View Women As Equals: Rahul Gandhi’s Advice To Men
Congress President Rahul Gandhi does not believe that ‘India is the most unsafe place for women’. However, he does believe that Indian men do not view the women in the country as equal and that they should change their outlook towards women. His comments came during his address at Bucerius Summer School in Hamburg, Germany, on August 22.
On Women’s safety in India
Gandhi, who was visiting Hamburg as part of a four-day tour of Germany and the United Kingdom, spoke about a number of issues.
Talking about women’s safety and increasing crimes against women in the country, he blamed the mindset of Indian men.
Gandhi expressed, “I would disagree with the idea that India is the most unsafe place for women. But it is true there is a huge amount of violence against women in India. A lot of it is visible, lot of it is on the streets, but huge amount of it is invisible.”
“It happens in houses. A woman never talks about it. I think it is a cultural issue, it is a issue of how Indian men view Indian women and I think it requires a huge amount of work to fix that problem,” – Rahul Gandhi
The Congress leader said the level of violence in India is increasing. “Whenever the levels of violence increase, the people who are weakest bear the consequences the most. The facts that violence is increasing dramatically in India, women are actually getting a huge share of it.”
He added, “It is a tragedy. The single most important thing that India needs to do is to change the way its men view Indian women. Frankly, it is going to take a huge effort, but it is the duty of every single Indian to do it.”
On Representation of Women in Politics
Gandhi maintained that there were very few women representatives in politics. He said, “When I look at political parties, we don’t see women representatives. When I look at the Parliament, assemblies, I don’t see the number of women that I should. If you don’t put women in positions of power, you won’t get their voice into the system.”
“I do a lot of work to try and get women into the system, try and get women into the party, Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and assemblies.”
He explained, “We are championing right now a bill on reservation for women in Parliament. So that should be a big step going forward. A lot has been done at the lower levels in the elections, places are reserved for women. But at the end of it is a cultural issue as well. It is literally the way the Indian male view the women. He has to start viewing her as an equal, with respect. He has to start treating her with respect. I am sorry to say, that he does not.”
The Congress president remarked, “You cannot build a successful country if you do not involve its women in the process of building.”
Megha Thadani is an Intern with Shethepeople.tv