Weeks after Chandramukhi Devi, a member of the National Commission for Women (NCW) made headlines for her remarks over the rape case in Uttar Pradesh’s Badaun, around 100 activists demanded her removal from the commission, terming her comments as ‘insensitive and anti-gender’.
After a 50-year-old Anganwadi worker was gang-raped and murdered by a priest and his two aides in Baduan district on January 3, Devi said: “Even under any influence, a woman should keep track of time, and should not venture out late. Perhaps, had the victim not gone out in the evening, or gone along with a family member, she could have been saved.”
Her comments have been widely criticized. The group of activists, in a statement, pursued her removal from NCW. “(She) must be condemned and removed from office for making the most anti-gender statement which flies in the face of everything NCW has stood for since its inception in 1990 and the relentless struggle of Women’s Groups for the last fifty years for securing gender justice,” the statement read.
The statement was endorsed by Dr. Mohini Giri, former Chairperson of the NCW, and its former members Dr. Padma Seth, Dr. Syeda Hameed and Shabnam Hashmi, founder of ANHAD. The list also included AC Michael Former Member of Delhi Minorities Commission and Dr. Ruth Manorama Founder, National Federation of Dalit Women.
“We demand that Chandramukhi Devi is removed immediately from the NCW and in the future, all appointments must ensure the person being appointed has enough exposure to the latest debates around gender understands gender issues and believes in gender equality herself,” the statement said.