fight over word -sexy- in Jaipur

Being called sexy is cool: NCW chief
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Times have changed, sexy is beautiful: NCW chief

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Express news service

Posted: Feb 26, 2012 at 0020 hrs IST

Jaipur National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Mamta Sharma said on Saturday that women should not be offended when they are called “sexy”, and should take it as a compliment instead. Objecting to her statement, women’s rights organisations and the opposition BJP demanded her immediate resignation.

Addressing a seminar organised by the Akhil Bharatiya Terapanth Mahila Mandal in Jaipur on Saturday, Sharma said, “Women need not be offended when called sexy. It is merely a compliment that the dictionary defines as beautiful and charming. There was once a time when sexy was an offensive word, but times have changed now.”

PUCL general secretary Kavita Srivastava said such a remark from the chairperson of the NCW was “shameful”. “Such comments only embolden miscreants and ratify sexual harassment. The Supreme Court Vishaka guidelines clearly include verbal and non-verbal types of sexual harassment,” said Srivastava.

Meanwhile, state BJP leaders said Sharma had lowered the dignity of the NCW post by making such statements and that she should resign immediately. Senior BJP leaders questioned her judgement, stating that she would be incapable of dealing with complaints from women and gender issues with such a point of view.

When contacted, Sharma said she would withdraw the remark if it offended anyone. “If the remarks caused offence to anyone, I apologise and withdraw any mention of it,” Sharma said.