“A woman is like a tea-bag. You do not know how strong she is, until you dip her in hot water.”
Inarguably, the patriarchal norms of society promote sexual slavery. The late 1900’s, witnessed significant movements to curb male domination. The relationship between patriarchy and gender bias has been much debated, acted upon, so as to establish the subordinate position of women in the society. Needless to say, the fairer sex continues to be deprived to this day and most efforts and attempts to liberate women, have failed miserably. Most countries have not settled issues pertaining to women’s rights. It is such a shame to see Burqa clad women in countries that claim to have achieved the standards of civilization. Women have been successfully robbed off their dignity, self-esteem, self-respect. Not to mention, violation of basic rights of freedom, liberty, equality is rampant in almost all parts of the country.
Blood curdling misfortunate stories of the Delhi rape case, the Kalpana Giri murder mystery adds perspective to the low standards that women of all strata of the society are delineated too. Be it an average middle class girl or someone involved in politics. As much as I am ashamed to admit it, even teenage girls and college students are not spared these days. The need for the hour is to curtail squeamishness about burning issues such as rape, sexual assault, and other atrocities that women are subjected to. Victimization of the girl or woman who has been sexually assaulted is a cowardly attitude. She did not choose to get raped. She does not deserve to be shunned by society. One of the primary reasons why rape victims hesitate to lodge complaints is owing to the prejudice they face later. In most circumstances, the poor victim is inflicted torture not only by the neighbours but also by her own family. Cases of women being deserted and disowned by the family members have been recorded too. The message should be received loud and clear. It is never the victims fault. This is not only in case of rape. Failed marriages too are blamed on the female counterpart. It is illogical and to a last extent, biased. Why should the blame and responsibility of a marriage that both the spouse were supposed to work on, be vested solely on her? Take dowry for example. It is nothing short of commoditization of women. Are females not human beings? It is almost conventional that rapes shall be hushed up. What does appear to have distorted the ideas of justice are the layers of red tape that the governmental proceedings are steeped in. It takes several years for rape cases or those associated with child abuse to be addressed by the judicial system. When female foeticide looms large as the next high ranking crime, the nation remains ignorant of the steep sex-ratio in most rural areas. What can be said about discrimination right from the womb, except of course how heinous and immoral it is?
The country needs to act immediately to materialize women empowerment. Feminist point of views should be considered. In all spheres of life, women should be vested with rights, scope of participation and ample possibilities for improvement. For instance, in the outskirts, most NGO’s have set up small scale industries that can offer employment to the rural women so that they can be as much the bread-winner as the males of the household. Women are taught food processing such as making jams, jellies and other edible products. Even handloom sectors go a long way in empowering women by helping them establish their own identity. Besides the women’s rights measures, care must be taken to treat the female section of the society with the respect and protection that they deserve. Labels of the weaker sex, inferior in capabilities, should be removed from our minds and hearts. Education is a must. Even in the backward areas, women should be given proper education. With knowledge comes the wisdom to stand up for oneself. In these rough times, girls, ladies and women alike should take a brave step and be responsible for upholding their statues a first-grade citizen. Rape, dowry, acid-assaults, domestic violence, marital rape should be tackled with strength, fortitude and the right steps for justice.
Are we, as Indians not failing to give women their rights and freedom? How did a country that boasts of housing the marvellously sculptured temple at Khajurao, worships female deities across the length and breadth of the nation, stoop so low, so as to indulge in misogyny. There is no denying that women are still trampled under the severe discrimination that they have to confront in almost all aspects of their lives. As a nation that can claim to have acted as an origin to the Kama sutra, we should give a minute’s thought to the way women are treated in the present scenario and make the world a better place for them to live in. Let us not be a nation that fails to attach importance to its women.
A hot flame, it should be driven towards women being empowered with knowledge, basic rights, dignity and protection. What is detrimental about the sentence, “Rapes hardly come as a shock these days”, is that it is a shame for us to be a part of such a dysfunctional and mislead society. The road ahead calls for discarding of the gender bias and instead adopting strong sexual morals.