NEW DELHI: If you can have a ministry for animal welfare, why not one for the welfare of men — this was the demand raised by a number of ‘harassed’
husbands at a meeting here on the occasion of International Men’s Day.
“Laws should be gender neutral. The domestic violence and harassment laws are lopsided against men,” said Swarup Sarkar, co-ordinator, Save Family Foundation, an NGO espousing the men’s cause.
Their basic demand was the establishment of a Men’s Welfare Ministry on lines of Women and Child Development Ministry to look into their problems.
There are multiple organisations catering to the fairer sex who also get huge international funding but men get a raw deal in this respect, they said.
“Statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau for the year 2005-2006 show that twice as many married men commit suicide then married woman. But while women deaths are looked into, men’s case are wrapped up as suicide due to financial problems,” said Sarkar.
“We are not saying that ignore women but men’s genuine problems should also be understood,” he added.
President of Gender Rights Society Sandeep Bhartia said programmes on “men’s rights” are being held all over India in major cities like Kolkata, Bangalore, Pune, Nagpur and Delhi.
The “International Men’s Day” was first mooted by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1999. Though it is not recognised by the United Nations yet, it is celebrated on different days in various parts of the world. In India and Australia it is celebrated on November 19.