The portrayal of women in poor light in the mass media is one of the reasons for increase in atrocities on them, M. Umadevi, State vice-president of the All India Democratic Youth Organisation (AIDYO), said here on Thursday.

She was delivering a lecture on ‘Obscenity in the media and crimes against women' at MMK-SDM College for Women here on the occasion of the International Women's Day, organised by the All India Mahila Samskrutika Sanghatane (AIMSS), Mysore unit.

The struggle of women across the world to seek justice on various fronts was a century old, but crimes against women continued relentlessly, Ms. Umadevi said.

Quoting statistics of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), she said 2,13,585 cases of atrocities against women were registered across the country in 2010 alone. Many cases would have gone unreported too. According to a NCRB report, one rape occurs every 54 minutes, an incident of sexual harassment occurs every 51 minutes, an incident of eve teasing occurs every 26 minutes, there is one dowry death every 102 minutes, a kidnap every 43 minutes and a case of some form of cruelty is reported every 33 minutes. These figures were startling, she said.

Women ought not be looked upon as “objects of pleasure”, Ms. Umadevi said, and added that films depicting women in bad taste, advertisements portraying scantily dressed women and television serials glorifying extramarital relationships accounted for a large number of crimes against women in the world, including India.

‘Vulnerable'

Women in India were vulnerable to crimes and the country's laws were not strong enough to protect them, Ms. Umadevi said. Obscenity had not been properly defined under the law, she added. Referring to the incident where three Ministers (now resigned) were caught watching porn clips in the Legislative Assembly, she wondered as to what kind of protection could women expect from the powers that be.

Later, Ms. Umadevi interacted with students.

Principal of MMK-SDM College for Women M. Balachandra Gowda, who presided over the programme, stressed the need for imparting moral education. Education was the panacea for all ills, Mr. Gowda said, and called upon students to be part of nation-building activities.

President of the Mysore unit of the AIMSS P.S. Sandhya gave an account of the history of the struggle of women across the world, leading to March 8 being observed as the International Women's Day.


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