New Delhi: Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi's remark that "all the violence is male-generated" invited criticism from the twitterati, though human rights organisations supported her observation.
Replying to a question during an interactive session with Facebook users, as part of the ministry's '#100Women' initiative launched in July, the minister said: "The role of men in gender sensitisation was the most critical since all the violence is male-generated. We have introduced (the concept of) 'Gender Champions' in schools, under which boys who have been respectful and helpful to girls will be rewarded."
Responding to the minister's statement, the chairperson of Delhi-based National Confederation of Human Rights Organizations, Marx said: "There is a reason behind the minister saying that. The very word 'manliness' represents war and violence, while femininity stands for love affection and growth."
In a broader sense, what the minister said is true, Marx said, adding that incidence of violence and crime committed by men and women cannot be compared in this case.
"In a philosophical sense, motherhood and femininity are related to growth and affection while manliness show war and destruction," he added.
The minister's remarks, which were trending on the digital space of the micro-blogging site Twitter, had a majority of the users saying that both the sexes play a role in violence, not just men.
A Twitter user @AnubhavWriter said, "Putting blame to one gender isn't fair Maneka Gandhi. It is both sexes who play a role in violence, including our society demands."
"Demands for dowry and pressure to go in for female foeticide are most of the time generated by mothers-in-law. Not violence, Maneka Gandhi?" asked another user @shailjah.
"Such statement wide spreads the evil of Gender inequality," added another user @MamataGautam18.
While for Jayshree Sengupta, the chairperson of Centre for Development and Human Rights, the statement by Gandhi was made "blankly".
"If men are the only ones responsible for violence, what about all the women prisoners and those women who commit murders and other crimes?" Sengupta asked.
She added that though it could be true that men were the reasons for many wars and destruction and could tend to be violent more than women, violence itself is inherent in human nature.
The National Crime Records Bureau, which provides statistics on crime in the country, has data on women who were victims of crime, but has no information on the total number of cases where women had committed the crime. There was no comparable data on crimes committed by women and those by men.