A state-owned gun factory in India has created a handgun designed specifically for women that manufacturers say can "serve as a deterrence” against sexual attacks
For $2,000 U.S. dollars, women in India can purchase the light-weight .32 caliber revolver. Described as "ideal to fit a purse or a small hand bag," the gun is marketed for its simple trigger and small size, according to the Times of India newspaper.
The gun is named the "Nirbheek," which means fearless in Hindi. According to Abdul Hameed, the general manager of the Indian Ordnance Field Gun Factory, the name was "inspired by Nirbhaya," the name of the 23-year-old woman who died after six men raped and beat her aboard a public bus in Delhi. Her death was widely publicized in December 2012.
"It can serve as a deterrence," Hamied told CNN. "There's something you can do to prevent these attacks. You can also enthuse confidence among women."
After all, "Indian women like their ornaments," Hameed said to BBC news.
Gun manufacturers in the U.S. have tried similar methods by designing pink handguns for female gun owners. With guns called the "Pink Lady," or "Chic Lady" and accessories such as bra holsters and pink gun cases on display for sale at gun shows and websites, the idea of "women-friendly" guns is nothing new.
Last March, NRA head Wayne LaPierre suggested that a gun is the best self-defense against rapists.
"The one thing a violent rapist deserves to face is a good woman with a gun," he said.
Binalakshmi Nepram, founder of the Control Arms Foundation of India, said that "the government is introducing expensive weaponry to sit in handbags. It's an abhorrence to women."
"Women in India feel this gun is not going to help in security," Nepram told CNN. "And we do not believe the gun is a solution to ending sexual violence."