Melbourne: Amidst a debate in India over capital punishment for rapists, the granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi on Monday said the death sentence is not the solution to end violence against women and the society needs to promote gender consciousness. "Capital punishment itself will not change the attitude towards gender, nor (the) Anna Hazare-led stir on bringing a law against corruption alone will change the system," Ela Gandhi, a former South African MP said during her visit to Australia.
"Well it's 2013 but lots of mothers still buy pink for their girls and blue for the boys, that's just one little thing in which they differentiate. I think if you just go from there, you see little issues in the way we bring up our children, that you know makes these roles separate, that children grow up thinking that we are different," she said.
"There is a difference between girls and boys but that difference is not, you know, in terms of roles and so on. That difference has been exaggerated and that is what we need to curb, ABC news quoted her as saying. And the social activist, who is working to end domestic violence thinks the society needs to "become more gender conscious".
"You know, there has to be real community outreach programs with parents, with young people in schools. Everywhere, gender consciousness needs to be a part of the syllabus of every child, that from infancy to tertiary education and in the community," she said. She also expressed shock over alleged murder of model Reeva Steenkamp by gold medalist paralympian Oscar Pistorius.
"Steenkamp's death by the hands of her boyfriend has reinforced the unfortunate fact that South Africa is battling with the deep-rooted culture of violence possession of arms such as a gun lead to these kinds of irreversible consequences," she said.
She also participated in various events framed around the theme "Global Problems, Local Solutions".