In the 21st century, with all the development and the spread of education, women’s empowerment gained traction like no other thing, but have we really created a utopian society, a safe nest for our women? The answer would be a reassuring no. in India where the women are revered in the form of goddesses, the everyday struggle for them continues as usual. Right in her home, be she a daughter, a mother, or a sister, the discrimination starts, and she is made to feel like a second-class citizen. Either she is not allowed to take education or if she is allowed, then that comes with its own terms and conditions. What o wear, where to go, what kind of career choices be made, you name it, and it’s there. Even when she gets married, her wings are clipped the very next day and she has to say goodbye to her dreams.
Even if with struggle or if a woman is privileged enough to step out of her home, the struggle continues for her. She has to, unwillingly, absorb the daily dose of eve-teasing and harassment, given by males who think that it is their right to treat them like that. The kind of mental trauma that a woman goes through in her lifetime due to thus cannot be explained in words. Article 39 of our constitution, in the form of the directive principle of state policy, encourages a reduction in equality between the two genders, but they are just trophy words that no one takes seriously.
When she reaches her workplace with all that struggle that started right at her home, she is invited to even more struggle. Firstly she has to agree to such terms and conditions at the workplaces which reduces her to a slave in a desperate attempt to get a job. Then she has to take care of harassment, which can be physical or sexual. Even after the passage of landmark judgment like Vishakha vs State, which created guidelines for creating safer workplace for women, nothing concrete has been done. She continues to face harassment for free, with no fault of her, just because the patriarchal setup has made it so mundane and common, it is not even considered as some wrong by those who do it periodically.
And lastly, back at her home, where he is married, she has to keep her struggle on. Either they are made to work like home servants in the name of her religious kartavya to serve her husband, or she is burnt alive just because she didn’t bring enough dowry with her to satisfy the greed of her in kaws.
Now one may ask as to what can be done to effectively end this nonsense. The root cause is that we haven’t made our women, or rather not given our women to become independent. She is so dependant on the patriarchal system that she ends up taking up the kind of discriminatory treatment that she gets. If we make them educated and self-dependent, then half of the problem will be solved. And to do that, we have to attack the patriarchal setup in our society, that has no place in 2021. Charity begins at home and we have to teach our boys at home that they don’t get any privilege just because they are men and they need to respect women.