As per the latest census carried out by the government of India, there are 933 females for every 1000 males in our country. Male dominance is everywhere. We can find superiority of men in every phase of our lives. When we are born, we have our fathers to look after us, our brothers then share the responsibilities of the father when we enter our teenage years, then we have our life partners who decide everything in our married lives, lastly our sons enter the bandwagon in our old age days. To a very large extent, lives of women in our country are decided and controlled by the men in their lives.
This scenario is slowly changing in recent years. We can see a slow and steady rise of women in all fields of importance. Women of today are not just restricted to cooking and taking care of their households, they have stepped out of their comfort zones to create their own images in the outside world as well. This in short, can be termed as women empowerment. Society has now changed its stand and the way it looks at women, due to the progress achieved by women in all spheres of life. Men of today are more understanding towards the women in their lives, yet we hear many cases of harassment against women. Let us look deeper into the topic perspective by perspective.
Women in the traditional times
Traditionally, women were considered to be care takers of the home. They had to look after the running of the family smoothly, they had to manage the expenses in the most economical way possible, they had to look after aged in-laws, nurture the children etc. They were judiciously kept out of decision making matters as the primary role of women was not that of ruling the family. They were expected to obey orders of the husband, the elders of the family but kept in isolation when it came to major decisions related to the family.
Women were not too educated in the bygone eras. They would be married off one day to their in-laws place and hence would not need too much of knowledge was the previous thinking. Women, who were still part of families that thought otherwise, saw some respite in this narrow minded approach. There were women in olden days too, who were well educated and led paths of success in many spheres of life because of support from their families. It is these women who led paths of change and brought about a transformation in the way people viewed women in the society.
The modern day woman
Women have completely transformed in the modern day, the urban woman especially has changed from being a mere homemaker to the modern day multitasking woman, handling responsibilities without fear. She has taken on the world with confidence. Women of today handle their duties and chores at home, manage a career outside their homes, nurture their children and balance their family lives with their professions. This is the scene in most of the urban households today. The modern day woman is independent, takes right decisions boldly, stands up for her rights and walks a path of success. Kalpana Chawla, Indra Nooyi, Sushma Swaraj, Aishwarya Rai and many more are women achievers in their chosen fields.
This is the scene in the developing economy of today. Women are well educated, they have crossed horizons, and their presence can be felt in many male dominated areas. Women have been sent on many space missions. We see women rise as journalists, politicians, doctors, engineers, lawyers, actors and in many other professional spheres. Women of today choose the right career paths that determine their future and thus we see them excelling in every walk of life.
This is just one side of the story. Women in downtrodden regions and rural backgrounds have still to compete a lot in terms of their urban counterparts. Not that the rural women are backward in any aspect, but the change and transformation that the urban woman sees, is definitely a little slower to the rural women. Women, be it from urban or rural backgrounds, still face harassment and humiliation in domestic as well as professional circles. However high they reach in their lives, women are still made to feel helpless when men mete out unhealthy treatments and behave badly in front of them.
We see presence of women in rackets of prostitution, as call girls, as dance bar girls etc that focuses on the other side of society. The society is coming to terms and accepts the presence of both classes of women. Women may come from socially challenging situations, they may be part of difficult situations, and they may cease to have any kind of support from their families. Reasons unknown, they may be provoked to earn a livelihood out of immoral practices which makes women vulnerable and want to join easy, but wrong routes to earning money. This is another side of the story.
We talk of women having achieved great feats and laurels, but there always exists a sad part of the story which we cannot move away from. The necessity of the day is a strong legislation and most importantly, education and empowerment of women that will take them away from being part of these dark areas of the country.
Socio-economic participation of women
We have women who are bus drivers, metro rail drivers, conductors, post masters, flight squadrons, pilots, scientists, etc. Women have proved to the world that there is literally nothing that is unconquerable by them. They have taken over male bastions and proved successful in their own ways. Women today are law makers; we have had many presidents and prime ministers in our nation who were women. Women ruled the country on many important occasions and proved to be the best decision makers in times of emergency. Women in power steal the limelight and make men respect their decisions.
Atrocities against women
Though women have achieved success in various spheres of life, the dark areas of humanism do exist even in modern days. We get to hear plenty of cases of rapes, mental and physical harassments, dowry deaths, cases of domestic violence, etc. These news fill our daily newspapers and are very important part of the ugly truths of mankind. Women today are definitely empowered with self confidence and boldness to carry on the world without fear, yet in terms of women safety, there are still lots to be achieved.
Crimes against women are definitely on the rise. Many women fear to go out of their houses after sunset. They fear being manhandled by brutal men. They fear their own safety. Women are also prone to plenty of incidents of chain snatching, molestation, eve teasing etc. Such incidents morally bring down the courage of women and leave them wanting for help and support from the male members of the family.
The infamous case of Nirbhaya and the Jessica Lall murder case throw light on how men can stoop to any levels to bring down the morale of a woman. Men who do any kind of harassment or offence to women should be severely punished under law. They should be brought under the pangs of law and awarded the highest punishment possible.
Women’s day is celebrated, not to glorify the beauty and grace of women, but to bring about awareness among the public regarding women’s safety. Women need to strengthen themselves by building up their inner strengths. They should work on increasing their moral strengths and face the world without fear. Women are taught to be bold and outgoing in these days of modernism.
We should empower the women in our lives to lead independent lives. They should take independent decisions regarding their careers, professions, choices in matters of life partners, etc. They should have a say in all important matters of the family. They should be taught to be self reliant and should not depend on anyone to meet their financialneeds; they should be taught to handle their own expenses.
Women play many roles in their lives, that of a daughter, sister, wife, daughter-in-law, mother, friend, colleague, professional and the list is never ending. With addition of roles, comes addition of responsibilities and women have to handle everything in a very dignified manner. The modern day woman is more aware of the society around her and believes in her strengths, handles her weaknesses with grace, identifies the goodness in things and is socially responsible towards her duties. Women don many roles and handle them with grace. There is no profession that does not have women enrolment.
The government has put together many schemes especially for the empowerment of women. Many seats are reserved in parliament to encourage women participation. Education of girls is made free and compulsory in government schools to encourage women to join different institutions and render their valuable services. Our armed forces have seen a rise in women enrolment and it’s a matter of pride for the nation to have great daughters in the country.