Anna raises hackles with remark on childless women
Social activist Anna Hazare on Tuesday annoyed medical practitioners and women’s rights activists, who have called him sexist after he made a remark about childless women in his speech at the Bandra-Kurla Complex grounds.Updated: Dec 28, 2011 02:07 IST
Social activist Anna Hazare on Tuesday annoyed medical practitioners and women’s rights activists, who have called him sexist after he made a remark about childless women in his speech at the Bandra-Kurla Complex grounds.
While making a point about his fight for a strong lokpal bill, Anna said: “Banjh kya jaane prasuti vedana [what would an infertile woman know about labour pain].”
Activists said the remark was insensitive and smacked of sexism. Flavia Agnes, lawyer and women’s rights activist, said she strongly objects to Anna’s figure of speech.
“Anna can’t be anti-women. Saying this from a public platform is very insensitive. He might have used other similes or anecdotes to make a point,” said Agnes.
Agnes complained that many “so-called” activists and social reformers remain sexist and insensitive despite frequent protests by women’s groups. “There would certainly have been be childless women in the audience at the BKC grounds as well as among the families who watched live telecast of Anna’s speech,” she said.
Dr Duru Shah, a gynaecologist who treats infertility, said such remarks can have a negative effect on childless women, who even otherwise go through a lot of mental trauma. “I don’t hold this against Anna because he may have said this to explain the pain he has gone through during a series of agitations,” said Shah.
Rajani Patil, a Congress leader who works with the Save the Girl Child campaign in central Maharashtra, said she was shocked to hear Anna ridiculing childless women.
“Hazare says he is a Gandhian so I expect him to be as sensitive as his ideal —Mahatma Gandhi,” said Patil.
India Against Corruption media coordinator Preeti Sharma Menon did not respond to the text messages sent by Hindustan Times.