Explaining this, Mandira Bedi, who is currently associated with Breast Cancer Initiative said, “More incidents of similar kind after the Delhi gang rape are coming to the forefront. People are less fearful to report these incidents and hence the mushrooming of these incidents in the newspapers. Serious change in the society takes time and the gang rape captured the outrage of the nation. Now we do not have to protest anymore but it is a step towards empowerment.”
The ground realities might still be the same but awareness level is more and that in itself is a change. Initially, people never used to talk about abuse, rape or sex crimes but now at least we are talking about it.
This International Women's Day, we have to look at an important question. Will women always be helpless because clearly we do not have the muscle power? Madhuri Banerjee, author of ‘Mistakes Like Love And Sex’, pointed out, “Women should not feel helpless but they should also understand that looking at life through rose tinted glasses is not going to keep you safe. You must carry a pepper spray if possible, learn some martial arts, and protect yourself if you’re walking alone at night in alleys by being aware of who is around.”
“You should keep friends informed about your location, spend a little more in taking a cab back home instead of being overtly brave and using public transport sometimes, and learn to not trust strangers as much. I’m not saying do it every day. I’m saying be aware of when you need to. Stop being a good girl and be a safe girl!”
Caution is important but so is the crucial change in the mindset, as was pointed out by Bedi. “Education means opportunity. As long as women are not educated they are not independent financially, mentally and that is the only way a women can be emancipated and not feel helpless,” Bedi told this citizen journalist .
While the fundamentals are being questioned by everyone in the society, government on the other hand is trying to 'help' the cause by announcing funds. The recent Nirbhaya fund was under debate as people were both for and against the move.
Dibya Shikha, a student of political science and one of the few who protested against the Delhi gang rape case till the very end said, “Announcement of 'Nirbhaya Fund' is nothing but a 'political gimmick' made in a hurried manner to gain some 'brownie points' in upcoming elections. Justice Verma rightly said that without larger changes in society and system this fund is of no use. Fund of Rs 1000 crore is too short for the medical assistance and rehabilitation of the rape survivors. If government had been serious on this issue then they would have incorporated all the recommendation of Verma committee and made changes and allocated fund according to that.”
However, Madhuri Banerjee has a different take. She feels that even if it is a political move, then also something positive is being done and that in itself is reassuring.
Many in our society feel that if women are liberated, society will be fragmented; divorce rate would go up and in all, society will suffer. To these kinds of people Shikha, Bedi as well as Banerjee have the same thing to say: the age-old patriarchal mindset needs to change. The human dignity and respect to women should be maintained as fragmenting of society does not happen due to one person. If two people are married, then it requires two people to break that marriage.
Thus, this women's day take a pledge to spread awareness and quoting Gandhi I would say, 'Be the change you want to see.'
The most popular citizen journalists' reports on merinews chosen automatically on the basis of views and comments
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