Anna Hazare in soup after anti-women remark

December 31, 2011 by  
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Anti-women RemarkNew Delhi, December 29, 2011: Anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare’s anti-women remark put him into trouble with women rights activists terming it as “insensitive and coarse.”

Hazare had on Tuesday said, “banjh kya jaane prasuti vedana (what would an infertile woman know about labor pain).”

He was talking in context of difficulties he is facing in his fight for a strong anti-corruption bill.

“Anna Hazare’s insensitive remark about infertile women indicates his lack of gender sensitivity,” said Virginia Saldanha, executive secretary of the Office of Laity of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences.

She warned that in this 21st century, women will not take such insensitivity lightly.

Women activist Ranjana Kumari said that the remark denigrated the status of women, who have unnecessarily been dragged into the issue.

Kumari appealed to Hazare and his team to refrain from making any such stereotype comments.

Jyotsana Chaterjee, who directs the Joint Women Program of the Protestant Church of North India, termed the remark “coarse.”

“This kind of a remark was not expected from a leader of his stature,” she said.

Chatterjee said that Hazare should have used some other comparison to explain the situation.

Sister Helen Saldanha, secretary of the Women office of Catholic Bishops Conference of India, said that the remarks have come from unconscious programming of the mind backed by a culture which is gender blind and insensitive.

“Banjh (infertile) is a derogatory word that is attributed only to women and one does not have similar word for a man who is impotent,” she added.

The sister said that “our language has to be sensitive and inclusive.”

– ritu sharma