From being covered from head to toe to scantily clad in a bikini, the Bollywood movies show, more or less, the true picture of the changing Indian woman. Being scantily clad doesn’t mean they have become shameless, it just shows they have become more confident about themselves, they want to show the world what they’ve got. From being the child bearer to the bread winner, an Indian woman has done it all, she has shown the nation that there is practically nothing that a woman is incapable of.
Every woman today is born to be an activist, they all have their own struggles which they overcome every day. It starts with being born, if you are a girl and you have entered this world without a bruise, then that’s an achievement in itself. It starts from her birth and goes on till the day she dies. She fights her way through the various challenges and struggles. She wins every single day, this is her way of saying that it is her life and she is the only one who will run it.
But no matter how hard a woman tries, the society has already written her fate with the darkest of ink and is prepared to put her through a new challenge every single day. Amongst the various challenges that women go through, a few of them are listed below–
Female foeticide – This is the exact reason why sex determination became illegal in India in the first place, people find out whether the foetus is male or female and depending on their preference they kill the foetus, which is nothing short of murder.
Girl education – Girl education, though of utmost importance, is the most neglected thing in our country. Due to lack of funds, culture or whatever reasons, a few communities still believe that it is more important to educate the boys than educating the girls of the family.
Child marriage – As the word suggests child marriage is the marriage of a child to either another child or an adult. It is illegal but certain communities still have this as a part of their culture. It is obviously dangerous for the kid because it may hamper the mental and physical growth of the child if the child is tortured in any way, mental or physical.
Dowry system – Dowry system is already on its way out but it is still prevalent in certain remote areas of the country. People accept large dowries or ill treat the girl who doesn’t bring enough from her parents’ house. There are a lot of cases still pending in Indian courts where the girl had to endure torture because of this reason.
Rape – Marital or the general rape is when the girl is tortured and forcefully sexually abused. This problem is rampant in India, we could look at the examples from the past like Nirbhaya and others where the girl got severely injured and sometimes even lost her life.
Gender bias – This is something we all face on an everyday basis. This happens in the most casual form – from not letting the girl go out late to a girl should not be drinking and smoking, from the girl should not be working late hours in the office to a girl should be a virgin until she gets married. Times are changing but the mentality of certain Indians is definitely not.
Women Empowerment – The need of the hour and of every household, women need to be treated the way they deserve. This fight has been going on since ages, girls have become feminists, there have been verbal battles and the kids are becoming rebellious but this is something that we are yet to achieve.
In the end, I would just want to say that I am not generalizing and I am not saying that every Indian is responsible for the injustice that happens with women but there is such a large proportion of the Indian population that is, that I am unable to fathom how we can ever really develop and become a prosperous nation. The laws are flexible, the mindset dogmatic, people are just not ready to accept the change which they dismiss as being western. The truth cannot be any further away from what people think is happening. We all love our country but at the back of our minds we all know that we have a long way to go to even start calling ourselves worthy of that love.
Image Courtesy : http://www.akshardhool.com/2013/04/is-india-unsafe-for-women.html