Even as the Indian government struggles to contain the protests following the rape of a 23-year old college girl in New Delhi, the United Nation Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has waded into the controversy, claiming that the government should take immediate action to protect women.
"Every girl and woman has the right to be respected, valued and protected," Ban said in a statement.
He also welcomed efforts by the government, but called for "further steps and reforms to deter such crimes and bring perpetrators to justice," the Guardian reports.
His remarks came after a 23-year-old medical student died of injuries sustained during a gang rape in Delhi on December 16.
The body of the still unnamed victim was cremated according to Hindu rites in Delhi on Sunday morning.
Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, and Congress President Sonia Gandhi, met the plane carrying her body from Singapore, where doctors had tried to save her life after 10 days of treatment in India.
The attack on the paramedic student has unleashed a wave of protests across India.
She was raped for nearly an hour by several men aboard a bus, beaten and thrown from the moving vehicle.
There were more than 24, 200 reported rape cases in India in 2011, a rise of over nine per cent on the previous year.
Among the major cities New Delhi has the highest level of sex crime.