spotlight on an epidemic of violence against women in India, where a rape is reported on average every 20 minutes. Media coverage of such crimes has intensified in the wake of the outcry over the Delhi attack.

Williams further said that she herself has strived to excel in such a field, which is male dominated and get the respect she deserved. "I think I have also tried to be as equal as possible. Of course physical size and shape is a little bit different. Women are generally little bit smaller than men. So that is something you can't overcome. But as best as I could, I tried to do as equal a job as any of the gentlemen that were around me," she added.

The session was held as a precursor to the 3rd Bharatiya Chhatra Sansad — an Indian student parliament and was organised by a local educational institution in Pune.

Her comments come at a time when the death of 23-year-old girl, who was gang raped in Delhi on December 16 night, has impelled introspection on attitudes towards women where a rape is reported nearly every 20 minutes.


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