Maneka Gandhi is the Indian cabinet minister in charge of the ministry of women and child welfare. When she was asked about hostel curfews which forces girl students to be in their rooms by around 6pm in government run college hostels, she had this to say.
At 16 or 17 you are hormonally very challenged. So to protect you from your own hormonal outbursts, perhaps a lakshman rekha (a line that should not be crossed) is drawn. It really is for your own safety,’
Now can there be any better example of victim blaming than this ????
The irony is the ministry she heads says this in its vision statement.
Empowered women living with dignity and contributing as equal partners in development in an environment free from violence and discrimination.
The website of the ministry also describes its mission as
Promoting social and economic empowerment of women through cross-cuting policies and programmes, mainstreaming gender concerns, creating awareness about their rights and facilitating institutional and legislative support for enabling them realize their human rights and develop to their full potential.
Very progressive looking statements for a ministry headed by a minster having such regressive views.
With such people at helm, gender equity will remain a very distant dream.