The woman of today is confident, opinionated, strong and is proud of her achievements. However, she is being held back by the evils of abuse, dowry deaths and foeticide. This Women’s Day we speak to 10 women from all walks of life to know find out their opinion on the progress of women and the resounding reply we got was that it is still to early to celebrate, change is still awaited.
Darshani Nene and Maryam Sultana
Come March 8th and it is that time of the year when we pay accolades to the female species. Yet, nothing can be more hypocritical than women being celebrated in our country No doubt, women in India have taken long strides in the 60 odd years after independence and are equalling, if not surpassing men everywhere. Yet, female foeticide still exists and we still have helpless women being burnt alive or bearing the brunt of their husband’s impotency. Rape, sexual harassment and the flesh trade have neither spared the infants nor the aged. Empowerment of women and equality of the sexes have long ceased to be anything more than moot points. The very fact that males have earmarked one single day in the calendar to remember us and take notice of us speaks volumes for the status of women in modern society.
Things have definitely improved. There was a time when women weren’t allowed to go out, work, or run a business. But now it’s so much different. Women have become independent, successful and when it comes to professionalism and are on par with men. But in order to attain success, women need full support from their family and friends. I won’t say we are in a very happy place, but at least the situation is better than what it was before.
Even though our position has gotten better, there are areas which need to be improved. Yes, there was a time when all a woman was meant to do was to cook and look after the house and family. Now women have broken out of that mould and have started working, and making a life for themselves. The society has also loosened up, which is great, but then on the other hand the evils of dowry and abuse are still on the rise. The day these evils are cast off, will be the day a woman can actually celebrate.
Despite claims that women’s condition has improved, it hasn’t really improved. Since we live in the urban areas, things are different for us. We are much more independent and free when compared to women in the rural areas. What about those women in the villages who are still held back by the practices of dowry, abuse and infanticide? And personally, I don’t believe in celebrating women on one day. Besides, with abundant evils against women like these, I see no reason for a celebration yet.
Over the past 50 to 60 years, tremendous change has happened for women. No longer is she confined to being only a homemaker or the caretaker of the family with no voice of her own. Now she is also the bread winner. The urban women of today have the advantage of education, the self confidence to earn and be self-reliant because of their economic independence. Yet there is much to be done until a complete balance between the genders is achieved. Although it is fair to say that women, in the broadest sense have more freedom, this is not true in all cases as prejudice still remains.
Jwairia Saleem Haqqani
Overseas Education Consultant,
I feel that the true status of women in any society is not determined by their job profiles alone but by their ability to exercise free will, and make their own choices. I would like to see women respect themselves, understand their role in shaping society and in driving the progress of their community and nation. While many women today are going beyond homemaking and making it big professionally, for most this change remains cosmetic. Trapped in convention, economic independence is still a far cry for them. Work becomes yet another instrument of exploitation and oppression. Real progress will come only when women are empowered to take decisions and achieve growth without inhibition.
It is but obvious that the position of women has improved a lot. The present woman is more aware, more understanding of her requirements, has guts, and does not shy away from standing up for herself. She’s breaking barriers and doing things which she was not allowed to do before. Women these days are reaching for the stars and have their morale intact, they are true and feel free to be themselves. But sadly, there still is an underprivileged lot who do not have freedom to take their own decisions, be it in India or elsewhere.
Today’s woman is more opinionated. She has a voice of her own, thanks to the changes brought about by the media. We’ve learnt to dream big. In metropolitan cities, the transformation of women is very obvious, but in some parts of our country women haven’t changed much though. However, I think there is still a gender bias prevalent in our society. The girls haven’t achieved that kind of freedom which the men enjoy, because of several factors like religion and family background.
Women today are unbelievably smart! They’re striking a beautiful balance between their personal and professional lives. There were unnecessary restrictions imposed on women, but now we have actually become fearless. We’ve learnt to question, we’ve learnt to understand things and deal with them in a calmer manner. But the hype of feminism by the media has blurred the line between confidence and over-confidence. A woman should be happy to be herself in the context of her own capacity and personality, instead of aping a man.
Vandana Arul Kumar,
Yes, the condition of women has definitely improved, but not so much. Women still are bound by many duties and responsibilities. A woman’s life still revolves around her husband and kids. She still dreams for them and lives by their terms, because in our society she is expected to do so. Things haven’t changed completely, but I see a change, for good, very soon.
Category: Arts & Entertainment