AIDWA response to NCW Chairperson's remarks 18.7.12

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                                    Date: 18th July 2012
                  PRESS STATEMENT

The All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) expresses its deep shock and concern at the statement of the NCW Chairperson reported in the newspapers on July 18th 2012, in which she has advised girls to be careful about the way they dress. Most unfortunately, she has ascribed the increase in incidents of violence to their aping of western culture.

There can be nothing more unfortunate than the fact that a person occupying an office established to protect women and their rights, echoes the dangerous and erroneous belief that it is women and girls themselves who are responsible for the violence to which they are subjected, for one reason or another.  Nothing could be further from the truth. Most  of the victims of sexual violence are children, or girls and women belonging to the most vulnerable, and often poorest, sections of our society   In any case, to shift the onus of violence from the perpetrators to the victims is completely unacceptable and offensive.  

At a time when women’s rights in our country are being attacked in the name of upholding tradition and honour, such a statement will only strengthen those responsible for committing these crimes of violence. The NCW Chairperson’s statement fails to understand that it is the persisting patriarchal and feudal values, combined with consumerism and commodification of women which is responsible for these attacks. These are intensifying inequalities and creating a dangerous situation for girls and women. Refusal to understand this, and refusal to squarely put the blame on those who perpetrate violence would result in denial of justice for the victims, and in not providing remedial measures for them. The National Commission for Women must hold the State responsible for the state of affairs and must use all the strength at its command to make the State do all that is needed through legislative and administrative means to guarantee the safety and rights of women and girls.

        Sd/-                                Sd/-
Shyamali Gupta                                                                   Sudha Sundararaman
    (President)                                                                   (General Secretary)

          Sd/-                                                                                                  Sd/-                                            Subhashini Ali                                                                                 Kirti Singh                                                       (Vice President)                                                                         (Legal Convenor)