Loads of spunky women are performing daring feats which their mothers and grandmother didn’t even dream about. They are making their presence felt. Yet, lots need to be done to ensure emancipation of women in India and all over the world, opines Ruchira. Read more in the Special Feature, exclusively for Different Truths.
Since the 1960’s and 70’s when cries of feminism first rent the air, all of you babes have come a long way. (I feel tempted to quote the Virginia Slims Ad) Indeed a long way. From Sri Lanka to the Philippines to Thailand, China-Japan to Israel, Bangladesh, and Pakistan to our own ‘Bharat’, women have climbed into seats of power. European women and their sisters in the US of A have followed suit.
Universal adult suffrage, right to education and property inheritance are becoming are gradually gaining acceptance around the globe.
Loads of spunky women are performing daring feats which their mothers and grandmother didn’t even dream about: soaring into the yawning blue space, plunging into deepest oceans, climbing lofty mountain peaks, flying not only commercial airplanes but also formidable fighter ones. They are making their presence felt. Why, they are even joining combat forces of armies – fighting at the fronts at the risk of their lives. They have shattered many erstwhile male bastions like wrestling and boxing and created records.
If you thought women had no business acumen or management skills, you have another thinking coming. Some of the globally renowned corporate giants and multinational companies are today headed by women, besides having thousands of women on the rolls. And yet, are women really liberated? Are they actually able to enjoy basic dignity and a few fundamental rights?
Let us look at some startling facts: female foeticide is a deadly disease that has spread its tentacles across India. Innocent lives are being smothered before they see the light of the day. Why don’t the nerds realise that with such a warped gender ratio, a day will come when human females will disappear; there will be nobody left to give birth to men. Now what man will like this scenario?
Female genital mutilation/female circumcision is rampant in very many countries of Africa, with the highest incidence being reported from Somalia. It is practiced in certain pockets of India as well. Terming this practice as diabolical, dastardly, and heinous would be an understatement. I am befuddled as to how and why, down the centuries through modern times, numberless women are subjected to such degrees of physical torture? Even death due to this practice is not uncommon. Why must a handful of people be custodians of a woman’s body, sexuality et al?
Umpteen reasons will be provided by the adherents. But to sane minds, these do not hold water. As if these were not enough, there are innumerable instances minors (child brides) being married off to men old enough to be their grandfathers! This is commonplace in African nations – Mozambique, Burkina Faso, Chad, and Niger – owing to economic social, and religious reasons. To a certain degree, it is rampant in certain Indian states, not forgetting neighboring Bangladesh. Amazing that even in an affluent country like Saudi Arabia, there exists no minimum age for marriage; hence mismatched marriages continue in full swing!
Crimes against women are fairly widespread across the globe. However, lately, in India, there has been a spurt in the number of cases of physical assault and other sexual crimes on females, age no bar! The nightmarish Nirbhaya incident, in 2012, garnered wide (partly global) publicity. There were major changes done in-laws. But many more low profile Nirbhayas – some of them minors – are struggling to survive. And (sorry) many more Nirbhayas will be “made” the near future. Unless…
The time is now. Women must be allowed to exert their free will. Only they must enjoy control over their minds, bodies, and sexuality. In societies where gender bias and injustices against women exist, the MEN ought to shed their centuries-old chauvinism, superiority complex, brutal display of physical strength. It needs to be drilled into the minds of such menfolk that women’s position is not under their boots, but at their sides. Stop treating them as child bearing machines, housekeeping robots and sex mannequins
for your beds. Instead, try treating them with tenderness and love. Once you do that
they will make your world beautiful!
©Ruchira Adhikari Ghosh
Photos from the Internet
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Born in Guwahati Assam, Ruchira grew up in Delhi and Punjab. A product of Sacred Heart Convent, Ludhiana, she holds a Master’s degree in English Literature from Punjab University, Chandigarh. Armed with a P.G diploma in journalism in Journalism, she has been a pen-pusher for nearly 25 years. Her chequered career encompasses print, web, as well as television. She has metamorphosed as a feature writer, her forte being women’s issues, food, travel and literature.