Nurses condemn racist and sexist comments of AAP member, Kumar Vishwas

January 22, 2014

PRESS RELEASE
Date: 21/01/14

Nurses and women’s organizations condemn racist and sexist comments passed by AAP member, Kumar Vishwas, on nurses
Centre for Struggling Women (CSW) and nurses’ associations demand an apology from AAP

Nurses across the country as well as women’s organizations have taken serious offence to the racist and sexist comments passed by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) member, Kumar Vishwas, who has recently been quoted as stating that south Indian nurses are black (kaali) and unattractive, etc. At a time when thousands of nursing professionals are struggling to make ends meet by migrating to cities like Delhi, such racism and sexism comes as a huge set-back to the profession and to working women as a whole. Such irresponsible comments reflect nothing but sheer ignorance of the hostile conditions in which the majority of nurses in this country work. That these highly skilled women professionals are being overworked across most hospitals and are underpaid as contractual staff nurses is, of course, of little concern to Mr Vishwas.

Centre for Struggling Women (CSW), along with many nurses’ associations and individual activists, openly condemns the statements passed by Kumar Vishwas, and we demand an apology from the AAP on the conduct of its member in this regard. CSW has been working amongst nurses, especially those who are caught in un-remunerative and insecure work contracts in private hospitals. As a result, the organization is well aware of the day-to-day harassment that nurses across hospitals face at the hands of other hospital staff, visitors and patients. Uninformed of the existing gender discrimination playing itself out in the job market, and ridden with an insensitive approach to working women, it is a shame that a minister of the AAP has taken it upon himself to ‘joke’ about, and therefore, to demean the highly skilled nature of work performed by nurses. Nobody who comments on the physical features of working women in the way Kumar Vishwas did, and hints that working women are a ‘distraction’, can actually represent the interests of women in any way. We strongly believe that such irresponsible behaviour normalizes the sexist attitude that generally exists towards working women.

Maya John
Convener
Centre for Struggling Women (CSW)
Add: T-44, Near Gopal Dairy, Baljeet Nagar, New Delhi-110008Contact: 9350272637, 9540716048 Email: cswdelhi@gmail.com