The controversial statement issued by Meena Kumari that girls shouldn’t be given mobile phones as it leads to rape, adds to the series of outrageous statements that have been spoken about rape and women’s role in it.
Image Source: NDTV Amidst the worldwide effort to fill the void of gender gaps, fighting for equality, a very upsetting and shocking remark, i.e. girls shouldn’t be given mobile phones as it leads to rape, has been passed by Meena Kumari, a member of Uttar Pradesh’s Women’s commission. This highlights the deep-seated misogyny and gender issues that prevail and haunts Indian society.
The controversial remark was made during a public hearing of complaints related to women in Aligarh district, and the state's plans to reduce crime against women to which she replied, “ girls should not be given mobile phones” because they “talk with boys and later run away with them”. She further appealed round-the-clock policing of young women and keep their activities under check. “I appeal to parents not to give mobile phones to daughters… if they do, phones should be checked regularly. All this (crime against women) is due to negligence by mothers,” she told reporters.
“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. We have to check their mobile phones… girls will keep talking on their phones and then they elope,” she said.
Her statements triggered a row and therefore she issued a clarification saying her statement has been misinterpreted, “What I 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 will run away with boys”.
Image source: Twitter However, she faced a backlash from Swati Maliwal, the Chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women, and tweeted, “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 sensitive all Women's Commission members”. She further added, “send them to the Delhi Commission for one day… to see how we work. We will teach them”.