Monday, November 14, 2011

0 Gender-equality: a word with no Indian meaning

Sunday morning newspaper and the first headline snippet reads "The Unsafe sex".
As I read more, the story of the some Indian women and rape victims were creating some kind of helplessness in me. The state of women in India is disgusting, sad and hopeless.

In a rape case, the accused gives his justifications to the rape as "She used to talk on her phone about private matters in front of me. I felt if she's doing that, then she's become mine (Woh meri apni ho gayi)."
So Men actually OWN a women, it means you can sexually enjoy her without her consent . Its like owning a dog or better a toy that does not have any choices in life.
What private matters - what max could the girl have talked outside her place and what a decent value to eavesdrop on others and think they are stimulating?

And then we come to the family and the society support part - our Indian society, the culture, values and the family system protects us right?  Sure. That is why the blame game also finds the victim as the perpetrator of the crime - because she is too liberated and she has invited it all on herself. Parents are more bothered about the shame on the family and what to do with their daughter.

"Women have become more assertive and men are not able to accept that and use heinous ways to punish them.". Why have men suddenly become the justice-bearers especially in women issues?

It is also shocking that rapists have been known to the victims in 97% of the cases (reported ones). Women trust and this is the price they pay.

Another statistic shows that even though overall Indian economic wellness has increased that of women taken separately has reduced. The number is lesser than even countries like Pakistan. We are worse off than Afghanistan in representation of women in governments.  

What worsens the problem? Our most talked women problems.
Seeing marriage as the destination for women
Seeing women as Parent's burden and responsibility
Treating women as an object rather than a human being

The solution involves a turnover of mindset of lot of Indian men and women too. It has to start at home where boys and girls are treated equally, taught that house work needs to be shared and parents are equal responsibility. Kids can be caught early. There are books where the plot does suggest gender-neutral roles. Why not have a hour each month at school about gender-issues- based on some activities and real examples children can go a long way in teaching and correcting others at home too.  

Many corporates have mandatory training on Gender equality and sexual harassment. There are mailers sent on these but are these paid heed to? It would be great if corporates have appraisals linked to regular courses on gender-equality not only at workplace but also at home. After all, the wife at home is an employee somewhere. The husband needs to respect that and learn to balance the work-home equation.

Most bloggers would be aware of child abuse but have we taken the step to educate our children clearly about child abuse  - there are some special videos on You tube for this. Why not conduct a simple session for the neighborhood kids too - their parents might not be too aware or are too busy?

There is a lack of compassion and empathy in our minds towards women. Especially when it comes to women victims. Most of us feel that will never be 'Me'. Most of us do not take action unless we are the victims ourselves. Our small steps might help someone in the future to treat women right.


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