Giving girls mobiles leads to rapes: UP Women Commission member
Young women should not be given mobile phones as they "talk with boys and later run away with them," said a member of the Uttar Pradesh Women Commission - triggering outrage and raising questions about the deep-rooted misogyny and gender bias in the Indian society. She made the shocking remarks when inquired about the rising rape cases in the state. Here are more details.
"I appeal to parents not to give mobile phones to daughters," Kumari reportedly said. She added that crimes against women are happening "due to negligence by mothers." Kumari went on to advocate constant policing of young women. "We, as parents and society, have to put a check on our daughters...Always see where they are going, and which boys they are sitting with."
After her statement drew backlash, Kumari offered a clarification saying that her comments had been "misinterpreted." "What I actually said was that parents should check whether their children are using mobile phones for studies or other purposes. I never said that if girls use phones they run away with boys," she was quoted as saying by ANI.
Among the fiercest critics of Kumari's comments was Swati Maliwal, the chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women. "No ma'am, a phone in a girl's hand is not a reason for rape. The reason for rape is a bad social system that affects the mindset of criminals. The Prime Minister is requested to sensitize all Women's Commission members (sic)," she tweeted today.
नहीं मैडम, लड़की के हाथ में फोन बलात्कार का कारण नहीं है. बलात्कार का कारण है ऐसी घटिया मानसिकता जो अपराधियों के हौसले और बढ़ाती है. प्रधानमंत्री जी से निवेदन है सभी महिला आयोगों को ज़रा सेंसिटाइज करवाइए, एक दिन दिल्ली महिला आयोग की कार्यशैली देखने भेजिए, हम सिखाते हैं इन्हे ! pic.twitter.com/yf1YxC8i6r— Swati Maliwal (@SwatiJaiHind) June 10, 2021
Indian National Congress member Ruchira Chaturvedi also slammed Kumari. "Girls should not be given mobile phones. They talk on phone & later elope for marriage - So after Chowmein, jeans, now mobile phones are responsible for rape (sic)," she tweeted. To recall, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat had earlier said that ripped jeans worn by women were behind the rising crimes against women.
The bizarre comment from Kumari has come just months after Chandramukhi Devi, a member of the National Commission for Women, had put the blame for the rape and murder of a 50-year-old woman in Uttar Pradesh on the victim. She had said the gruesome crime could have been avoided had she not gone out in the evening, sparking criticism from politicians and others.