Women: Strength of a society By Shristi Srivastava

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Whenever one says “Women empowerment”, we only take men as the standard, thats a wrong way of looking at it. Let’s take women as the standard if we really want to be somewhere on the top of the world platform.It’s time to say, that “give us some time and spare us some time to say “me”, its all about right, and not about education (a woman who’s not educated dosen’t mean that she stops proving herself a woman or she doesn’t need to be empowered), its time to give niche to a woman to think about herself and her rights”.Recently on 8th March we celebrated “INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY” with the theme “I AM GENERATION EQUALITY: REALISING WOMEN’S RIGHTS” , declared by United Nations.

Let’s begin with few questions.

Are the women of todays 21st century getting enough “me” time?

Now the question is about ‘me’ time- time for oneself (a woman).What i think is that, women are getting opportunities to excel themselves in their respective sectors but when it comes to their rights and dignity, they lag somewhere behind the stage.Although we have panels and discussions, certain rights and laws for women, they have been implemented too and are written into the constitution but the society is so patriarchal that it is becoming a barrier for the women to come out of their contours of their house and take a stand for themselves.Some sections of the society still think of restricting women to the household only. Living within the inequalities every woman can’t say that ‘yes! we are getting a “me” time.

Is women’s Day only about tokenism or are we really serious when we talk about Women empowerment in India today?

Image Credit : UN

Taking this question into account the first thing that clicks into my mind is the Law and order“– needs to be improved.We are residing in an era where rhetoric speeches influences the public  more than the rhetoric actions.Here, i mean that people claim to do lots of things for the benefit of women but fail when it comes to implement it and convert them into action. Women are still fighting to win the battle of 33% reservation in the Indian parliament, which even we don’t know when will they succeed in achieving that and the administrators talk about equality. Are we really in the right direction? I don’t think so, because the way we are heading to achieve this equality will never bear fruits unless and untill speeches of the politicians will not become ‘authentic’.Only Celebrating INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY and declaring themes will not take us anywhere.

Is paternalism an issue behind the inequality that has superseded women from men?

Paternalism is not just an Indian issue but is also the issue of the entire globe.We have had societies that have had paternalistic attitudes and continued to have many forms of that.’Male ego’ can be the origin of paternalism.Since the age of Mughals, men have continued their practice of dominating the women and the world.Let me give an example that is still prevalent in most of the indian societies, is the tradition that a woman or a girl child of the house eat at the last when all men finish their food and sometimes what happens is, enough food is also not left for them to fill up their stomach which might also become a major cause for malnutrition.This becomes the evidence of inequality for women which begins at home and there are many such evidences.This needs to be changed as soon as possible.We have a great advantage in having the world’s largest democracy because democracy is a great leveler.

Now my question hour is over.Let’s come to some other points.

Women’s achievements

Every week we see numerous of examples of women achieving something or the other.Most of the women are now fortunate enough that they are at the peak of the success like reaching the Mt.Everest, winning the Oscars, fighting as a wrestler, flying an aircraft, becoming toppers of competitive examinations and many more things.

    Yes! We are the winners

  • Galia Moss- 1st Latin American woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean
  • Asnaini Mirzan-1st and only female head in Acech(Indonesia)
  • Arunima Sinha-1st woman to climb Mt. Everest
  • Arati Saha- 1st woman to cross the English Channel
  • Kalpana Chawla- 1st woman of India to reach the space

 Even those women or girls who are reading this article are lucky too that they are at least have learning and reading capacity in this unequal world, but that doesn’t mean that we have got this problem kicked off.We do have problems where women are still being discriminated against in the country.

In todays scenario, politicians are reaching out to women in a way that they didn’t used to(back to 90’s) because half of the ballot box gets filled up by women candidates (once they started thinking and voting independently).Having democracy gives us fundamental constitutional rights and hope that we are now stepping towards the right direction.

Women as being equal

Image Credit : UN

Yes, the glass is half full in India because the constitution and the law provides a forward looking environment for women. On the other hand, you can say that the glass is still 3/4th empty because the society continues to be patriarchal and it doesn’t treat women as equal.This recognizes that yet there is no equality for women.Therefore, they need a little bit boost to reach that place.

Now let me bring one more thing into broader perspective that those girls and women who are educated, professional, studying, having a goal in life, think, that all the women are equally getting the opportunities as they are getting but that’s not true at all.Look at the bulk of women in India, they’re not even in a position to transcend the limitations, put up on them by the the society and they’re are the one who need help.

Statistics of the latest UN report says that ‘India’ figures 148th position in the community of nations as far as participation of women in governance is concerned. Countries such as Norway which introduce special measures for women to participate in governance have more than 40% participation and it helped them too, it didn’t created hindrance.So when we stand on a ‘false pride’ (i prefer to call because there are so many women who need that boost, that help), we shouldn’t be.

So the people are requested to look at this worldwide problem on a broader basis rather than only through the prism of individualism.

Though there are many more issues that needs to be encountered under the umbrella of this topic but now, i conclude my words by asserting that” Its not only the battle between men and women only but also for women to take themselves forward on the front stage and fight for their rights and dignity”.