When we talk about women, the instant thoughts that spring up our minds are of Feminism, equal rights for women, equality in education, protection at work-place and college-campus, reservations and so on.
Women have been suppressed since time immemorial. Across the centuries, women have been under-represented and at various levels from familial to academic to professional. Name a field where you will not find women being under-represented. We all know the fact that women were and are deprived of their natural entitlement. These entitlements could be anything from basic needs of food, shelter and clothing to something universal like education and earning a living.
Both the genders today, today talk about equal rights to women. But what are these equal rights and why do we need to talk about these rights? Fundamental Rights of earning a living, Rights to education, No discrimination or bias on grounds of one’s sex are the rights that we fight for and are the rights that are most talked about. If at all we all have forgotten, there are certain rights that are must haves and are not described by constitution, because these rights come into existence when every individual is born. These are the Moral and Natural Rights of every citizen of each country across the world. These are the rights grounded in moral and ethical standards. Imagine for yourself, if every individual followed integrity and certain code of conduct in their day-to-day life, would there have been rapes, assaults, molestations? Of course, not!
Talk about rights not in a larger perspective, but the primary level of social institutions like families, friends, schools and significant others who have direct influences on us. Think of the influences that people from these institutions had on you. There will always be good and bad memories. As a grown up and as a woman, what kind of memories can you bring on to your head? Gay ones or the Gloomy ones? I bet, there ain’t women who have had never been assaulted in their lifetime or had been victims of molestation in childhood at least. The accused could have been your own uncle, cousin, friend, father or someone whom you knew. Think for yourself! I might be exaggerating at this point, but correct me if I am wrong. Child abuse is a heinous crime, but the children are often asked to keep their mouths shut if the accused turns out to be a family member. The trauma that the child suffers at a tender age, has a lasting effect at the adulthood. How ethical is this? More than half of the crimes against child abuse and sexual abuse against women go unnoticed and most often are not reported.
Women in urban India are little more aware of their rights and the necessary action to be taken on the crime committed, but what about the women in rural India and slums of this Urban India? Are these women aware of their rights? We go gaga over equality and equal opportunities to women from different strata of societies, but are these attempts being fulfilled even at the lowest of its level? Various activists come into picture only after the crime being committed, why do they not act before hand to educate women about their rights? If not about rights then at least on their general title as women in society.
We live and breathe in a patriarchal society. We are culture-specific. Our actions are bound by religion and society that we live in. But what religion is is that does not protect its women from the atrocities? Does religion teach men to rape, to sexually abuse children? I do not say that all men are criminals, but not all of them are good too. We- the woman of this land are taught to be submissive. Why?! Why is it always that a man has to decide our fate may it be our father, our husband or anyone who is at the authority? They can molest us, assault us, ask for dowry from our families, rape, burn and kills us and sell us without our consent. Why? Why are we women so weak to even tolerate this kind of treatment? How ironical it is that a woman who gives birth to mankind, is set on fire, hanged, manhandled and God knows what all acts of horrid injustice she goes through!
True that some women are strong enough to speak out, but what about the majority struck in human trafficking? These women who are imported and exported like a commodity set for trade how will they speak out and to whom? There is no escape for these women who live under slavery of most cruel kind. They live under dire circumstances until some Police raid takes place on the brothels are whorehouses they are made to stay in. How bad can it get!
Residing in a patriarchal society does not by any chance mean that you have to be submissive and tolerate the intolerable acts. Raise your voice. Read, Learn and Grow. Speak up for yourself. A woman needs to self-educate herself for being able enough to protect herself and her rights. Rights are not just about women, while protecting a woman’s rights it should also be taken care that men are not underrepresented. People talk about Rights for women, why has this necessity arisen? Why not we kill our inner demons and live in harmony?There would never arise a question of rights then. Women are the pillars of this humanity, sometimes sweet, sometimes tolerant, sometimes compassionate and stubborn if needed, they owe respect. Our conscience will Definitely lead us to the path of morality. Respect Women!