NCW chief slammed for 'sexy' remark, activists demand she quit

Mamata Sharma

NCW Chairperson Mamta Sharma was in the line of fire today for her controversial remark that women should not feel offended when they are called "sexy" with rights activists calling it "irresponsible" and demanded her resignation.

Sharma rejected the demand while seeking to downplay the controversy, saying she had made the remark in a "broader context" since she was addressing the youth.

"I was positive in my approach so I said that sexy means beautiful. One should take it in positive sense," the Chairperson of National Commission for Women (NCW) said.

"She can say whatever she wants to as Mamata Sharma but as the head of NCW, she can't make such ridiculous statements. Even the law says that sexually coloured remarks are tantamount to harassing women.

For her (Sharma), the remark might not mean anything, but we see it as a way of promoting violence," said PUCL general secretary Kavita Srivastava.

She said Sharma must take "moral responsibility" for her "irresponsible" remark and step down from her post.

At a function in Jaipur yesterday, Sharma said "sexy" meant "beautiful and charming" so it should not be taken in a negative sense.

"Boys pass comments on girls terming them sexy but sexy means beautiful and charming. We should not see it in a negative sense," she had said at the event organised by a women's organisation.

Joining the chorus against the remark, BJP spokesperson Nirmala Seetharaman said the statement should not have been made even if there was no malafide intention involved.

"I think any statement which leads to the commodification of women should not be said even if there is no malafide intention. Caution must be exercised while making statements, especially by women who occupy positions of significance," Seetharaman said.

BJP had yesterday described Sharma's remark as "demoralising for women" and had demanded her resignation.

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