India’s cultural and tourism minister has caused controversy after suggesting that female tourists should avoid wearing short dresses or skirts when visiting the country.
Speaking from Agra, the country’s cultural and tourism minister Mahesh Sharma stated that “Indian culture is different from western culture,” and warned female tourists against wearing short dresses or skirts.
The comments were made in reference to a female-focused welcome pack which was made available to foreign arrivals in the country last year, in which tourists are advised not to go out alone at night, to take note of the registration plate of cars they travel in and, according to Sharma, not to wear skirts.
After a series of sexual assault cases in the country, the comments have caused backlash with some arguing they reflect a culture of victim blaming.
Check out the Foreign Office’s travel advice for visitors to India here.