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BJP and AAP government have the same outlook towards women. In other cases, they might just be pole apart. These ads show how regressive they are.
While in some cases they may be poles apart, the BJP and AAP governments seem to have the same outlook towards women. These ads show how regressive they are.
The Give It Up campaign by BJP encourages citizens to give up their LPG gas subsidies so that the money can be directed towards development and so they can contribute to nation-building. While the economics of general versus targeted subsidies and who it benefits is a whole other discussion, this campaign-related ad is interesting from a gender perspective.
The woman is only shown in her role as a housewife, dutifully bringing her husband food that reminds him of his childhood and his mother’s food. She comes back from the kitchen, only to find that he is giving up the LPG subsidy. Note the irony here: if the woman is cooking, then she is the one mainly using the LPG cylinder and thus most affected by it. But what we see is a man who makes a household decision all by himself. What would have been far more inspiring would have been to see an ad without mansplaining and with a woman deciding to give up the LPG subsidy because she is empowered and sees a case for it.
But the BJP is hardly alone in reminding women about their place at home and in society. This ad by AAP talks about the reduction in corruption under their governance.
Throughout most of the ad, we are shown a housewife worrying about household budgets and electricity bills. She is shown in the kitchen, peeling vegetables, cooking all the while silently outraging about the politics while her husband sits and watches the news. The ad culminates with her serving her husband food and exhorting us to neither give bribes nor accept them. Again, this ad represents a lack of understanding of contemporary Indian women (especially given AAP’s target demographic being women in Delhi) and continues to view them in a relational capacity as wives and mothers.
Neither of these ads do justice to the diverse roles women hold in the Indian society. These include being wives and mothers but are hardly limited to that. Women work, run households, are equal partners in marriages and relationships, sometimes cook and at other times don’t. One can only hope that the irony of being united in their view of women in society while being polarized on other fronts is not lost on these parties.
Ballot box image via Shutterstock
I think of myself as a feminist development practitioner with a strong interest in issues related to gender and education. I enjoy writing about my interests, a happy step forward from the angst laden poetry read more...
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If you want to get back to work after a break, here’s the ultimate guide to return to work programs in India from tech, finance or health sectors - for women just like you!
Last week, I was having a conversation with a friend related to personal financial planning and she shared how she had had fleeting thoughts about joining work but she was apprehensive to take the plunge. She was unaware of return to work programs available in India.
She had taken a 3-year long career break due to child care and the disconnect from the job arena that she spoke about is something several women in the same situation will relate to.
More often than not, women take a break from their careers to devote time to their kids because we still do not have a strong eco-system in place that can support new mothers, even though things are gradually changing on this front.
A married woman has to wear a sari, sindoor, mangalsutra, bangles, anklets, and so much more. What do these ornaments have to do with my love, respect, and commitment to my husband?
They: Are you married?
They: But You don’t look like it
Me: (in my Mind) Why should I?
Why is being married not enough for a woman, and she needs to look married too? I am tired of such comments in the nearly four years of being married.
I believe that anything that is forced is not right. I must have a choice. I am a living human, not a puppet. And I am not stopping anyone by not following any tradition. You are free to do whatever you like to do. But do not force others. It’s depressing.