A report on gender equality in India is “welcome”, but the lack of a formal dress code for women is “not enough”, the Prime Minister said today.
In an interview with India Today magazine, Narendra Modi said the lack-of-a-dress-code was a sign of “cultural backwardness” in the country, but that it was not a problem for women.
“I think the lack (of formal dress codes) is not a matter of culture.
I think the reason is that the women’s dress is not in accordance with their personalities and not in conformity with their culture,” Modi said in the interview.
Modi also took issue with the fact that the Indian government was “ignoring” the issue of women wearing formal dresses.
“The government is not ignoring the issue.
The government is trying to make the culture more progressive and to bring about a more tolerant culture,” he said.”
We want to change the culture.
We want to give more opportunities to women.”
He also said that India’s women should “learn to be modest” in dress.
“Let’s not make women dress up in their own style.
Let’s not go down the wrong path,” he added.
Modis comments come as a group of Indian women is visiting a resort in Brazil and the Prime Ministers office is reportedly considering a proposal to change dress codes in India.
Modiji’s comments come days after a survey by a UN agency showed that just 13 per cent of Indians said they were proud of their traditional attire.
The study found that only 16 per cent believed their traditional dress should be a matter for personal choice, while 59 per cent said they had no preference in the matter.