Richa Chadha says there is a lot of stigma attached to sexual crime that sometimes it’s impossible to get even the bravest women to speak up.
Last year, the Indian audience saw Chadha in ‘Love Sonia’, a film which deals with the topic of human trafficking.
The Tabrez Noorani directorial released in the UK last week. To promote the film, the Indian actress appeared on a show hosted by Victoria Derbyshire. She also used the platform to speak about a variety of issues, including the #MeToo movement — a global movement which is against sexual harassment and assault.
“It’s upsetting that those women who have come out and spoken, many of them have received death threats, rape threats, for some their livelihood has been snatched away,” said Chadha. “Primarily, there’s an issue of will and consent. There are many cases where a woman may have given the consent to sleep with somebody, but her will may not have been there because they will have a position of authority or power over the woman which they can blatantly abuse.
“So, this is a very tricky territory which we need to figure out to make this work, to create a supportive environment for women who speak out. The term for rape in Hindi is ‘izzat lootna’. Its literal translation is losing your dignity. So, there’s so much stigma attached to any kind of sexual crime that sometimes, it’s impossible to get the bravest women to speak out...because this then, becomes that one thing that defines them,” she added.
Speaking about the harsh standards of beauty for women, Chadha added: “Today, it can be very confusing for young women... what you’re supposed to do with your body. I believe that one should be healthy and exercise.
“Everybody should be allowed to be happy in their own skin without being called ‘lazy’ or ‘unprofessional’ or ‘anorexic’ or ‘not womanly’ enough. It’s so harsh for women to keep up and adhere to these standards.”