A day after suggesting that women’s clothes and behaviour ‘invite’ rape, Dr. Asha Mirge of the Nationalist Congress Party — a member of the Maharashtra Commission for Women (MCW) — issued an apology.
“Girls should be very careful about what they wear and their body language. Whether it is ‘inviting’ or not should be taken care of,” Dr. Mirge had said on Tuesday at a press conference in Nagpur on the occasion of two-day convention organised by the NCP. “Why should Nirbhaya go for a late night movie show at 11 p.m.? Why should a photo journalist in Mumbai go to an isolated place like Shakti Mills at 6 pm? Girls should always remain alert,” she said later.
However, on Wednesday she told The Hindu: “I do not want to create any controversy,” Dr. Mirge told The Hindu. “If people have not liked my statement, I must take it back. I should better concentrate on my work instead of nurturing controversies.”
Following Dr. Mirge’s statement, Supriya Sule, MP and daughter of NCP president Sharad Pawar, who was present at the programme, made it clear that she disapproved of with what was said. “We want adequate security for every woman and man to travel to any village, area or State at any given time.”
The Maharashtra unit of All India Democratic Women’s Association (Aidwa) condemned Dr. Mirge’s remarks and demanded that appointments to the MCW be reviewed. “We feel that a member of a body such as the Women’s Commission is, in the least, expected to promote progressive views and equal opportunities for women to pursue their profession and education,” the organisation said in a statement.
MCW chairperson Susieben Shah too was quick to dissociate the organisation from Dr. Mirge’s comments.
“These are her personal views. We completely dissociate ourselves from this and want to make it clear that MCW does not endorse her views.”