Feminists Across Generations, an alliance of individual activists fighting gender-based violence, termed such violence as a national emergency and put forward a list of 10-point demands against rape and sexual violence.
Declaration of the demands - including ending all gender-based violence by private and state actors, zero tolerance, victim-blaming at all societal levels - was made at a press conference in the capital on Thursday.
The other demands are that rapists cannot be sheltered at home, schools and workplaces; existing rape laws must be reformed to recognise and criminalise marital rape, irrespective of the victim's age when she is raped by her spouse and others.
Speakers at the press conference said, amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and its devastating impacts on economy and public health, women also bear the burden of an increase in violence at home and beyond.
According to Ain O Salish Kendra, a human rights group, from January to September this year, 975 women were raped, 43 killed after being raped, and 204 faced attempted rape.
Another 12 women committed suicide in connection with or in pursuance of rape, it added.
At the press conference, the speakers said the platform is not only protesting individual cases of violence by men against women, but also protesting the culture that has allowed this violence to perpetuate.
They recognise the need to broaden the scope of our organizational efforts beyond trial and punishment to include discourse around long-term change.
"We are challenging the notion of women's bodies as the custodian of their own honour and that of their families; we are contesting male entitlement over women's bodies. We are angry at our families, our schools, our government – for blaming the victim, for forcing us to change instead of holding perpetrators accountable, for cultivating a culture of impunity," they added.