Date: October 22, 2020

The All India Democratic Women’s Association is shocked at the highly objectionable and blatantly communal statements made by Rekha Sharma, Chairperson of the National Commission for Women (NCW), when she met the Maharashtra Governor on October 20, 2020. Media reports suggest that Sharma had discussed the problem of inter-religious marriages and rising instances of “love jihad” in Maharashtra. The Chairperson has made extremely misogynistic statements in the past too. It is shameful that such a person heads the National Commission for Women when crimes against women are on a rise in India. It is not surprising that the NCW has been silent and has not proceeded to help victims of violence as the Chairperson herself is not only toeing the BJP’s views but subscribes to its anti-Constitutional and pro-Manusmruti ideology.

Ms Rekha Sharma has not uttered a single word of condemnation of the deliberate attempts to subvert justice by the UP state government, its administration and police in the Hathras case. She only suggested ‘social reform’ so that such crimes could be controlled, absolving the UP state government of all its cover-up operations.The NCRB data of 2019 shows that the BJP ruled state of Uttar Pradesh tops all Indian States in the increasing rates of gruesome crimes against women.
The National Commission for Women (NCW)is the statutory body of the Government of India, established in 1992 under the provisions of the Indian Constitution. The objective of the NCW is to represent the rights of women in India and to provide a voice for their issues and concerns. Ms Rekha Sharma has violated provisions of the Indian Constitution which disallow discrimination on the basis of caste, creed or religion. Any woman above the age of 18 years has the Constitutional Right to marry as per her will.

Ms Rekha Sharma has acted as a BJP spokesperson instead of carrying out her responsibilities by paying attention to the serious issues faced by women during this pandemic. Her actions and statements violate the mandate and role of the NCW.
The AIDWA demands a public apology from the Chairperson. She must be removed as the Chairperson of NCW forthwith. The AIDWA also demands that urgent steps be taken to make the NCW a representative and functional autonomous body that represents the interests of all women.