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Harassment of Muslim girls jeopardising Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao: IIM-B faculty petition

By Our Representative 

Senior faculty of the Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore (IIM-B) -- Prof Ritwik Banerjee, Prof Deepak Malghan, Prof Dalhia Mani, Prof Prateek Raj and Prof Hema Swaminathan -- have represented to Rekha Sharma, chairperson, National Commission for Women (NCW) urging her to exercise her powers and "urgently take suo moto cognizance of reports of intimidation of Muslim women students based on religious attire."
Referring to the High Court of Karnataka, which is currently considering whether public institutions can deny entry to women wearing hijabs, in their petition the IIM-B faculty say, "The continuing harassment of Muslim women students in Karnataka... could jeopardise their safety and dignity."
Pointing out that "women across all religions face patriarchal restrictions of one kind or the other", and one "cannot condone such practices and we must work with men, women, and religious leaders to bring about change", it, however, insists, "But to single out one religious practice is not acceptable."
The petition says, "As you must be aware, evidence globally and from India shows that education is the most effective tool for women’s empowerment and broader social development."
Apprehending that "the atmosphere of fear and intimidation will make parents hesitate to send daughters to schools and colleges", the petitioners believe, "Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao will be an abject failure, not just for Muslim girls, but for girls across all communities. Failure of law and rule of intimidation affects everyone."
The petition quotes the NCW mission, which states, “To strive towards enabling women to achieve equality and equal participation in all spheres of life by securing her due rights and entitlements through suitable policy formulation, legislative measures, effective enforcement of laws, implementation of schemes/policies and devising strategies for solution of specific problems/situations arising out of discrimination and atrocities against women.”

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