Goa Women's Forum says the website is promoting sex tourism

The Goa Women's Forum (GWF), a collective of women volunteers of civic and consumer forums, had demanded the shutting down of a porn website which, it alleged, was trying to “project and promote” Goa as a sex tourism destination.

To mark the occasion of the 100th International Women's Day, the forum held an awareness meeting on Wednesday in Margao in south Goa to highlight its demands.

Holding colourful flags and placards, the women volunteers distributed information slips among the people.

Lorna Fernandes, forum convenor, alleged that the said porn website promoters had deliberately brought in foreign women to Goa and made them indulge in sexual acts and projected the same through photographs and video films to project Goa as a “sex tourism destination”.

“GWF is distressed that the website is targeting teenagers so as to expand the market of commercial sex and draw young girls into it,” Ms. Fernandes told The Hindu.

The forum had expressed concern about increase in pornographic material available in the form of blue films on CD and DVD formats as well as books and magazines that continued to denigrate women and portray them as sex objects.

Taking note of the continued increased projection of Goa as a destination for sex tourism by various vested interests, the forum had demanded that the Tourism Department of Goa and the Centre must take responsibility of scrutinising all Goa-related tourism advertisements, promotional material in the print and digital format that were available worldwide and which portrayed women as sex objects and Goa as a sex tourism destination.

Rising graph

Among the concerns highlighted during the action were the rise in cases of molestation, sexual harassment, rape and domestic violence and the inadequate protection provided to women by various government agencies.

The forum volunteers said the districts must have full fledged all-women police stations and a dedicated team of women police officers to conduct sessions on prevention of crimes against women.

The forum would pursue with the Directorate of Prosecution the need for increased convictions in cases related to crimes against women.

On a more positive note, the forum had highlighted the need for access to toilets for women throughout Goa as thousands of women were forced to empty their bladder in the open. The forum had stated that the State administration and local bodies such as panchayats and municipal councils must not distinguish between local and migrant women when reviewing availability of toilet facilities.

It would pursue the issue of condition of women workers in industrial estates and small-scale and large-scale industries throughout the State.

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