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Indian women's commission chief blasted for "sexy" remark - report

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Mon, 27 Feb 2012 12:09 GMT
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NEW DELHI (TrustLaw) – Rights activists in India are calling for the resignation of the head of country's National Commission for Women (NCW) after she said women should not feel offended when they are called "sexy", the Hindustan Times reports.

Mamata Sharma, who recently took over as chairperson of the NCW - a government body set up in 1992 to improve and protect the rights of Indian women - reportedly told a gathering in the city of Jaipur on Saturday that "sexy" meant "beautiful and charming" and that it should not be taken in a negative way.

"It is a ridiculous statement. Even the law says that sexually coloured remarks are tantamount to harassing women. Such irresponsible remarks promote violence against women," Kavita Srivastava, general secretary of the People's Union for Civil Liberties, was quoted as saying.

Sharma must take "moral responsibility" for her "irresponsible" remark and step down from her post, added Srivastava.

The report said Sharma - a former member of parliament - has rejected calls for her resignation, saying it was made in a "broader context" as she was addressing youths at the event.

"But the same does not imply for strangers or roadside Romeos who use the word 'sexy' to tease girls. That is condemnable," Sharma was quoted as saying.

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