Tourism Minister to Women: Avoid Short Skirts While Visiting India
But it's not a dress code, he clarifies
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2016 5:48 PM CDT
Tourists crowd the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013.   (AP Photo/Pawan Sharma)

(Newser) – Visiting India? According to the country's tourism minister, foreign women shouldn't wear short dresses or skirts while there. They also shouldn't walk alone at night. Both of those tips are included in the safety advice given to women in a welcome kit tourists receive when they enter the country, Mahesh Sharma said recently, explaining that "Indian culture is different from the western" when it comes to things like clothing.

The comments come amid a slew of sexual assaults and attacks on both locals and female tourists in India, and caused a bit of an outcry, per the Guardian: The "irresponsible" remarks illustrate "the syndrome of blaming women" for assaults, says one gender equality advocate. On Sunday, Sharma clarified that there is no dress code for tourists, and that his office is just trying to get women to "take precaution while going out at night."