India maybe a larger than life country with an even larger than life population. And with a population so large, we do our best possible to live upto the maxim ‘Unity in Diversity’. Yet again, with all the unity, there still exists some division, some differentiation. Asking us how? We say Gender Bias. Women constitute a major part of the weaker sections of our society. Ever wondered what the 21st century Indian woman is all about?
Amrietaa speaks up, as she introduces you to the typical 21st century lady and to some of the challenges that she faces.
Most Indian women are faced with duties they just can’t shirk off. With multiple roles to play, she does them all with elan, but is even exploited multiple times in the course. Being a homemaker, whilst dealing with corporate affairs – no one does this better than a woman. And inspite of all this, gender based discrimination prevails in the unorganized sector of the economy. Women are sexually exploited at the workplace. Their refusals are often succeeded by further exploitation in form of mental harassment.
In Ancient India, women enjoyed equal education and freedom as the men. It was only in the beginning of Medieval India (when India was being constantly invaded by others) that the Manusmriti came into existence. The scripture that was to be used as a guide to protect Indian women at all stages of her life, ended up dictating her freedom. And with a lot of emphasis laid on patriarchy (father’s lineage control) all of which made the females dependent. The Manusmriti stated that ‘women are meant to be beaten up like a drum’ so as to keep them from going astray. As a result, direct comparison of women to commodities emerged. The book, did in no way serve the purpose it was intended to. The Manusmriti may as well be called the root cause behind the changed status of Indian women in society.
Today Indian society is in a transitional phase. However, sadly the modernization is wrongly being interpreted as westernization. The pretense of westernization on the part of women and permissive behavior invites trouble for them in the form of ‘eve-teasing’. And this eve-teasing is more often than not taken pride in. But there’s only so much a woman can do when a man letches at her heaving bosom caused only by breath in-takes. Whoever said that staring isn’t harassment afterall?
The built-in dichotomy in the average Indian middle class male makes him feel both attracted and repulsed by the female. A healthy interaction between males and females is the need of the hour. It is a shame that India is topping charts as a country unsafe for women. The khap panchayat prefers to blame chowmein and a pair of jeans for women victimized by rapists (based on a theory that spicy foods like, chowmein incites sexual feelings). Yet, we are a country where women who adorn burqas make up for 48% of raped women.
Statistics report that 78 out of every 100 girls are killed during infancy. One woman is molested every 26 minutes. A million girls go missing, just while another million – victimized of rape and reeling under mental trauma – are dead within. India is not completely free of social vices yet.
We reside in a country that practices dowry for sake of social prestige. The lure of money makes the educated society seek personal interests. The legal provisions seem inadequate when those involved in the crime move about scot-free. And there is only unemployment and wide economic disparity along with the heterogeneous nature of the urban community to blame.
While education and awareness of rights amongst women has made little difference. Women get advised to abstain from revealing clothes, leaving their home late in the night. All of this while, it is nobody but the criminals mental illness to blame for.
While it may not be true for the whole of India, but the country still has appalling situations, where girls fear leaving their homes in broad daylight too. What has become of the country? Well, we don’t know either.
A woman of the 21st century wants to stand up, speak for herself, fight back. But with the patriarchal society that she lives in and with complete lack of support, is she positioned to do that? The answer is a loud booming NO. Have views? Want to speak up? Fight Back? Disagree with us? Tell us about it all in the comments section.