India outrage over woman politician’s rape comment


BBC Online :
There has been outrage in India after a politician, who is also a member of a government panel for women, blamed women for rape.
Asha Mirje said women too were “responsible to an extent” for rape and that their “clothing and behaviour” played a part.
Women’s rights activists, the Congress party and the main opposition BJP said her comments were “unacceptable”.
Ms Mirje later apologised, saying it was her “personal opinion”.
In India, where a rape is recorded every 22 minutes, scrutiny of sexual violence has grown since the gang rape and murder of a student on a bus in Delhi in December 2012.
Ms Mirje is a leader of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) that governs the western Indian state of Maharashtra. She is also a member of the Maharashtra State Commission for Women.
The controversial comments were made at a meeting of the party’s women workers in Nagpur city on Tuesday.
Ms Mirje asked why the Delhi gang-rape victim, called Nirbhaya (meaning fearless in Hindi) because she cannot legally be named, “was out with her friend at night”. She also commented on a photojournalist who was gang-raped while on assignment at the abandoned Shakti Mills in Mumbai last year.
“Did Nirbhaya really have to go watch a movie at 11 in the night with her friend? Take the Shakti Mills gang rape case. Why did the [survivor] go to such an isolated spot at 6pm?” news channel NDTV quoted her as saying.
“Rapes take place also because of a woman’s clothes, her behaviour and her being at inappropriate places,” she added.