Society and Social issues That Causing serious Impact on woman and their growth
It’s High Time to Eradicate the Ruthless Conditions Indian Women Face
India has witnessed paradigm shifts in all its developmental aspects. Be it transportation, industries, education, rural urbanization, hygiene, etc. India has excelled to great degrees in all possible fields. However, sadly, the only sphere in which India is still lagging is women’s safety and rights. No matter how much the national figures claim the country focuses on gender equality, the bitter truth says something different.
Indian women face daily challenges in their homes, schools, colleges, workplaces, or streets. Yet, ironically, it is the land of India, where worshippers believe in so many female deities and goddesses. Also, India, the largest democracy, could not manage to make the nation equal from the perspective of gender bias.
Rapes and Acid Attacks
Violence can be a common apprehension for each person in society. However, rapes and acid attacks are concerns only for ladies. Inhuman male members of our nation commit such unpardonable crimes when they want to take revenge against any female or for own pleasure. No matter how much we show our support for the Nirbhaya case in Delhi, situations have hardly changed for Indian women.
Women’s Safety on Roads
There is hardly any street in India where a woman can move with liberty at night time. Thus, she needs a man to be her bodyguard if she needs to walk out in the darker hours. It is a shame that men and women of educated classes have conveniently accepted this fact. No matter how literate or modern the crowd is, a man will still try to take advantage of a lady at night if found alone.
Ladies have joined the employment zone for many decades now. Yet, public transportation does not have enough provisions for ladies. Buses have very few seats dedicated to ladies. Local and metro trains have one or two coaches for women, and the rest are general. So, a woman has no choice but to travel amidst the male crowd, apprehending ugly comments, dirty looks, and eve-teasing.
Lack of Female Education in Rural Areas
People in villages cannot imagine that a girl child also needs to go to school and go for a job in future. They believe women are born to do household tasks, get married, and produce babies like a factory. Even if some families wish to send their girl kids to school, they realize there are few educational facilities nearby. Very few girls’ institutions exist in the villages, and even if they do, they do not have adequate sanitation amenities, which girls significantly require.
In continuation with the above point, girls in villages are subject to child marriage as their fathers cannot afford them after a certain age. Hence, they feel that the male members of the family shall earn for them and look after them and treat the daughters only as burdens. The mentality is the same in urban areas, and the only difference is that the marriage age is slightly higher in cities.
Harassment in Workplaces
Corporate and IT industries proudly use women as scapegoats to portray their numbers of gender equality. However, each lady working in her office will complain about some or the other issue she faces from her male colleagues. More work pressure, sexual harassment, threats against whistleblowing, etc., are only some of the issues.
The dowry system is illegal, and the police authorities can put the parties behind bars under this offence. Still, even the higher-educated class proudly involves in this phenomenon. The groom’s family shamelessly demands cash, furniture, electronic appliances, cars, etc., from the bride’s family. The bride’s family also helplessly fulfils all these demands lest their daughter faces violence in the new home. So, all the intention comes from fear of domestic violence, not blessings or happiness.
Female Foeticide, Female Infanticide and Honour Killing
When a lady gives birth to a female child, the parents and other family members think they may not be able to give dowry for her marriage. Therefore, they mercilessly kill the newborn to save them from financial burden. It is more prominent in rural areas but may not be a surprise in cities. Moreover, some people illegally manage to know the sex of the coming child through corruption and bribe. If it is a girl, they perform female infanticide. When an adult girl wishes to marry a man of another caste or religion, some families also kill her in the name of honour killing. Some villages also practise beating women to death on account of witchcraft.
Every matrimonial advertisement mentions without fail that the girl should be fair and good-looking. Girls of a darker shade are forced to suffer from inferiority complexes. The groom’s families want their daughters to give birth to fair babies, which is the height of unawareness. Little do they know that the baby’s features are a cross of both parents and not only the mother. When in-laws blame the woman for giving birth to a female child, someone should tell them that it is the man’s chromosome that decides the baby’s gender.
The media and entertainment industry has hyped the fact surrounding good features. The marketing of fairness creams emphasizes the misconception that a fair complexion is better than even a shade darker. Furthermore, numerous models in the fashion world do not get the right treatment, subject to misrepresentation of attributes.
Trafficking and Prostitution
Women trafficking is spread throughout India. Girls and ladies are kidnapped and transported across nations in exchange for money. The deprived women are sent to prohibited areas, where they are compelled to become prostitutes.
Movies like Chak De! India and Shabaash Mithu have shown how Indian women’s sports teams receive treatment compared to the male teams. Though women’s teams are gradually getting more support and motivation from the authorities, there is a long way to go.
It is funny that Indian women must carry identification marks by wearing vermillion, bangles, necklaces, etc., to show that they are married. On other hand Indian men do not have to wear any such mark to prove their marriage. Whether these are out of love or just for mere security is a million-dollar question.
Many married ladies face domestic violence in our country, and the family remains hush-hush about it. If the woman takes the courageous step and files for a divorce, she gets zero support from society. Worse still, she can get threats regarding child rights and financial liabilities.
When a woman becomes a widow, society expects her to leave non-vegetarian food and all kinds of desires. It affects their health, but no one cares. It is not preferred that the widows attend functions or occasions. Moreover, some families also curse the lady for being unlucky for her husband.
How Can We Help in Combatting the Detestable Conditions Women Face in India?
A. Organizations should seriously employ the POSH (Prevention of Sexual Harassment at the Workplace) Act, so it becomes illegal to mess with any lady in the office.
B. The police and law authorities must impose more protection and security for women at all times in all places.
C. Students can perform street plays or marches to draw attention to women’s safety and equality.
D. The government should strive to spread awareness regarding female education in rural areas. More initiatives like Beti Bachao Beti Padhao are required.
E. Whistleblowing should not be taboo, and women who want to raise their voices should not receive any threat.
F. School curriculum should include topics about gender equality and exemplary women who have led the nation in many fields.
G. The cinema industry can play a crucial role in changing society’s mentality toward women. Instead of using women as eye candies, we need more movies to motivate concepts of womanhood.
H. Workplaces should be considerate to women during their menstruation, pregnancy, or post-partum phase. Offices can also encourage paid leaves during those days, which should not be a problem for men.
Time has passed, and our lifestyles have advanced, but the mentality of Indian men and society towards women has not changed. Thus, it is high time to prevent such malpractices and merciless commandments against women by raising our voices. Women may be more sympathetic and softer, but it is not their weakness. They may be gullible, but they are not foolish. They deserve equal opportunities and rights just like their male counterparts. When a man does not have to struggle so much for his rights, why should a woman have to? Thus, both men and women can be the torchbearers in a movement where gender equality becomes a reality in India instead of a utopia.
By Samata Dey Bose