Imagine yourself in the shoes of a person who has been oppressed their entire life. Imagine all the laws that were made to protect you have not been effective one bit. Imagine yourself as a minority in the second largest community in the world. Yes, I am talking about the women in India. Why do some women live like slaves when the men thrive as the superior race in India Customs, traditions, rustic beliefs are some of the answers that advocate male superiority in the country. Some of the facts that you read a1bout women on the internet are outrageous. According to a survey done in 2011 every 42 minutes, an incident of sexual harassment takes place. Every 43 minutes, a woman is kidnapped. Every 93 minutes, a woman is killed. Every 102 minutes, a dowry death. Surprised yet? These are only a few from the thousands of facts. Women are discriminated on a daily basis in the society, workplace and even at home while men on the other hand live like the emperors of the society.
India portrays the image of society with men holding the whips, and taking control. It is as common to find women oppressed in the cities, as much as they can be oppressed in the remote villages. Majority of the women in India live in the fear of raising their voices, for they have been robbed of their rights and have been imprisoned to a world where they are voiceless. Even though today’s women are far more modern and independent, they are still haunted by the views and believes of the older generation where women are meant to be ideal housewives who take care of the family, feed them, maintain them and nothing more, while men are free to decide their future and choose what they want to be.
A woman has equal rights as a man, she can choose the life she wants and the way she wants to live it. She shouldn’t be burdened with the views of the society or tradition. It is tough to believe that when 82 per cent of the men are educated only 65 per cent of women in India were lucky enough to have had the liberty to attend school. This shows the ignorance and negligence of the parents who fail to ensure the education of their girl child. It is not surprising that India has the lowest workforce participation rate from women. You might think the few women who make their own living lead a better life, well think again.
Only 4 out of every 10 women take part in a corporate office. The work participation rate of men in India is almost double as that of women. Women continue to be concentrated in jobs with low pay and authority levels placing limits on their overall access to income, status and power while men continue to dominate the top positions of the firm ensuring higher payment and better job security. The numbers of women that hold managerial positions in India are exceptionally low.
Multinational companies prefer men to be the face of their organization to be more appealing to the public. On top of all the work load and discrimination, women go through a lot of mental as well as sexual harassments at work. There are constantly challenged by the nature of their work and the environment they are placed to work in. Unlike men the work of a woman does not end outside the doors of the office, she gets back home to take on the next set of mundane tasks.
From the very beginning a girl is taught to do the household works while her brothers are treated like kings. Boys of the family have the rights to be out as long as they want and when a girl misses her curfew by a few minutes all hell breaks loose. It is almost like she has no voice of her own, everyone else makes a decision for her. Let it be a child or a full grown women, she never escapes the discrimination. In the modern world where men and women are working members of the family, the wife is still expected to come home at the end of the day and take care of the rest of the family and attend to their needs.
She is expected to provide and nurture others with nothing in return while the only duty of the man is to earn for the family. Statistics shows that an average woman in India spends almost 10 years of her life in the kitchen while an average man at most would have spent 4 years. In India physical abuse of Indian women is high ranging from 22-60 percent and the suicide attempts due to violence and torture is shocking. 74.8 percent of women who reported violence have attempted to commit suicide. What is more surprising is that these statistics are from within the four walls of their “safe home”.
Despite the efforts of many women and political group to end discrimination against women, it still goes on. Every now and then a strike or a rally is conducted to educate the youth the importance of women in the society but the enthusiasm and the energy of these programs dies away the next day. Women will not have their rights and freedom in the society until there is a change in the mindset of men. This is the twenty first century, along with the development in science and literature we need to develop a society where women are no longer discriminated, a society where women and men hold equal positions at work and at home. We need work towards a future in which every girl gets to define who and what she wants to be. The question, though, how far away is that future?