Recently I took a trip to my grandmother’s place in eastern UP in Gorakhpur. Gorakhpur is a remote place in the state of Uttar Pradesh and is still backward not just in infrastructure and amenities but also in the culture. The society of a place like that still has archaic notions and people still live by rules of the 20th century. I have been living in the metro cities for almost all my life so I had become used to this life style and society but this trip made me think again. This made me realise how different these two worlds are. Even though they are right next to one another they seem miles apart. The society in the non metro cities of our countries is still male dominated and women are supposed to live in the house and take care of the family. They are still expected to do all of that. Women there still don’t have individual identities and are identified by the male member in their family, before marriage their father and after marriage their husband. Also when I look at the women in the metro cities, they are so independent and confident and can take care of themselves, this is in great contrast to women in the rural areas, who are still under confident about themselves and need their husbands for everything. They need their husband’s approval for every small things and decision, they do not, rather cannot make decisions on their own.
Not just the there is a fundamental difference in the way the society works in the rural and urban areas. In the rural areas societies still are male centric and treat the women in the family differently. The male members in the family are given more priority and importance compared to women. Just men are considered the bread winner of the family and women are just to marry off. This is still the culture there. The girls in these areas are still kept behind the veil in the family and are not allowed to face the real world for themselves. Rather them educating them and sending them to college so that they can make something of themselves, they are kept at home and taught the household chores. Not just this they are married off pretty young also, and this vicious cycle continues as the women are not educated enough to realize that there is so much more they can do and the men are just happy to let the things continue the way they are.
This is not just where the disparity ends, due this lack of education and neglect women in the rural areas face a lot of problems as well. Women are victims to many diseases which could have been prevented or treated in time had they were not neglected.
The women in the urban areas are very different from these women in the rural areas and so is their situation. The women in the urban areas are independent and self reliant. These women can take care of themselves and are not at all neglected, they are given just as much a right and opportunity as the men in the urban society. And this just does not apply to the well to do sections of the society but rather to every household in the urban areas. Be it the high class or the lower middle class, there is no discrimination among women in this society. In the urban areas women are much more confident and resourceful, they know how to live in the world and can carry themselves off very well. The society also does not discriminate against women and treats them equally. Women here have individual identities of themselves are not dependent on anybody for anything.
Women in the urban areas are very different from the women in rural areas in many many aspects. They are taking control of their lives and are not bound by the society in any way. They are responsible for their decisions and no one even forces them to do anything. They have freedom to live their life the way they want to in contrast to rural areas where the male members decide the fate of the women in the family.
I was aghast to see such a contrast in these two worlds. Such a drastic change in the thinking of people living side by side. Me being from a metro city and having lived independently all my life was shocked at the disparity and felt suffocated to see how ignorant the women are. It made me sad to see a India where everyone is not given the same opportunities. A country where still in many places women are still treated as cattle and are not given the freedom to lead their own lives. Seeing women being dependent on their husbands to a point where they cannot even travel alone, still wearing a sari to please the society and still being guided through life by their male counterparts like cattle made me realise that probably the advancement we all talk about is still limited only to the metro cities.