About time everyone learns to treat women with respect, dignity: Rahul Gandhi | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 13, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 13, 2018

Treat women with respect and dignity

Rahul Gandhi on #MeToo campaign

As the #MeToo campaign rages on in India, Congress party president Rahul Gandhi yesterday came out in support of the movement, saying it was about time that everyone learns to treat women with respect and dignity.

He also said he is happy that the space for those who do not treat women with respect and dignity is closing.

The #MeToo movement has gained pace in the last fortnight with scores of women speaking out on sexual harassment at workplaces and support pouring in for them from various quarters.

"It's about time everyone learns to treat women with respect and dignity. I'm glad the space for those who don't, is closing. The truth needs to be told loud and clear in order to bring about change," Gandhi tweeted along with the MeToo hashtag.

The chorus is growing for action against India's junior minister for external affairs M J Akbar who has been accused by at least eight several former women colleagues of sexual harassment when he was the editor of The Telegraph and The Asian Age newspapers.

Akbar, on an official tour of Nigeria, is the first politician to get entangled in the MeToo firestorm.

Women ministers in Prime Minister Narendra Modi government like Uma Bharti and Smriti Irani have come out in support of the campaign saying that women who are speaking up now should be supported and not victimised.

BJP sources said there is increasing discomfort in the Modi government and the party about the continuance of Akbar as minister as the Prime Minister himself has made empowerment of women and their causes as a key plank ranging from gender justice in the context of instant triple talaq and flagships welfare schemes for girl child, cooking gas connections for women, easy financial schemes for women entrepreneurs and recent increase in salaries of women healthcare workers.  

The Congress party and the CPI(M) too added to the pressure on the government on the Akbar issue flagging the topic of women's safety, dignity and rights.

The MeToo movement has ensnared a number of personalities from India's media world, entertainment and advertising worlds including actors Nana Patekar, Alok Nath, Adman Suhel Seth, Bollywood directors and Vikas Bahl.

Some newspapers are publishing lurid details of women victim-complainants how they were treated by the sexual predators.

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