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Women empowerment in India, still a distant dream
Though India is developing economically and technologically by leaps and bounds, women here still continue to be discriminated. With illegal female infanticide on the rise, authorities need to check the growing imbalance in the society.
Jawaharlal Nehru had said “You can tell the condition of the nation by looking at the status of women.”
 
And the following phrase of Manusmriti, “Na Stree Swathantryam Arhati” (woman is undeserving for independence), reflects our whole attitude towards women in our country. Woman suffers discrimination and injustice in all stages of her life.
 
Declining sex ratio portrays our discrimination shown towards her even at the stage of birth. Often the lame excuse is women are the ‘weaker sex’! But biological evidence proves, due to the presence of two X hormones women are more resistant to diseases compared to men. Life expectancy is a proof of this (In our country life expectancy of women is 65 whereas for men it’s only 60 years).
 
Census 2001 shows our national sex ratio as 921:1000 (921 females for 1000 males), and this will lead to detrimental social problems if not corrected. The main reason for this is female infanticide.
 
Gender wise abortions are on the rise. In economically developed states such as Haryana and Punjab the tendency is found to be more. Abortion though legal in our country, gender based abortion is a crime here. Strict measures should be taken for the implementation of Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation & Prevention of Misuse) Act 1994, which prohibits any prenatal diagnostic techniques and sex selective abortions.
 
A shocking study reveals that half of the world’s malnourished children live in India owing primarily to the lack of nutritious food available to the mother. In all the critical stages, be it infancy, childhood, adolescence or the reproductive phase many women suffer malnutrition purely due to the discrimination and the narrow mindsets of the society.
 
According to Mahatma Gandhi, “If you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate an entire family.” Our predominant patriarchal system doesn’t provide enough chances for women to have higher education even if they wish. Girls should be motivated to take up higher education. Universal education for all below 14 years should be strictly implemented. There is an urgent necessity of framing gender sensitive curricula at all stages of primary education to address sex-stereotyping menace.
 
Women should be allowed to work and should be provided enough safety and support to work. Legislatures such as Equal Remuneration Act, Factories Act: Constitutional safeguards such as maternity relief, and other provisions should be strictly followed. Poverty eradication policies need to be implemented. Macro economic policies would help in this drive. Through economic empowerment women’s emancipation could be realized.
 
Dowry still remains the major reason for all the discrimination and injustice shown to women. Dowry has always been an important part of Hindu marriages. Not only among Hindus, its evil tentacles are now spreading to other religions also. Although dowry was legally prohibited in 1961(Dowry Prohibition Act), it continues to be highly institutionalized.
 
It is ridiculous to see that even among highly educated sections, the articles of dowry are proudly exhibited in the marriage as a status symbol. The practice of dowry abuse is rising in India. The most severe is “bride burning”, the burning of women whose dowries were not considered sufficient by their husband or in-laws. Most of these incidents are reported as accidental burns in the kitchen or are disguised as suicide. It is evident that there exist deep-rooted prejudices against women in India.
 
Cultural practices such as these tend to subordinate women in our society. Dowry is one of those social evils that no educated woman will own up with pride; still many are adhering to it, why? Women should be more economically empowered and should be educated properly regarding the various legal provisions such as Section 498ACrPC, protection from domestic violence etc. only then only this evil menace could possibly be eradicated from Indian social system.
 
True empowerment will only be reached when women take part actively in the decision making process of our country. Women Reservation Bill that entitles to provide 33 per cent reservation in Parliament is a bill of utmost importance. The success of 73rd & 74th amendment which reserves certain number of seats for women in the local bodies should be an encouragement for the Bill to be passed at least in this current session.
 
Mainstreaming and women’s empowerment is central to human development. Empowerment of women could only be achieved if their economic and social status is improved. This could be possible only by adopting definite social and economic policies with a view of total development of women and to make them realize that they have the potential to be strong human beings.
 
The various articles of our constitution enshrine principle of gender equality. We started giving special attention to the causes of women by the fifth five-year plan. For considering the grievances and preventing the atrocities against women a National Commission for Women (NCW) was set up in 1990.
 
But despite all these measures there should be a strong determination among every man that every woman in this country should be honoured. Only then empowerment in its true meaning will be realized.
 
Swami Vivekananda had said “That country and that nation which doesn’t respect women will never become great now and nor will ever in future” and in pursuit of making India a great nation, let us work towards giving women their much deserved status.
 
