01/02/2013 21:01 EST | Updated 03/04/2013 05:12 EST

Candlelight vigil held in Ottawa for India rape victim

About 60 people gathered on Parliament Hill on a cold Wednesday evening to hold a candlelight vigil for an Indian woman who died after being gang-raped and beaten in New Delhi.

The violent Dec. 16 sexual assault of the woman at the hands of six men shocked people in India, where there have been daily demonstrations by thousands of people calling for stronger protection for women and the death penalty for rape.

The woman died in a Singapore hospital two weeks after being attacked.

Ottawa organizer Meenakshi Sharma said the incident shook her and many she knew in the city's South Asian community.

"I was very hurt, I felt almost helpless, I was distraught, angered," she said. "But I'm glad by creating this event it's created a huge buzz and uproar within the community."

She decided to hold the vigil at the Centennial Flame to raise awareness that violence against women will not be tolerated and honour the 23-year-old victim, Sharma said.

"It's heartbreaking, unfathomable how anyone could do this," said vigil attendee Priya Khosla.

"Women around the world deserve equality and there's no reason for this to happen anywhere in any country."