This event gives us a unique opportunity. Because it was a US citizen who was attacked, those of us who are also US citizens can be justified in contacting the US Department of State and demand actions be taken to encourage the Indian government to protect American women, which in turn I hope will also serve to protect other foreigners and domestic women as well.
So I am starting a letter-writing campaign. I enjoin everyone who is a US citizen to please contact the US Department of State requesting they act. If you are a citizen of another country, I ask that you please contact the equivalent agency in your country (whoever is responsible for travel-related concerns and travel safety for the citizens of your country) and ask them to act. If you are a reader from India or South Asia, I urge you to keep doing what you’re doing to convince your government to act to protect women! My hope is that if there is enough pressure from both within Indian and from outside to protect women in general, then the government may be embarrassed into doing something.
If you feel comfortable, you may even want to request your country issue a travel advisory for women traveling to India. Given that the percentage of foreigners traveling to India has already dropped 25%, and the percentage of foreign women traveling to India has dropped 35% since the Delhi gang-rape made international news in December, a travel advisory just might embarrass the Indian government into doing what it should be doing in the first place: enforcing existing laws to protect women. I understand this is perhaps a controversial move. However, being a realist, I know it is quite unlikely an advisory would actually be issued, so I see this request more as an opportunity to stress just how important this issue is to travelers so that the Department of State is more likely to at least do something, rather than nothing.
If anyone is wondering what they might say in this email communication, I am copying (part of!) the letter I sent to Secretary Kerry in the Department of State. Please feel free to use whatever from this message may be relevant for you.