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'Misogynistic, gender-biased': NCW takes cognizance on curbs on entry of women to Jama Masjid

ANI | Updated: Nov 24, 2022 19:13 IST


New Delhi [India], November 24 (ANI): The National Commission for Women (NCW) on Thursday took suo motu cognizance of media reports on restriction on the entry of women to Delhi's iconic Jama Masjid without male companions.
The women's panel said the 'diktat' was 'gender-biased' and constitutes 'violation of constitutional rights'.
The NCW further claimed that the move smacked of 'misogyny', adding that the Constitution does not provide for such 'gender-based discrimination'.
"The Constitution of India guarantees citizens the right to religious freedom and associated cultural practices, and prohibits gender-based discrimination," the NCW said in a statement that was released to the press on Thursday.
Calling the decision 'gender-biased', the NCW release added, "The diktat of Jama Masjid is gender-biased and is a violation of fundamental rights of the women worshippers to pray."
The release further informed that NCW chairman Rekha Sharma has written to secretaries of the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs and the Department of Social Welfare, Delhi government and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, seeking appropriate action in the matter.
"Chairperson Ms Rekha Sharma has written to Secretary, Ministry of Minority Affairs and Secretary, Department of Social Welfare, Govt of Delhi to take appropriate action in the matter and to ensure the right of women to practice religion as enshrined in the Constitution. The Commission has also written to Shri Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi to look into the matter and take appropriate measures," the release further stated.
Earlier on hursday, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) also took suo motu cognizance of media reports on curbs imposed on the entry of women at Jama Masjid.
The panel served a notice to Jama Masjid's Shahi Imam Maulana Syed Ahmed Bukhari.
A notice was pasted at the entrance of Jama Masjid, stating, "Jama Masjid me Ladki ya Ladkiyon ka akele dakhla mana hai (It is hereby announced that the entry of women to Jama Masjid without male companions is barred)."
Delhi Waqf Board, which is the custodian of the iconic mosque, issued a press release on Thursday stating, "The board prohibits the entry of women and girls into the Masjid who are not with male companions."
Suggesting that the Waqf board consider withdrawing, the DCW directed the custodian of the mosque to state the reasons for prohibiting the entry of women and girls without male companions by November 28, 2022, the statement added.
"The Jama Masjid in Delhi is a historical mosque and women have been going there to perform religious practices without any restriction for ages. Preventing women from freely entering and practising their religion in the mosque is highly discriminatory and an extremely regressive practice as a place of worship should be open to everyone, regardless of their gender," the DCW stated.
"Such an order is clearly misogynistic and against the ethos of the Constitution of India," stated the DCW release. (ANI)

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