After dealing with the beauty of a girl child, I decided to write on my sister’s insistence about the empowerment of women. This topic has been dealt recently at several forums, news, articles etc in the wake of events like ban on documentary film India’s Daughter and Uber rape incident.
For Her, Chapter 2
During initial days of various human civilizations across the world, women enjoyed equal status in their respective societies. They played an equally important role as their male counterparts. No religious ceremony is complete without participation of women. They made decisions, they wrote books and they had fought and did almost all the things in nation building. But eventually, due to the autocratic and patriarch dominance of males in the society and advances in civilization, society had started treating women as household objects denying them freedom and respect. It continued and even worsened in the coming centuries.
A woman plays diverse roles in her lifetime. As a mother, wife, daughter and caretaker she makes significant sacrifices in her life right from her childhood. Sacrifice of a chocolate for her brother and a compromise in her job for the sake of her family and children. They are many more things which women sacrifice for the society. But the society has not sacrificed anything significant for empowering women.
We celebrate Women’s day every year to signify her greatness and importance in developing the society. Several great personalities have stood as an example to motivate women to shed their apprehensions and move out of the male dominated society. Elizabeth of England who ruled undisputedly for 42 years, Rudramadevi who took Kakathiya’s greatness across the shores, Jhansi Lakshmi Bai who spearheaded our first war for independence and many more female personalities from our epics Sita, Draupadi, Savithri etc showcased the power of women and their capability to do anything.
But, the present day society still acknowledges women as a weak person. Sexual harassment, discrimination against them, female infanticide, dwindling sex ratios are still hampering the society. Persistent health, education and economic participation gaps are acting as main deterrents to the growth. Many complex laws exists which need to be altered and new laws be implemented for the empowerment of women.
Education plays a vital role in women empowerment. Proper education should be provided. All the schools are teaching that men and women are equal. Children are studying that men and women are equal. Our constitution declares that men and women are equal. Everybody says that men and women are equal. But are we really practicing them? Are we really following their teachings? Why these olden days apprehensions and practices are hampering the growth of women? Why women are considered only as household objects? When does society recognize the beauty and elegance of having a girl child?
There are several discriminations going on at work places. They are not given due credit for their hard work. They are sidelined for promotions and perks only for the reason that she is a female. These barriers make it difficult for women to advance in their career and receive fair compensation for the work they meticulously performed. There is an urgent need to empower women to the extent that no man should dare to say that women are inferior to men.
The subject of women empowerment in the developing and third world countries is worse. Women here are still subject to ‘honor killings’, they are still denied their basic rights to education and freedom, and face violence and abuse. In few Indian poor families girls were considered as temporary people who would cease to exist, at least for their fathers, once they are married. In many places in India, domestic violence is acceptable to women, and cultural and ethical implications are imposed on their freedom. What does that mean? It would be wrong to state that nothing has changed as a number of local, national and international organizations are working together to mitigate the problems, yet there is a long way to go.
All the women empowerment schemes by successive governments and NGOs is not enough to uplift them. Perception of society should change. A sexual filthy comment by a man when he looks at woman in public should be replied strongly. Shamelessly, even educated are perceiving them as weaker citizens and this take it easy attitude towards women should be changed.
A lot has been heard about empowering women till now. There were several social reformers, NGOs and government initiatives which worked for the empowerment of women. A lot has been done for that cause and still even more is needed to be done. From Alaska to Japan and from Arctic to Antarctic, there is gender difference plaguing the society from centuries. A female is always treated as a second gender and is not treated as one among the genders.
Now looking at the other side of coin, our successive governments introduced several acts and laws to empower women. Unfortunately, these laws are misused in public. In recent times, several false accusations have been reported against innocent people. Few women are taking advantage of these laws and accusing their husbands and colleagues for harassment. This is very dangerous to the gender harmony in the society.
Women empowerment should come at everywhere. At home, school, office and public places. Women are not just women. They are the embodiment for greatness, sacrifice and calmness. A country is deemed to be developed only every woman in it is happy. So, empower women to empower the nation.
Feature Image Photo credit: Strength of a woman by Yug_and_her, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Read also: For Her
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