A member of the Uttar Pradesh State Commission for Women has stoked a controversy after making a statement that girls should not be given mobile phones because it leads to rapes.
Meena Kumari, a member of the commission made the remarks while responding to a media person’s question related to the rising number of rape incidents in the state. Her comment has gone viral on the social media, with netizens criticising her remarks. She made the comment while talking to media on the side-lines of a Mahila Jansunwai (public hearing of women-related complaints) in Aligarh on Wednesday.
Kumari said that along with the government authorities, society itself would have to be serious about the increasing crimes against women.
“Girls should not be given mobile phones. Girls talk with boys on phones for hours and later elope with them. Their phones are not even checked and family members are unaware of these things,” Meena Kumari said when asked a question how to control the increasing number of rape cases in the state.
Kumari explained the rationale behind her remarks. According to her on a daily basis, she listens to grievances of more than twenty women and many are related to girls talking to boys over the phone and eloping with them. She added that many girls were lured to a certain place and then sexually assaulted.
Kumari went on to say that the careless attitude of parents, “especially mothers, is leading to crimes against women.” She held mothers’ “carelessness” responsible for the crime against women. She asked the mother to monitor their daughters’ activities
Kumari, who was elected twice as a Zila panchayat member from Aligarh appealed to the parents to keep the mobile phones away from their daughters.
The Uttar Pradesh Women’s Commission has distanced itself from Kumari’s remarks. Anju Chaudhary, Vice President of the Commission has termed Kumari’s statement wrong. She said depriving girls of mobile phones is not a solution to sexual violence against them.