Modern women want to stay single, not give birth: K’taka health minister

Dr K Sudhakar said that there is a tendency to go the “western way”. “Unfortunately, we are going in a western way. We don’t want our parents to live with us, forget about grandparents being with us,” Sudhakar said.
Karnataka health minister Dr K Sudhakar.(Twitter/@mla_sudhakar)
Karnataka health minister Dr K Sudhakar.(Twitter/@mla_sudhakar)
Updated on Oct 11, 2021 03:41 AM IST
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By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Bengaluru

 Karnataka’s health minister on Sunday said that “lot of modern women want to remain single” and “if they get married they don’t want to give birth”, thereby triggering a row, with the Congress calling his statements “misogynistic”.

“I am sorry to say this. A lot of modern women in India they want to stay single. Even if they get married, they don’t want to give birth, they want surrogacy. So, there is a paradigm shift in our thinking which is not good,” the minister said during the World Mental Health Day at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurological Sciences (NIMHANS) in Bengaluru.

Sudhakar said that there is a tendency to go the “western way”. “Unfortunately, we are going in a western way. We don’t want our parents to live with us, forget about grandparents being with us,” Sudhakar said.

Criticising the health minister’s remarks, Sowmya Reddy, the Congress legislator from Jayanagar in Bengaluru said that it was a mental health workshop and the minister should have focused on it.

“Talking about women specifically. I think it is a very misogynistic point of view. From a person who has no idea what modern women go through every single day. Pigeonholing a woman’s fertility and being able to bear kids...I think it is just very embarrassing coming from a supposedly young person, doctor and health minister,” Reddy said.

Reddy said it is plain sexism and an attack on women who are also unable to bear children and the mental health issues they face due to it.

“Health minister of Karnataka K Sudhakar’s statements on women are appalling. His patriarchal statements, expecting women to merely perform the role of a mother, bearer of children, and wife, are highly condemnable. As women, we are constantly policed about our choices about our own bodies, whether we wish not to have children or get married. Women exist beyond child-bearing,” Nirmala M., state secretary, All India Progressive Women’s Association said on Sunday.

She added that it is very unfortunate that a minister entrusted with health of the state is making remarks about women’s reproductive choices and that he should work to better women’s sexual and reproductive health, “instead of making regressive patriarchal statements.”

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Thursday, October 28, 2021