Can we re-imagine the idea of women empowerment ?
On the occasion of International women’s day,let me bring some observations about the issue of gender equality from the USA. At first sight, you may feel that this is a perfect society, women have equal opportunities. It looks like. And, especially when I compare it to India, I find that there is definitely greater freedom and opportunities available for women. Social structures favor more men here as well.
I think that the status of women in the society should be seen in terms of their participation in public life. In India, we see that women are still confined to the traditional roles. It’s not true that they want to remain confined to that role, its our social structure which does not allow them to come out of this role. It’s not that women in our society have not come out and broke the social structure and expand the horizon, but,it is still exceptional. We are in the 21st century, and the participation of women in higher education is still not equal to men. I remember a data from 2009(NSSO), every 100 girls who get enrolled in grade one, only 1 could make it to higher education. who is responsible for it?
Women are definitely not..Every time, when society has given them the opportunity, they have proved they can go beyond the expectations. If you don’t believe, look at the data published by CBSE, Every year, Girls are outnumbering the boys in the board result of class 10th and 12th grade. At work place, they have proved to be the better worker.
Depriving them from the opportunities to make the decisions, we are depriving the entire humanity from the opportunity to be part of a better society. Wherever, they are less in number, see how that place looks like. I am talking about politics. We have less than 10 percent women parliamentarians, we have less than 5 percent women representatives in our state legislatures. Let’s make our politics a better place for bringing more women representatives in the political domain.
I think that we need to understand the finer difference which is there between protection and control, the difference between respect and liberty. We are doing more harm than good when we celebrate our women as mothers. Lets respect women, just of being a woman, not as a symbol of motherhood. I feel that it binds, rather than liberates them. The whole Idea of celebrating women as mothers limits their role in the society, and anything which limits them is not worth celebrating.