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Women - the 'Indian' way

India has a reputation of respecting women, including treating her as a Goddess. The birth of a girl, so goes a popular Hindu saying,is akin to the arrival of Goddess Lakshmi - the harbinger of wealth. Also many would argue that in today's day and age of technology and global power, India, especially Indian women, have advanced leaps and bounds. Then why is it that the statistics and figures tell a different story? Some of the most advanced states of India, record the highest number of crimes against women. Also it is alarming to know that violence against women is on the rise, in the same country where politicians and bureaucrats claim a 'shining' India on one hand, while the women folk are still under extreme darkness. They say rapists should be severely punished but also blame the victims for wearing provocative clothes. In such hypocrisy and double standards, many a times the victim feels cheated and helpless. A recent survey done by a leading foundation, placed India among the worst place for women in the top 19 economies of the world. The survey which polled 370 gender specialists, found women in India at risk of life even before they were born, because of the nation's obsession for a male child. Dowry deaths and brutal honour killings are still common in some parts of India. The family ( mostly patriarchal) under extreme societal pressure decides to brutally murder their own daughters if she chooses to marry a boy outside her community/ caste, in the name of preserving and maintaining family's name. Yes we do have a female head of Government, and women holding challenging positions in various fields, but scratch a little deeper, and out comes the harsh truth. A recent incident which fits perfectly in this scenario, left us all shocked to say the least. In one of our states of India, where women were thought to be relatively safer compared to other states, a teenage girl, was publicly stripped, molested, and pulled by her hair by a mob of men,all this done in the full view of authorities who had the responsibility of protecting her. The incident did leave the country shocked and appropriate arrests were also made. But was it enough? Don't we need a radical shift in our psyche regarding freedom enjoyed by women. The liberty of leading one's life in their own way should not depend on the gender of the human. It is disheartening to know that such kind of 'indoctrination' of inequality starts very early on in our lives. At home, it is sometimes the mother, who submit themselves to patriarchy, just to survive in her own household. And the practice is followed on by her son, who expects the same from his wife. This cycle of patriarchy needs to break to give rise to equality.The government promises to do more but it is time, the womenfolk stood up for their beliefs and dignity. As rightly told by judge Katju " laws alone can only play 20 % of the role in empowering women in our country". 80% of the role will be played by education, by changing the mindset, the mentality of (some) men who are still to a large extent feudal-minded which means they regard women as inferior." Hope that day comes soon when equality is not only taught, but also practised by one and all.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Ending Violence Against Women Digital Action Campaign.

World Pulse believes that women's stories, recommendations, and collective rising leadership can—and will—bring an end to gender-based violence. The EVAW Campaign elicits powerful content from women on the ground, strengthens their confidence as vocal grassroots leaders, and ensures that influencers and powerful institutions hear their stories.
Learn more »

Comments

amiesissoho's picture

Laws are there to protect the

Laws are there to protect the vulnerable and ensure justice; but there is need to change of mindset of not only the men but also the women who are the gatekeeper. Great piece!

Amie

Mukut's picture

Thank You

Very rightly said dear friend. Because of distorted psyches and ineffective laws, the already oppressed continue to suffer more. This needs to stop.

Thank You for your comments.

Mukut Ray

I very much appreciate your piece and you will go far bringing women of India to a better standard of living! As you said, education is key, not just of women, but of men who continue the cycle of patriarchy with each new generation. There should be classes in each school in each country that empowers men and women, girls and boys to realize that half of the population is being held back. With equality, this half of the population can bring wealth to the whole family/country...isn't that logic enough to encourage everyone to change? I mean, some people can't change but instead of focusing on those that can't, we should focus on those who can, those who haven't become hardened in their ways...YOU are the future and I know you will do great things for your country...I wish you all the success in the world, the future is YOU!! And if you ever feel alone, know there are many of those just like you who work tirelessly and thanklessly for change...a special place in heaven is reserved for you my friend..

Your Friend,
Nicholas

Mukut's picture

Thank You

Thank you so much dear Nicholas for your kind and encouraging words. You are absolutely right when you say that empowerment should be for both men and women so that the cycle of patriarchy is broken. I completely agree with you.

Education is the key for future,for men and women.It begins at home, because what we learn from our parents, goes on to shape our psyche and mindset.

Thank you again for your lovely words.

Lots of love and hugs,

Mukut Ray

SaiKiGo's picture

Love your thoughts and ideas!

Thank you for your article Mukut! You really brought to life the real situation of women in India today. I completely agree with you as well, laws and policies go only so far in helping to alleviate the situation. However, as you mentioned with your example of the women stripped in front of authorities, corruption within the ruling political organizations and local police authorities inhibits enforcement of these laws as well. So it really is an entire systemic problem! Out of curiosity, it would be great to hear some of your ideas on how communities can become better educated, since I completely agree with you, education is a key piece of the puzzle. I'd also be curious to hear your thoughts on how women are treated between different social/economic classes - is there much of a difference depending on level of affluence? Once again, great job, your thoughts have really provided a new level of awareness :)

Sincerely,
Kiran.

Sai Kiran Gopie
Hon. BSc, MBA
www.socialgood2pt0.ca
http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/sai-kiran-gopie/5/543/2a
Twitter: @SaiKiranGopie

Mukut's picture

Thank you

Thank you so much Sai Kiran for stopping by and for your generous comments.

Education remains a key issue in helping to build better communities and a better nation. More importantly, education of a girl child remains the single most important factor in pulling a nation out of regressive and outdated norms.

I would love to share more stories on women and the various problems they face.There are many and each story needs to be told. Each story deserves to be shared.

Once again, thank you and lots of love for sharing your thoughts with me.

Much love,

Mukut Ray

nusrat1977's picture

Wonderful thoughts and ideas!

Dear Mukut,
Wonderful piece of writing! Yes, women empowerment needs a lot of issues to be settled down and most importantly as you pointed out it is ‘education’ of both men and women, which not only teaches them how to read, write and earn a degree but enlightens their heart and mind, to teach them to distinguish between right and wrong and respect for everyone’s right and dignity.

Rightly said, I wish and hope the day comes soon that we don't have to struggle for our basic fundamental rights to live, I too hope equality does not remain confined to books and moral stories but we see it in practice by everyone. We need to keep our hope alive and till that point we have to remain strong and keep inspiring each other. Within our limits, whatever best possible we should keep working for a better change.

Thank you for sharing so nice thoughts.
With best wishes and love
Nusrat

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. ..........Hellen Keller

Mukut's picture

Thank you Nusrat

Nusrat,

Thank you so much for reading my article and sharing your thoughts. As you say,education should not only be about earning a degree but also about enlightening our mind and soul.

Thank you for stopping by.

Much love,

Mukut Ray

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