New Delhi: Union minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi, has always advocated gender equality and women empowerment. Speaking to NDTV, Gandhi made a statement that shook the college goers. She insisted on early hostel curfew to be a necessary measure for a girl’s own safety.
Asked why girls in hostels should have an early curfew, Ms Gandhi said, “At 16 or 17 you are hormonally very challenged. So to protect you from your own hormonal outbursts, perhaps a lakshman rekha is drawn. It really is for your own safety,” she said while speaking to NDTV at an interview about International Women’s Day.
Asked if the matter cannot be solved by tightening security at women’s colleges, the minister said, “No, not by two Bihari gentlemen at gate with dandas (sticks). It has to be solved literally by giving time limits for everything. Give them (boys) two nights to go to the library and two nights for girls — if you want to go to library, that is.”
On being questioned why boys should be treated differently, the minister said, “Yes, so maybe the same deadlines should be there for both boys and girls.Why should the boys be allowed to wander about in the campus after 6’o-clock? Let them also stay in and do their work.”
Last year in March, speaking at the 60th session of the Commission on the status of women, Ms Gandhi, who is the minister of women and child welfare, had said the Government of India “remains fully committed to advancing the goal of gender equality and empowerment of women, and to eliminating all forms of discrimination against women”.
It was also at her initiative that the government had redrawn the national policy on women. Steps have been taken towards “awareness generation and starting sensitisation programmes to fight social prejudices and stereotypes,” she had said at the time.