Women are divine beings
Women are a divine creation and when I say so I am also considering the other feminine creatures that inhabit the earth. They are endowed with the unique power to procreate and nurture. Without them the world would not have been what it is today!
Women were always seen with awe and wonder and have been revered for centuries. They have inspired great works of arts, literature, and sculptor to name a few. I wonder when this awe and respect turned to their disadvantage at some point of time in history. This has happened almost across major cultures, civilizations or religion.
With the passage of time, women were seen as objects to satisfy the carnal desires of men; which led to the violation of their human and sexual rights. This may be the source of prostitution and its brunt is still being borne by women of all ages. The hapless women were relegated to the background with no decision making power, often subjugated and brutalized at home, restricted within the four walls of the house. Beauty became their defining feature and intellect took a back seat and some notions are hard to die, thus one observes commercialization of beauty products and fairness creams, which lower their self esteem and erodes their self worth.
Religion and culture morphed woman to be the source of all sins. Their elegance and enamor was made their curse, by such religious dictum. Superstitions and myths took shape. Deliberate ignorance led to more downfalls.
For instance, in India, ‘sati’ was a custom where woman burnt themselves alive on the pyre of their husbands. Such unquestioned belief came through brilliant brainwashing for eons and this is when the patriarchal mindset took its root. Property rights were snatched from them. ‘Sati’ existed due to the belief that husband is the owner and master of the wife; once he is no more who would protect her? In most languages the term for husband means ‘Master’.
Through ages they have been made dependent on others whether financially or emotionally. In her maternal home she is dependent on brothers and fathers for their various needs. Once at in-laws place, she is systematically made dependent on husbands and sons. We often relate woman as a mother, daughter, wife or sister but never as an individual who exists for her own reason as any other male.
Noted female activist Kamala Bhasin has observed that even women are affected by the patriarchal mindset and hence most women believe in the status quo, and are not able to gather enough strength to challenge it. Being born as a woman is seen as a burden and if they are born in a lower caste in India, their survival becomes the worst nightmare.
The society as a whole has to help woman overcome this burden of a past that has been bestowed to her through generations. They have to be prepared mentally, physically and emotionally for facing tougher situations and times.
It is heartening to see some changes especially as many parents are actively involved in the career of their daughters; even prospective grooms are looking for a working life partner. Still issues like female foeticide, child marriages, dowry, and sexual harassment etc. needs to be effectively tackled. The situation in the villages demands more efforts.
Reading, writing and the use of technology like the internet can become a great platform for helping woman overcome their loneliness in the later stages of life. Geriatric care has to be improved.
Women are thinking beings and have immense potential. They can optimistically contribute the existing pool of knowledge; can bring fresh and different perspective to the human world. Women are very dynamic and can multi-task with ease; they form an important part of human resource. Women are bliss for humankind!
Guest article by Kislaya Gopal, who writes at http://evergreenleaf.blogspot.in/