Father’s Day – Request for sensitive, balanced and gender just coverage
“Fathers’ Day” is coming up on June 21. Some “men’s rights” groups in India have indicated that they intend to observe it on the previous day, June 20.
In the past, there has been much insensitive and unbalanced reporting – perhaps thanks to the clout the influential patriarchal groups staging such events carry. Alas, such coverage has included support for a foreign consulate employee based in Bangalore, charged with raping his three-year-old daughter.
It would be gratifying if media houses could be sensitive, restrained and balanced in their coverage of such events this year. Greater awareness of issues related to gender equality is not only desirable in itself, it would enhance journalistic professionalism.
To be sure, the rights of women are by no means opposed to those of men. Instead, equal treatment in law and in social dealings implies that men are also delivered from patriarchy. Men are also deemed to be fully capable of expressing emotions, taking responsibility for child care and other care work – in other words being fully human.
It is not surprising that some of the “men’s rights” groups also have women as members. Patriarchy is channelled not only through men but also women who are co-opted into its working, including in the perpetration of violence against other women.
Inside a large number of families, there is tremendous amount of domestic violence, including dowry deaths and child sexual abuse, not to mention psychological abuse. While a small percentage of domestic violence may be directed against men, in the overwhelming majority of instances, violence is directed against women and children.
We therefore urge circumspection on the part of media houses in the coverage of events related to “Fathers’ Day” staged by groups with a thinly disguised misogynist and patriarchal agenda.
All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA)
Alternative Law Forum (ALF)
Karnataka Sex Workers Union (KSWU)
Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum (KSMF)
People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) – Karnataka
Praja Rajakiya Vedike (PRV)
Nora Kropp – women’s rights activist
Pushpa Achanta – women’s rights activist
Subir Ghosh – journalist/ researcher
Uma V Chandru – women’s rights activist
For more information contact: 87628 04192 (Jayaram), 99729 02460 (Rajesh)