Women’s Empowerment: An Overview
Much has been said about equality in society where men and women are given equal importance, and also crimes against women are increasing at an alarming rate. Much has been written and spoken about who is responsible for these crimes: the man who committed the crime? Inadequate application of the law? Social attitude of looking at women? Cultural education? This is not an intellectual argument that television presenters and newspaper reporters should ‘win’. Unfortunately, whoever you feel is responsible doesn’t matter because ultimately it’s the women who have to bear the brunt.
‘Man for the field, Woman for the home’
‘The woman: an object to be used, abused and abused according to the will of man’
All of these quotes have been ringing in my ears constantly for the past few days as outrage over crimes against women continues unabated, with no respite in sight.
Don’t get me wrong, I have no doubt that the laws need to be stricter, their enforcement needs to be better, more awareness needs to be spread, better social values need to be instilled in these matters, etc. However, it is much more important for a woman to defend her rights in a male-dominated society that conveniently sees her as a Goddess when she wants to and as an ‘object of desire’ at other times. On behalf of all my fellow Indians, I am proud to say that we do not want society to worship us or give us special privileges. All we ask for is the right to exercise our rights as equal beings. The Constitution does not differentiate between the right to freedom of movement between a man and a woman—so why shouldn’t a woman go out at night like her brother, father, or husband? Man doesn’t have to think ten times about ‘inciting undesirable emotions’ in women’s minds based on her dress sense, so why should a woman think of that? Is a woman less equal just for being a woman?
What saddens me even more is that we are a country that respects Quote – Adi Shakti, Durga, Parvati, Lakshmi, Saraswati. We are a country that has witnessed a woman Prime Minister, a woman President, several women Chief Ministers, businesswomen and police chiefs. We are a country that has created special privileges for girls in primary education, work, health and social security. We are also one of the few nations in the world where women enter the military, standing shoulder to shoulder with men, accepting and taking no concessions at all, be it clothing, physical activity, or mental strain. This entry was facilitated due to the hard work and unwavering focus of the then Defense Minister, Hon. Sharad Pawar, as he strongly believed’everything a man can do, a woman can do better’.
Alas, despite all this, we are still a long way behind in changing the psyche in terms of gender equality and sensibility. There is no point in expecting men to change their thinking overnight: this change will happen and is already happening at an accelerating rate. However, the biggest change has to happen in the minds of women. They are not alone, they are not defenseless; it is only their way of thinking that makes them so. I often talk about this topic with my mother and 12-year-old daughter; Even though these women are two generations apart, I am struck by the boldness in their thinking and the candor with which they approach the issue of women’s empowerment. My mother is more thoughtful and mature in her response, while my school-going daughter always encourages me and pushes me through various examples through which she shows that she is equal in every way to her brother and to everyone else. children from your school.
In conclusion, I quote the greatest man our nation has ever produced, the Mahatma, who once said: ‘Be the change you want to see’. My Indian sisters, let us join hands and become independent, equal and free in our minds; only then will the rest of society accept us as such.