Woman empowerment should be more than a mere slogan
At a time when the nation is shocked and maimed at the horrific act of violence committed against a Delhi girl, we wonder, what could the basis behind such a heinous act be, other than pure insanity, which leads a human being to torture another with a fierceness that even animals would shudder to execute.
We are a country that is proud of its rich cultural heritage. We worship female goddesses much more than male gods and have stories on woman accomplishments enshrined in our Vedas and other scriptures. What is it then, which provokes a male mind to chomp through a woman in the most horrifying manner?
Something like rape is more to do with ‘power’ than ‘sex’. It is an act which proves that a man can kill a woman by letting her breathe physically. This phenomenon of overpowering women is rooted deep into the mental framework of the society. From the simplest to the biggest things happening around us, it is always the men who are shown as the ‘rulers’ and the woman as ‘mere followers’.
I remember reading a sentence in one of the chapters of an English grammar book, while growing up as a child in the 90’s. It read something like, “mother is cooking food, father is reading newspaper”. The sentence was quiet innocuous, its aim was to teach some ‘parts of speech’ in English grammar, however, it ended up inculcating something else. A ‘school of thought’ inadvertently developed in the mind of the child who read such content. Today, when I look back, I feel strong objection towards the sentence. Why can’t a mother read a newspaper and a father cook? Alas! Such strong images have been drawn in the minds of scores of people since time immemorial.
A girl gets raped in the heart of the country and we get to know about it. What about so many other women who might have been battered by their husbands on the same night in several cities and villages of India? Woman who cannot express their plight, woman who are not given that chance to express, what do they do? How do they live their lives? Do we even bother?
The picture is a little different today. Woman in the cities are working, they are not dependant for their livelihood on men. Women empowerment in the form of financial independence has taken place to some extent. However, when the same girl undergoes the process of ‘arranged marriage’, hell breaks loose on her, she is not spared.
The age-old custom continues. Guy’s family meets girl’s family and tries to extract every bit of information about the girl. It might be a 3-4 hours of ‘interrogation’ that the girl has to go through. Question like what she likes, dislikes, food, culture, literature, so on so forth are asked. Later on she faces rejection as the guy’s family takes the liberty of saying an unapologetic “no” to the whole prospect. I bet every single girl who has gone through the process of arranged marriage, has faced it. She fumes, she cries, but she cannot do anything about it. The point is not the fact that such a thing has been going on since ages, the point is, why don’t we question such ruthless activities? Till what point shall we keep mum about it and make our girls feel inferior to their counterparts?
Be it politics, sports, corporate world, society or household, it is men who always rule. Education has brought a lot of difference; however, a lot more needs to be done. ‘Woman empowerment’ is not something that would happen overnight. A lot of it depends on the attitude of men. Men need to understand that it is a woman who brought him to this world. She is supreme, the all powerful, the ever forgiving.
It is the moral upbringing of a child that determines its attitude later on in life. Let us all understand today that a society does not function in isolation. We, as individuals and as parents need to impart good values to our children. Both the parents need to educate the male child about the importance of woman in every walk of life. Only when it comes from the society as a whole, can woman be empowered in the true sense.
This is a guest article from Puja Roy; http://sunshinealways-puja.blogspot.in/