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Sitharaman asks media to refrain from commodification of women

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New Delhi; Criticising the way women are portrayed as a ‘commodity’ in the media, Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday called for self-regulation and urged stakeholders to exercise freedom of choice with a certain sense of discretion.
“You are encouraging a certain theme, a certain narrative, story, picturisation of women, where she’s made a commodity, where she is being projected as a doormat, and you are comfortably watching it, shedding tears…The moment government tries to come in, we will have equally n-number of women saying ‘Oh, moral policing!’,” Commerce and Industries Minister said while addressing the World Hindu Congress here.

Highlighting the role of women in mass movements like the Chipko Andolan and their participation in politics, she said, “There are enough examples to talk about how women have had a role in what I call politics which is not narrow to holding positions.”

Sitharaman hinted at the need to change the mindset of the viewers.

“Let’s not pretend. There is an audience for this. I am not saying therefore it should go on. But if we are constantly telling the government what are you doing about it, I want to ask for a minute, what are we doing about those people who are watching it,” she asked.

“The government will come in, but as long as we believe in the freedom of choice, I think it is for us much more than the government, to exert this freedom of choice with a certain sense of discretion and ‘sanskaar’,” she added.

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