Posts Tagged ‘status of women’


मेरे कदम रुक जाते हैं …दहलीज़ पर …

इसे लांघ कर कोरा  कागज़ है आगे …

या कोरा दिखता है ? लिखा है सब …

मेरी मुस्कुराहटें और आहें … मेरे आंसू और खुशियाँ …

इन कोरे पन्नो में लिखी है किस्मत …

छोड़े जा रही हूँ सर्वस्व ..अपनी पहचान …

 

छोड़े जा रही हूँ …

इस आँगन में अपने नन्हे क़दमों की  आहट …

वो रटी हुई पहली अंग्रेज़ी कविता के शब्द …

बाबुल की गोदी, माँ के आँचल में छुपे मेरे सपने …

भैया के हाथों में  अप्रत्यक्ष राखी के धागे  …

छोड़े जा रही हूँ …

 

दीवार पर लगी पहले स्कूल के दिन की तस्वीर …

और अलमारी से झांकती वो खेल की ट्राफी …

पीपल के पेड़ की टहनी से झूलता टूटा झूला …

और रसोई में बनी वो पहली रोटी की याद …

छोड़े जा रही हूँ …

 

आँगन के कोने कोने में हंसी छुपी है मेरी …

झारोंखें की सलांखों में दबे है कई आँसू …

चौखट में मिटी हुई कई रंगोली हैं मेरी …

और बुझे  हुए कई दीपक के तेल के निशाँ …

छोड़े जा रही हूँ …

 

छोड़े जा रही हूँ सर्वस्व ..अपनी पहचान …

मेरे कदम रुक जाते हैं …दहलीज़ पर …

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To call woman the weaker sex is a libel; it is man’s injustice to woman. If by strength is meant brute strength, then, indeed, is woman less brute than man. If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man’s superior. Has she not greater intuition, is she not more self-sacrificing, has she not greater powers of endurance, has she not greater courage? Without her, man could not be. If nonviolence is the law of our being, the future is with woman. Who can make a more effective appeal to the heart than woman? –Mahatma Gandhi

The very famous quote by M.K. Gandhi questions society’s view on strength and women.

Gandhi claimed that this perception of men being stronger than women is nothing but a matter of conditioning. Conditioning done by the society, through customs, tradition, laws and rituals.

And yet he, himself fell victim to society’s view in calling women self-sacrificing, a result of this age-old conditioning of genders.

Isn’t this self-effacing Indian woman the pitiful product of a deeply patriarchal society? This glorification of the subservient aspects of women is just another way of binding women in their own weakness.

Could it be the conspiracy of the opposite sex to contain the immense power of women that could potentially cause them defeat? There can be many arguments to this theory with no possible conclusion.

Only the fact remains; by force or by propaganda women have been made to feel weaker and inferior to men. We are made to depend on men for protection. Even if we’re financially stable and emotionally fulfilled, society doesn’t accept our independence. No, we must need a man; we must be in the company of a man or else we’re called names, speculated upon about our character and questioned about our judgment.

What could have caused for her to be middle-aged and single? She must be flawed somehow to be unable to hold onto a man. She’s not pretty enough or slim enough or smart enough or moral enough for men to want her. And because she is undesirable to men she is unworthy of living a fulfilling life. And because she is undesirable to men, she doesn’t deserve respect of any kind.

Do we not often find ourselves speculating upon the character of many women on lines similar to these?

Why are we so willful to jump to such conclusions? Why can’t we simply accept a person’s choice of dissociation without casting insinuations upon their character?

Women must have the right to shape their life.

According to Gandhi, Chastity cannot be protected by the surrounding wall of the Purdah.  It must grow from within and it must be capable of withstanding every unsought temptation.

The question he rightfully raises is the obsession of society with purity of women.

Why must it be so important for women to maintain their dignity and honor to sustain respect in society? The mere idea should be looked at as a disgrace to men and their glorious race. It likens man to a loathsome, scary creature that lacks self-control and respect. If one were to agree to this opinion of men, one must also agree to keep such an untamed creature caged. Even with that conclusion, I fail to understand why ultimately, it is women who are made to sacrifice? Why are they asked to stay inside the house and cover themselves up? Moreover, why must women need men to protect themselves, when it is only these men they seek protection from?

One of the biggest causes of degraded status of women in society is the importance of chastity as a virtue that is imposed upon them since time immemorial. Chastity is not an exclusively female virtue; it applies to both the genders equally. The one who molest loses his virtue as much as the one who is molested. In fact, not only purity of body but he also loses purity of mind and character stooping himself down to the lowest of stature. Such offenders should not only be punished by law but should also be bereaved of all respect and honor in the society. An inhumane act of violence should be met with equal and just retribution.

We have lost the true woman with ages and ages of conditioning. It is really hard to separate society from women. Is subservient nature of women a result of societal remodeling or a cause of societal ideology. Are women naturally weak or strong?

We cannot possibly hope to erase ages of socialization at various levels that fit us in a hierarchical structure with men being on top but we can try to build a better future for the next generation where no hierarchy exists, only co-existence and co-dependence leading to a peaceful environment.


National Girl Child Day was on January 24. It is no coincidence that we have a ‘ Girl Child Day’ and a ‘Women’s’ Day’ but no ‘days’ for boys/men. The boys need not feel disappointed; it means they, as a species, are not in danger. See, the basic idea behind having special days are for things which are in danger, so we have Women’s Day, Earth Day, Plantation Day and of course Girl Child Day. We have campaigns for the same reason, Save Tiger Campaign, Save the Sunderbans, Save the Rainforests of Africa, Save the Butterflies, Save the girl child.
What comes to my mind is that all these campaigns have failed, tigers almost extinct, it’s been ages since I saw a butterfly or a frog outside of a ‘protected environment’, Earth is slowly but surely choking to death, Forest cover is decreasing on a daily basis, so it will be with the girls.
Girls need to be safe and wanted, if we want humanity to survive , if … there is no compulsion, from what I have seen of humans there is actually no harm in letting it die.
There are many who believe that we don’t need a Women’s Day or A Girl Child Day. Women are equal to men and have made their mark in the world in all spheres. It is asked what more do we want?
Let me attempt to tell you.
I want the unborn girl child to be safe and get a chance to be born. There are six million missing girls and the number is increasing every year. I want doctors who conduct gender tests and abort female fetuses to be convicted.
I want the baby girl a chance to live as equally as her brother, have the same food and privileges of sleep and work and schooling. I want the young girl to be given equal chance to study and play, not become a mother to her younger siblings at a tender age as her own mother is further burdened by continuous childbirth.
I want her to study till she becomes capable of financial independence and understands herself. I want her to have toilets at her school so that she does not have to stay home due to this basic need.
I want her to have a choice of marriage, not that she be foisted on to the first ‘suitable’ man who is willing to take her with an affordable dowry. I want her t be wanted for herself not for the money, material goods she will bring. I want her to be loved and respected in her ‘new’ home not abused, tortured and burnt for greed.
I want her parents to support her if she decides to leave an abusive marriage, not push her to stay for social acceptance and then stare in grief at her dead body hanging from the ceiling fan.
I want her to be loved and respected as a daughter, wife and mother, not as a package foisted from father to husband to son. I want her to be respected for what she is, not for what she earns or does.
And more than anything I want her to be safe, safe from physical abuse and harassment. From a six month old baby girl to a seventy-five year old woman, no female is safe. And rape occurs within the boundaries of the known. And she is told to keep quiet for family honour.
I want her to be free to make choices… to be happy… to ….
I want …. I want ….
Is all this too much to want?