Eram Eqbal for BeyondHeadlines
A woman is a woman and a man is a man due to some biological reasons. Both are equally important for the survival of life on earth. They are responsible for bringing a new life on this earth. Then how a man is superior to woman?
Why there are preconceived notions related to women? Women are weak. Playing antrakshari is suitable for women and football for men. They need protection. When she is young, her father is the protector, then brother and after marriage husband is given the charge to protect her. And what they protect -her sexuality? If her husband assaults her she can’t think of divorce because she won’t get place in society. A girl is known by her virginity. Is that what the woman is all about? She is a girl and there is a danger of her being raped; this is the best rational reason a family can give to keep her deprived. She can’t have boyfriends because she can get pregnant. Boy can have girlfriends because he won’t get pregnant. If she is menstruating she is impure and if she is not able to give birth due to her menstrual problem then she is termed with various names like banjh (infertile) etc. So, a woman is a baby vending machine?
Indian society largely has perception that discussions about equality of gender are idiotic things. People think that these situations are prevalent only in rural areas. Urban India argues that they allow their women to go outside, study and hang around and they can do job too. First of all, the question is who gave them, the MAN, the prerogative to decide a women’s future without her consent? In fact, till today in various families women don’t have right to choose their groom. Life partners are considered to be better-half. But who will be their better-half is decided by the parameters assigned by our society or family in majority of cases. Why a girl requires permission? Mutual discussion is fine but permission for job, marriage by choice or study is hilarious to listen. Who has given the remote control to patriarchal society?
A small incident is pertinent here to be shared. Mentioning the name is not important but mentioning the instance is.
They allowed her to stay in Delhi alone to pursue her degree. They allowed her to travel alone from Kolkata to Delhi and all over. They allowed her to do job. They allowed her to debate on issues such as women reservation bill, sexual harassment guidelines etc.. They supported her in every aspect. They kept boosting about her qualification and achievements within the society. But one day her sister was cheated by predators in a fraud case. Girl tried to settle the matter but culprits were not ready to settle the matter. So finally, girl motivated her sister to file a police complaint. And finally FIR was registered. So what was parent’s reaction?
They forced her to withdraw complain. She is a girl. Her sister stays alone with two kids. If she would have been a boy then filing complains was justified. And here is the difference. So, why they applauded her and made her independent. Just to get a good groom for her or to show off in the society that they are liberal. And if this is the case then whole curriculum and degree are worthless. Teach her to take initiative. Teach her to fight for justice. Teach her to protest against wrong. Support her; don’t discourage her. Else, it’s worthless to send her for schooling and jobs.
Education is given to change the mind-set of society to bring change. Of course, change is not possible within one day. It’s a gradual process. But to continue this process courage is required and if they will be de-motivated, then no change is possible. And then we will blame the society for corruption and malicious activities.
Raise the voice to have the right to choice. Indeed, choice of living fearlessly is must for the healthy society.
(Author is a student of AJK MCRC, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi pursuing MA in Development Communication.)