People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 30

July 29, 2012


AIDWA Flays NCW Chairperson’s Comments


THE All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) has expressed deep shock and concern over the statement made by the chairperson of National Commission for Women (NCW), reported in the newspapers on July 18, 2012, in which she had advised girls to be careful about the way they dress. Most unfortunately, she has ascribed the increase in incidents of violence to their aping of western culture.


The AIDWA statement issued from New Delhi on the same day (July 18) said there could be nothing more unfortunate than the fact that a person occupying an office established to protect women and their rights, echoed the dangerous and erroneous belief that it is women and girls themselves who are responsible for the violence to which they are subjected, for one reason or another.  Nothing could be further from the truth, the AIDWA said. The association pointed out that most of the victims of sexual violence are children, or girls and women, belonging to the most vulnerable and often the poorest sections of our society. “In any case, to shift the onus of violence from the perpetrators to the victims is completely unacceptable and offensive,” the statement asserted. 


At a time when women’s rights in our country are being attacked in the name of upholding tradition and honour, the AIDWA said, such a statement would only strengthen those responsible for committing these crimes of violence. The NCW chairperson’s statement fails to understand that it is the persisting patriarchal and feudal values, combined with consumerism and commodification of women, which are responsible for these attacks. These are intensifying inequalities and creating a dangerous situation for girls and women. Refusal to understand this fact, and refusal to squarely put the blame on those who perpetrate violence, would result in denial of justice for the victims, and in not providing remedial measures for them.


The AIDWA also demanded that the National Commission for Women must hold the state power responsible for the state of affairs and must use all the strength at its command to make the state do all that is needed through legislative and administrative means to guarantee the safety and rights of women and girls.