The easiest way to stop abuse, according to many right-wing organizations, is to tell women to dress better. So when a woman gets raped in a bus by 6 men, the first question to be put up is ‘what was she wearing?’ This attitude is absolutely unfair to women and needs to be addressed immediately. However, a group of people living in the suburban areas of Mumbai disagree.

 

A diktat issued by Indrayani Mahila Mandal, a local women’s group in Gothivli in Rabale, Navi Mumbai, decided to impose a Rs500 fine on women wearing nighties on Wednesday. This step was apparently taken to prevent sexual assaults on women.

 

[Picture Courtesy: Aasra NGO]

 

According to a report by the Indian Express, one of members of the group, Laxmi Patil, said, “The “maxi”(or nightie as many call it) —  long shapeless dress worn by many women while they do their household chores or even step out of home to buy vegetables — has become very common these days and it looks absurd.”

 

The notice put up by the Mahila Mandal on Sunday, said: “Gothivali gavatil sarva mahilanna hey suchit karnyaat yet aahe ki, gavatil parisarat athva rastyavar “maxi” ghalun phirnyaas sakt manaai aahe. Aadhalyaas Rs 500 dund aakarnyaat yeil (All the women in Gotivali village are hereby informed that if any of them is seen wearing ‘maxi’ outside their homes in the village or walking on the roads will be fined Rs 500.)”

 

Thankfully, the police later intervened and cancelled the ban. According to the same report, senior police inspector at Rabale police station, S. Gojre said, “No gram panchayat or local mahila mandal has the right to frame such rules and fine villagers like this. We had a meeting with the members of Indrayani Mahila Mandal and have warned them against taking such steps. We have also confiscated the notice board.”