PORTRAIT OF AN INDIAN LADY

“Ram Shankar was a great devotee of Saraswati, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity and there was not a single day where he would pass by her temple without bowing and giving the offerings. And yet, he asked his wife to abort her third pregnancy when he came to know that it was a female fetus.”

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India is still struggling to eliminate social evils like female foeticides, infanticides, child marriages, dowry deaths, domestic abuse and sexual violence concerning her female citizens. Because of the male dominated society and existing patriarchal system, it is not an easy task to bring women to the forefront. Male chauvinistic sayings like “A woman is to be protected by her father during her adolescence, then by husband and by her son during her old age” has caused her immense damage and harm, making her lose her individuality and picturizing women as a weak sex incapable of leading an independent life. For centuries, women have been confined to the walls of their houses where she is expected to do all the household tasks whether her health is fine or not and be a child producing machine .Immense weightage is given to her modesty, chastity and obedience to her husband and in-laws. To worsen matters further, women are rarely given any sort of encouragement by both family and the society, and even if she manages to beat her male counterparts in any job sector, she is constantly subjected to ridicule and the effort she made is always belittled.

Hindering the progress of women are other man made evil systems such as dowry, caste discrimination, untouchability and even the notorious Khap Panchayat wherein a group of elderly male members of the society hold a common meeting to find solutions and decide the punishments for irrelevant things like marrying someone outside the caste or eloping with someone .The kind of punishments they put forward include the men of the society to rape the girl accused or burn her to death for the sake of honour, which clearly points out their misogynist attitude towards women.

Moving on to women in urban areas, the condition is little better and progressive. But still, they too face lot of gender disparity issues like difference in payment for the same designation, discrimination while giving salary hikes and promotions, molestation in public transportation, sexual advances from male colleagues at work place, and so on.

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Plenty of changes have to be implemented in our society if we wish to see an improvement in the status of women. Women have the right to lead a dignified life and for that she needs to be educated and made fully aware of her rights and privileges. Illiteracy restricts a woman’s access to opportunities and knowledge. So, she should be given compulsory and free education atleast to high school level and government should bring forward strict rules banning child marriages and dowry system. Along with that, harder punishment for rapes and other terrible crimes against women should also be executed. Most of the time, the culprit gets an easy bail and walks out of the court as if he committed a petty crime and it is the victim who gets mentally tortured and looked down by the society!!!!

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