Women and Child Development Ministry has proposed amendments in Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act (IRWA)- 1986 keeping in mind the recent technological advancement in the field of communications.
The Ministry has proposed amendment in definition of term advertisement to include digital and electronic forms or hoardings, or through SMS and MMS. It has also suggested creation of a Centralised Authority under the aegis of National Commission of Women.
This Authority will have representatives from Advertising Standards Council of India, Press Council of India, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and one member having experience of working on women issues.
It will be authorized to receive complaints or grievances regarding any programme or advertisement broadcast or publication and examine all matters relating to the indecent representation of women.
Currently, the Act prohibits indecent representation of women through advertisements, publications, writings, paintings, figures or in any other manner.
Since the enactment of the Act, technological revolution has resulted in the development of new forms of communication like Internet, multi-media messaging, cable television and applications including Skype, WhatsApp and Instagram.
In view of this, it has been decided to widen the scope of the law to cover such forms of media on one hand and to strengthen the existing safeguards to prevent indecent representation of women.