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WinG-Assam Demands Immediate Apology and Legal Action

A Statement from Women in Governance Network, Assam, INDIA (WinG-Assam) on derogatory remarks made by a parliamentarian about a female police officer forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

INDIA: WinG-Assam Demands Immediate Apology and Legal Action Against MP Mr. Kirip Chaliha For Making Derogatory Comments About a Female Police Officer In Assam

Press Statement
Women in Governance-Assam (WinG-Assam)
27 August 2013

Character assassination of females in public service is a great barrier for women empowerment. Women are silenced by comments and opinions that affect their personal integrity and respect in the society.  Such comments must be condemned since it is nothing less than violence against women and discrimination based on gender. Patriarchal societies use these as tools to degrade women in the society.

We, on behalf of WinG-Assam, a network of women activists in Assam, condemn the defamatory statement made by Mr. Kirip Chaliha, a politician associated with the Indian National Congress, that has devastatingly affected the public image of a woman Superintendent of Police stationed at Jorhat. Chaliha made the derogatory statement on 25 August 2013 at during a press meet.

This statement is unacceptable and is carried out to diminish the professional space of the police officer. It is shameful that a people's representative in the lower house of the Indian Parliament, the Lok Sabha, nurtures such archaic mindset and practice negating gender equality.

In recent times parliamentarians in the country have enacted legislations to strengthen women's position in the society. The parliament has promised equal participation of women in professional and public life. It is in this backdrop, Chaliha, a representative of the ruling coalition has exposed his true nature, of publicly maligning women.

WinG-Assam, strives to achieve equal status for women in decision-making and is concerned on several such instances, where the character of women is subjected to abuse and ridicule in public, by persons in powerful position. Women from all strata of the society are treated in subordinate positions, irrespective of their position in public life.

It is a matter of regret that even after centuries of women's movement the position of women is still an issue. It is time that every parliamentarian or those in power, stop practicing gender discrimination.

WinG Assam welcomes the pro-active action by State Commission for Women for registering a case, suo motu (case no 196/13) against Chaliha.

WinG Assam urges Chaliha, to apologise immediately to the police officer that he abused through words, in public. The Government of Assam must ensure that all possible legal remedies are available to the victim, so that her name, position and professional integrity is upheld.

We further demand proper legal action against Chaliha for making such statement.

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About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation that monitors human rights in Asia, documents violations and advocates for justice and institutional reform to ensure the protection and promotion of these rights. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.

ENDS

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