Accusing the National Commission of Women (NCW) of being “biased”, three national level organisations that are active in combating dowry harassment and other atrocities against women, said the body “should change its name to the national commission of daughters-in-law”.
The organisations held a seminar on the occasion of International Women’s Day seeking parity in women’s rights. They alleged NCW was ignoring complaints filed by women against the misuse of laws to prevent dowry harassment.
Celebrating Women’s Day at the Chandigarh Press Club, the All India Forgotten Women’s Association (AIFWA), True Equity Network (TEN) India and Andhra Pradesh Mothers-in-Law Protection Association (APMPA) lauded the achievements and successes of women. At the same time, members of these groups addressed present day dilemmas faced by women and discussed the ways for them to achieve “true empowerment.”
Representatives of these organizations called upon the central government to “recognise that promoting women’s welfare did not mean weakening and destroying the institution of marriage”.
They demanded the government should ensure “empowering women did not in any way lead to encouraging blackmail, extortion and parasitism by women by misusing the provisions of various legislations enacted”.
“India should be prevented from becoming an anti-marriage, anti-family, fatherless ‘welfare state’. Laws and policies must be based on the principles of equity and fairness and not on radical feminist ideologies and false statistics. The feminist culture of mass irresponsibility should be done away with”, said Manjit Puri coordinator of APMPA’s local unit.
The members referred to the “inequality and gender bias being perpetrated by NCW and the women’s cells”. A month back, these organisations had posted letters to the NCW president, but till date no correspondence had been received from the commission, they added.
“It appears NCW doesn’t consider mothers-in-law as women, hence it is biased. Why are they treated as criminals and their complaints flatly ignored?” asked Jaswinder Kaur, a representative of AIFWA.
“Women’s empowerment is not meant to be misuse of women’s power; rather it refers to using women’s power in an effective way. The way the laws are being misused the day is not far when men will stop marrying”, added Manjit Puri.