Wouldn’t it make more sense to say Joyous, Uplifting and Glorious Women’s Day!!
The year is interwoven with celebration because it is a hallmark in the fight for female equity and everything accomplished so far substantiates the dreams of a child from forlorn circumstances. We can say we celebrate women’s day but when women are still badly discriminated and subjected to cruelty then it is hypocritical to suggest that women’s day can be a blissful event when the very guest of honour has yet to experience the happiness of womanhood.
There is an ease of tension for Indian women because after so many years their voices are being heard; their isolation and resigned silence has been broken. This is not just a case of women bonding together to change their
lives but people from all strata of society are stepping up to make a difference.
Men are realizing that they cannot afford to be inactive because their solidarity is what is needed to ensure their own mothers, sisters and daughters are not subjected to brutality and cruelty. Men against Violence and Abuse (MAVA) is one such organisation run by men that aims to change the male perception and oppose violence. Men are emerging in the forefront for the fight for woman’s rights and equality. Thus, begins the era of true gender equality that will propel Indian society into the age of modernity and parity.
The real jubilance of women’s day are the facts that show India is moving ahead in terms of providing protection and opportunities to the long-oppressed female population. For majority of decades, women were subjugated but with their emancipation, they are shouldering the responsibility of the Nation. Moreover, they are epitomizing the zeal and industrious nature of their gender, standing as a statute for woman, young woman and girls to resist any other except their own driving force of empowerment.
“There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women." -- Kofi Annan
On Jan 19 the Indian Air Force (IAF) inducted Kavita Barala as its first woman flying officer. In a crowning moment for posterity, she saluted the first women president Pratibha Patil. The achievements of women are growing in numbers and are glorifying India’s efforts to ensure their rightful place as contributors to society.
At the grassroots, there is still wide-spread discrimination against women and many assaults on her body. From conception, the vulnerability of her life is stark when her own family wavers between acceptance and rejection; female infanticide rids the world of a noble, compassionate human being because of an erroneous and misplaced belief in a boy-child. Then, women encounter other gross violations at least once in the stage of her life and all have the detrimental effect on her sense of security, which is so important to her peace of mind and confidence in herself. Women having to bear the brunt of suffering are not because her gender invokes the pain but a callous society with a narrow mindset and prejudiced attitude. The notion about women’s incapability is slowly dissipating with each empowered and victorious woman that steps into the spotlight and sets an example for the others who are downtrodden and subjugated.
Sadly, the empowerment hasn’t percolated to the lower sections of society. There is still a lot to be done before India can boast of fulfilling the terms of the charter of Human Rights. The media is highlighting women’s issues to an extent that wasn’t there before; students are mobilizing themselves on social networking sites to create movements against inequality. The youth, are taking such an active role, such dedication spells the end for female injustice. Through the tools that are available, youngsters are standing up in protest, organising marches, facebook pages, blogs, etc.. When such a vast section of the society is involved in changing the societal structure and improving her status, it is a sign for women to look forward to a thriving future.
At the same time we must never loose sight of the goal that we are fighting for gender equality, not a reverse oppression. The kind of rules that forbid men to dictate our lives should also be applicable to us.
You must think me insensitive to discuss men’s rights on the day that is dedicated to women but while the air is filled with praises for the mothers who nurtured her children, fought extreme battles to succeed and so forth, it would be appropriate to touch on the fact that at least one woman has had a positive male role model in her life.
The newly constructed relationship between husbands and wives is one that is mutually beneficial, affable and stresses on partnership as the norm. Therefore it is mortifying when a wife abusing her husband, emotionally and physically, is taken lightly. What constitutes abuse? Filing false dowry cases, belittling their character and masculinity, refusing permission to see their own children. These constitute a violation of men’s rights and a backward step for women fighting for equality. Nevertheless, this inequality continues and is engrained in a society that values men to the point when they are nothing more than stoic, monetary and detached benefactors.
Men are not supposed to feel pain, show emotion or to love in a relationship the way women are empathetic. ‘Save the Family foundation’ headed by a group of concerned men are fighting for their rights. In a society that is just coming to terms with women’s rights, it appears that somebody else has to pay the price for the suffering that women have endured. It almost appears as if women are encouraged to abuse men in the hope that it puts other men in place. It is one thing to take back your rights by any means possible but quite another to infringe on another.
Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Australia, India, United States, Singapore, United Kingdom, Malta, and South Africa celebrate International Men’s Day on November 19 every year. The objective being to respect and laude men’s involvement in society as vehemently as women for Women’s Day. Should India have one?