Women, don’t show skin: Karnataka Women and child Welfare Minister
Hubli: Karnataka’s women and child welfare minister C C Patil assumed tones of a moral policeman on Sunday saying, “I personally don’t favour women wearing provocative clothes and always feel they need to be dignified in whatever they wear.” He also said women should know how much skin they should cover.
Patil was speaking to TOI on Andhra Pradesh director general of police Dinesh Reddy attributing the rise in rape cases to women dressing provocatively by wearing “flimsy and fashionable” dresses. Patil said incidents like rape and sexual harassment occur when moral values among men decline — the subtext being women dressing “provocatively” cause men’s morals to nosedive.
“Today’s lifestyle makes it mandatory for women to work like men and live on equal terms with them. So women work in IT companies and call centres at night, they ought to know how much skin they should cover when they leave for such work places. Thus, I leave the issue of their dressing to them,” said Patil.
“I do not insist on a dress code for women because women belonging to various castes and communities dress according to their culture and tradition. Many women wear saris while others wear salwar. At the same time, there are different types of western outfits like low-waist jeans which also are easily available in the market. But it’s up to women to decide which dress is safe for them,” he said.
Perhaps apprehending he would be accused of being a misogynist, Patil hastily added, “Over the centuries, we have given respectful position and dignified status to women. We worship women in many ways. As a mark of respect to women, many rivers are named after them in the country which only indicates the respect we have towards women.’’
Adepressingly large number of people in positions of authority seem to believe that women invite trouble through their dress or behaviour. Let’s be absolutely clear – there can be no justification for sexual harassment whatsoever and anybody who indulges in it must be swiftly and severely punished.