Sunday 23 January 2022
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NCW finds JNU’s language of invitation to session on sexual harassment objectionable

The language of the invitation has been revised a day after NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma sought the withdrawal of the 'misogynist' JNU circular

The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has modified the language of its public invitation for counselling on and removed the line “girls are supposed to know how to draw a tangible line between them and their male friends” that drew the ire of students, teachers and the National Commission for Women (NCW).

The ‘objectionable’ part appeared under the subheading, “Why is this counselling session required?”

The Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) of the university had uploaded the invitation on JNU’s website saying that it would organise a counselling session on on 17 January. It had said further that such sessions would be organised every month.

The contentious point has now been edited. It now reads: “Boys will be counselled to clearly distinguish between friendship and behaviour that may be considered sexual harassment. Girls will be counselled how to avoid sexual harassment.”

The revision of the language comes a day after NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma sought the withdrawal of the “misogynist” circular issued by the university.

The older invitation had said it would make aware of what constitutes sexual harassment.

It had said that were being counselled during the orientation programme and on the inception of every academic year and that they needed to refresh their knowledge from time to time.

The “ come across a number of cases where takes place among close friends. Boys generally cross (sometimes advertently, sometimes inadvertently) the thin line between friendship’s bantering and sexual harassment. Girls suppose to know how to draw a tangible line (between them and their male friends) to avoid any such harassments (sic)”, the previous invite read.

The issue with the language of the invitation follows weeks after a furore over an examination paper set by the CBSE where a comprehension passage describing how the Indian society behaved “a hundred years ago” was misinterpreted as being misogynistic. The board had to hurriedly issue an apology for the particular question in the exam of the subject of English (language).

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