Kerala Women’s Commission chairperson MC Josephine resigned on Friday following the wide outcry for her insensitive comments to a domestic violence survivor during a call-in television programme. Josephine, a member of the ruling Communist Party of India, was under pressure from within the party to leave office.
The programme, hosted by Manorama News on June 23, gave women an opportunity to directly deposit their grievances to the chairperson.
While answering a call from a domestic violence survivor from Kochi city, Josephine sought to know if the woman had filed a police complaint. When she said that had not informed anyone, the chairperson immediately responded, “then you suffer”.
The reaction immediately backfired, triggering criticism and a campaign to resign. Just recently, Kerala had a hot debate about abusive marriage after a girl in Kerala took her life due to domestic violence over dowry.
Jospehine has headed the women’s commission since 2017. Her five-year term was to end next year.
The chairperson on Friday accepted that she should not have reacted in a hostile manner. “I would like to express regret if my words have hurt her,” she said, ANI reported.
Many Opposition leaders and social media users asking Josephine to resign. The Congress held protests outside the CPI(M) headquarters demanding Josephine’s removal.
According to Indian Express, ruling party members were not satisfied with her explanation and Josephine submitted her resignation at their insistence.