‘Need to stop portrayal of women as commodities’https://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/need-to-stop-portrayal-of-women-as-commodities/

‘Need to stop portrayal of women as commodities’

Sitharaman said the contribution of women in India’s history should be documented for the youth.

Highlighting the role of women in Hindu mythology as well as modern mass movements, Union Commerce and Industries Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has urged that women should start documenting their achievements in order to give a narration to it even as she suggested “self-regulation” to prevent women from being portrayed as a commodity in media.

Sitharaman, speaking on the topic “Hindu women’s participation in politics and social leadership” on the second day of the World Hindu Congress, criticised the women for “encouraging certain theme, a certain narrative” where women are being projected as a commodity.

“Let’s not pretend. There is an audience for this. I am not saying therefore it should go on. But if we are constantly telling the government what are you doing about it, I want to ask for a minute, what are we doing about those people who are watching it,” she asked responding to a question on what the government could do to prevent the wrong portrayal of women.

“The government will come in, but as long as we believe in the freedom of choice, I think it is for us much more than the government, to exert this freedom of choice with a certain sense of discretion and ‘Sanskaar’,” she added. Sitharaman also took strong exception to the approach that women cannot enter politics because its dirty.

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Former IPS officer and activist Kiran Bedi supported Sitharaman and said the contribution of women in India’s history should be documented for the youth. “It can be included in the school syllabus,”Bedi said.

The World Hindu Congress also witnessed delegates from around 50 countries discussing the possibility of cooperation in improving the quality of education and sustaining culture through education among other things.