All India Democratic Women's Association

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23 September, 2001  
THE All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA), an organisation with a large membership among Muslim women, has strongly condemned the threat of violence issued by various, some of them hitherto unknown, Muslim groups in different states against Muslim women who do not wear burqas. The AIDWA dubbed as "highly condemnable" the fact that Muslim women, who are already facing insecurity due to the communal propaganda by Hindu fundamentalists, are now being targeted by the fundamentalists of their own community in the name of protection of religion.

Recalling that women belonging to the Hindu and Sikh communities had also faced threats to adhere to dress codes decided by the fundamentalist elements in their own communities, the AIDWA statement issued on September 11 said the fundamentalists of all denominations are clearly at one insofar as suppressing women is concerned.

The AIDWA said the choice of dress is a personal matter and a minimum right of citizens in any democratic country. To push its viewpoint against the fundamentalist dictates, the AIDWA said it is organising Muslim women's meetings throughout the country. The aim is to make the message loud and clear --- that such dictates will not be accepted.