Writer Sara Abubakar said on Saturday that the moral police had no right to set guidelines for girls or women.

She was speaking at the inauguration of the Udupi Zilla Swabhimani Mahila Okkoota here.

Ms. Abubakar said that it was for the parents to decide on whether their daughters could visit pubs or not. Since Indian society was male dominated, patriarchal attitude still prevailed in the institutions such as the police and courts.

It was necessary to create more awareness among women about their rights. Women should collectively fight atrocities against their counterparts in any part of the State, she said.

Speaking on “Laws in favour of women”, Shyamala Bhandary, advocate, said that a majority of women were unaware of their rights, even though women formed nearly half of the population in India.

Women seeking reservation and dignity in several fields of human activity was not because they were weak, Ms. Bhandary said.

Speaking on “Problems faced by women in coastal districts”, writer G. Rajashekhar said that there was no difference between the problems faced by women in coastal districts and elsewhere. Although various distinctions were made between the people based on caste, creed and other criteria, only two types were relevant, namely men and women and rich and poor, he said.

Even in western countries, there were movements seeking equal status and rights for women. Wearing of “burqa” should be left to the decision of the person concerned and not others, Mr. Rajashekhar said.

Former president of Udupi Zilla Panchayat U. Vanajakshi was present.

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