Molestation and misconduct with women are as old as is the history of family life. Though women in India are participating equally elsewhere, in the matter of social legislation but the exertion of laws giving rights to women has been so careless that socio-economically and politically women stay far behind men.
Discriminated at work places, ill-treated in a hundred different ways, constantly bullied, few times assaulted, they remain victims in every role. Surprisingly, women as victims of crime and violence have not been limited to developing countries such as India. Even in developed countries, the women in elite positions face the crime.
This particular incidence is a perfect example. 17 women ministers in France declared about sexual misconduct in politics. All 17 signatories to the declaration are present or ex-ministers. France’s former finance minister, Christine Lagarde, who’s the head of the International Monetary Fund is also in the list.
Recently, the deputy speaker of the National Assembly, Denis Baupin, resigned over sexual exploitation claims, which he refuse.
17 SIGNATORIES TO THE DECLARATION READS:
“Like all females who have joined spheres that up until then were exclusively male, we fight against sexism,” “It is not for women to have to adapt to these places, but for the behavior of certain men to change.” The declaration, in the Journal de Dimanche newspaper, read.
You can’t tell the condition of a female when she is working as an employee or as a student, homeless, a housewife or a politician: ‘Apart from object of great breasts, what is women?’ You can’t tell her, in a broken-down tone: ‘Your skirt is too long, it needs to be short.’
“Women must be able to travel freely and must’nt be subject to dirty remarks and desultory comments. We shouldn’t repeat this often and write this declaration again and again.”
In the article, the women asked for strict law against sexual harassment, as well as deploy special desks in police stations to handle sexual harassment cases, seriously.
Giving an example of one such sexual harassment the article reads that Fleur Pellerin, ex-culture minister in Francois Hollande’s, barely faced harassment until she was appointed to office.
Post appointment in government (her first appointment), she was questioned by a male journalist if she was given the job “because you are a beautiful woman”.
“Often Men mock and make undesirable gestures with women sub-ordinates like a pat on the butt,”
former Women’s Rights Minister Yvette Roudy, in an interview told La Chaine, a local French news channel that “Some females aren’t so insulted but others are very exasperated and are now speaking out. It’s time women talk about it and make it known that they are not being praised, instead indirectly being treated as whores.”
A Green Party spokeswoman Sandrine Rousseau accused deputy speaker , Denis Baupin of groping her breast in a corridor and tried to kiss her.
Emmanuelle Cosse, housing minister in Mr Hollande’s government besides Baupin’s wife was not in the list of signatories of declaration.
Attitudes to privacy, sex and sexual abuse were also spruced up in the country in May 2011, when earlier IMF chief Dominique was detained in New York for allegedly raping a waitress. The charges were eventually dismissed.
In March too Dominique faced another serious scandal, when French cops probed over his illegal involvement with a gang suspected of running prostitution. Later, he was cleared of the charge of “aggravated pimping”.
We hope, this particular incident will bring the burning issue on the focus as more women victims are gathering courage to complain against such offences.