LONDON - Actress Huma Qureshi says she has had to deal with people making sexual advances at her, not only in the cinema industry but by people from different professions.
Asked about sexual exploitation and harassment of women, Huma said: “Well, as a woman, absolutely, I have had to deal with people making advances at me, but not just people from the business of film industry, but people across different professions and different strata. I think it has a lot to do with power, it is not only limited to the film business.”
Here for the 71st Cannes Film Festival as a brand ambassador for Grey Goose, Huma engaged in a freewheeling interview with this correspondent on the #MeToo movement, freedom of expression and the situation of women in India, besides her own journey.
She said for many women at the receiving end, it becomes difficult to come out and speak. “In India and elsewhere in the world, the moment a woman speaks out against harassment, people sort of start making all sorts of character judgments about her, about her morality, about what she was wearing and all such things and I think that is not fair,” she added.
“If a woman is saying something out loud, she is asking for help and you have no business to character assassinating her. You have to reach out to her and help her and protect her and I think we need to protect our women and we need to protect our children.”
On the spate of incidents involving rapes of minors in India, Huma said the incidents showed the need for a major change, and from within. “Only laws cannot help, the change has to be more profound and more voluntary and from within,” she said.