Chair of India’s National Commission For Women says Clothing Invites Sexual Assault

 

New Delhi, July 18, 2012

In response to a case last week where a teenage girl was attacked and molested by a mob of men in full public view, National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Mamta Sharma’s statement asking women to dress carefully to avoid crimes (like molestation) against them has sparked outrage and disgust with rights activists questioned the selection process of NCW office-bearers. Sharma’s comments came close on the heels of the removal of Alka Lamba from a fact-finding committee probing the Guwahati molestation case for revealing the victim’s identity.

While speaking about the molestation case on Tuesday, Sharma stopped short of prescribing a dress code. She said, “Be careful about how you dress… Aping the west blindly is eroding our culture and causing such crimes to happen.”

Earlier this year, at a seminar where she address young women, Sharma offered this advice on how to deal with street sexual harassment, “Don’t be offended if someone calls you ‘sexy’, rather take it positively.”

CPM leader Brinda Karat demanded the NCW chairperson withdraw her statement or quit. “Such advice is unwarranted and militates against the mandate of the commission. It only strengthens the forces who blame victims for the crimes against them,” she said.  Full Report Here

 

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