 
COMMENTS (68)
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shefali
This is a beautiful article: T he woman in your life...very well expressed... Tomorrow you may get a working woman, but you should marry her with these facts as well. Here is a girl, who is as much educated as you are; Who is earning almost as much as you do; One, who has dreams and aspirations just as you have because she is as human as you are; One, who has never entered the kitchen in her life just like you or your Sister haven't, as she was busy in studies and competing in a system that gives no special concession to girls for their culinary achievements One, who has lived and loved her parents & brothers & sisters, almost as much as you do for 20-25 years of her life; One, who has bravely agreed to leave behind all that, her home, people who love her, to adopt your home, your family, your ways and even your family ,name One, who is somehow expected to be a master-chef from day #1, while you sleep oblivious to her predicament in her new circumstances, environment and that kitchen One, who is expected to make the tea, first thing in the morning and cook food at the end of the day, even if she is as tired as you are, maybe more, and yet never ever expected to complain; to be a servant, a cook, a mother, a wife, even if she doesn't want to; and is learning just like you are as to what you want from her; and is clumsy and sloppy at times and knows that you won't like it if she is too demanding, or if she learns faster than you; One, who has her own set of friends, and that includes boys and even men at her workplace too, those, who she knows from school days and yet is willing to put all that on the back-burners to avoid your irrational jealousy, unnecessary competition and your inherent insecurities; Yes, she can drink and dance just as well as you can, but won't, simply Because you won't like it, even though you say otherwise One, who can be late from work once in a while when deadlines, just like yours, are to be met; One, who is doing her level best and wants to make this most important, relationship in her entire life a grand success, if you just help her some and trust her; One, who just wants one thing from you, as you are the only one she knows in your entire house - your unstinted support, your sensitivities and most importantly - your understanding, or love, if you may call it. But not many guys understand this...... Please appreciate "HER" I hope you will do....
Mayank
The world should know the enormous harm that feminism is creating in the garb of women's rights. I have read only a few write ups about the feminist movement, the communist movement etc., but I have understood the intentions quite well and we already have the effect out there for all to see. Divorces are increasing all over India and in Mumbai, the rate of divorce is as high as 40%. Who benefits from feminism? 1. Lawyers - they can mint money as their clients increase. They can also make money through extortion using feminist laws. 2. Wicked women - they know very well that the men's rights movement is yet to take birth. They know that this is the peak of feminism, more or less and that laws, media and society is in favour of women. They hook guys, enjoy for sometime and for trivial reasons, file 498A or DV and seek a divorce. Divorce is a business for such women. 3. Police - I don't need to elaborate on this. They know how to make money along with Lawyers and Judges. 4. Judges - They use these laws of extortion to make money. 5. Intermediaries - They could be just anywhere, in Lawyers offices to Judges private chambers. They are conduits. 6. Women's groups. - They make money both ways. A. They make money with a well-formed racket of extortion. They contact women who have filed divorce petitions and instigate them to file cases under 498A and DV. Then, in the extortion that takes place, these groups get a share. B. As more and more cases are filed, (Mostly false), the statistics are bloated up. As it happens, these groups can claim more and more funds from the govt, MNCs and the UNO stating that the condition of women is deplorable. So, Sitas continue to suffer. Some Sitas are trapped into filing 498A charges by misleading them and Shurpanakas anyway always keep filing cases and this helps in bloating up statistics to make money. Money that is available for women's development is misused by women's groups [Siphioned off] and whatever is left is used to fund anti-male articles and propaganda. 7. Media - It gets its share of 'Masala' with non-stop news and articles on women's issues. News of rape, molestation, PUB attack, attack on women, etc is REAL MASALA for the media as people are attracted to such news. The Masala that media gets is encashed as they get more ads etc. 8. Capitalists and Corporates - One of the biggest beneficiaries of feminism. As more and more women work, their workforce increases and they get more people to work for them. As more women work, they have financial independence and this independence lead to more consumerism - more cars, bikes, beauty products, cell phones etc. As more women work, there are bound to be ego clashes at home between men and women. This ego clash together with feminist extremism and laws lead to more criminal cases and divorces. This in turn leads to duplication of consumer products [If a family of four is sharing a single house, with 4 cots, 2 sofas sets, two bathrooms etc, now when this family breaks, they would need two houses, one sofas set extra, one more Fridge, one more T.V. set etc]. Divorce leads to duplication and increases the overall income of capitalists and corporates. Pharmaceutical companies benefit as more psychiatric and medicines for depression are consumed by deppressed divorcees and their children. Psychiatrists and Counsellors get more business. 9. Politicians - Divide and rule is their policy always. By creating new problems in society, they can stay in power and mint money. Feminist leaders such as Brinda Karat, Renuka Choudhary ride on the women's vote by making new anti-male laws and passing it off as women's empowerment. None of these politicians want real development of women. I may have missed some more beneficiaries. But here is the analysis.
sneha maheshwary
very disgusting
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