US offers India help in combating violence against women
Washington: In the wake of the gang-rape of an Indian woman, the United States has offered to help India strengthen public and private organisations working to combat violence against women.
"Our goal is, whether it's in India or anywhere else, to help strengthen all of the public and private organisations that are working to combat violence against women," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters on Thursday.
The US has worked very hard around the world to combat violence against women and will continue to make it a strong tenet of its foreign policy wherever there is a problem, she said when asked about the gang-rape in Delhi and subsequent death of the victim Delhi that sparked huge protests in India.
US Ambassador to India Nancy Powell had put out a statement on December 29 "after the victim died from this assault, offering our heartfelt condolences and our absolute abhorrence of these events", Nuland noted.
"Obviously, we have as a government worked very hard around the world with regard to combating violence against women," she added.
"We have a number of programmes, including programmes in India in public education, in support for NGOs, that help women who are victims of violence, including domestic violence," she said.
"And we will continue to make this a strong tenet of our foreign policy wherever there is a problem, and unfortunately, there are problems in countries around the world, including our own."
"Obviously, if the result of the investigation into this case indicates that the Indian Government wants to make changes or go in a different set of directions with regard to those programmes, we'd be interested in talking to them about it," Nuland said.
"Our goal is, whether it's in India or anywhere else, to help strengthen all of the public and private organisations that are working to combat violence against women," Nuland added.
Asked if Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, recovering from a clot in her head, was aware of the issue in India, the spokesperson said: "I'm sure she's aware of it. It's, as you know, had enormous press and it's a subject that is very close to her heart."