Women’s Day In India – How Lame Can We Get?

Posted: March 25, 2019

Women’s day is over and done with, for this year. But not completely, as the initial euphoria will still continue through Whatsapp and Facebook posts on women, and “special” offers for women by all CPG brands.
Women will continue to be idolized, venerated, revered and recognized all throughout this month until April steps in and we women, are made fools of, again!”

Taken aback by this statement? Let me clarify.
Women’s Day is celebrated with pomp and show in India – a nation where

  • nearly 117 million girl embryos are aborted due to their gender,
  • child marriage is 40% prevalent in Bihar, West Bengal and Rajasthan,
  • dowry deaths account for 40-50% of the female homicides in India
  •  the female literacy rate is just 62%!

Quite something to celebrate, right?

And we are celebrating Women’s Day? For which women, may I ask? The educated, affluent, urban, and metropolitan maidens? Even that can be pardoned when you consider the blatant eye-wash that is happening here under the name of women welfare.

On one hand, the Government of India, the NGOs and even corporate business houses join hands to participate in schemes for women welfare. On the other hand, women do not even have the required restroom facilities at bus stations, railway stations etc. Most of the railway stations have ladies restrooms which are hideous, stinking and unhygienic. And we talk of Swachh Bharath and Nari Seva?!

Even 72 years after independence, women have not gained freedom from such embarrassing issues. The Indian Railways boasts of empowering women, employing more than 500 of them as women drivers. But not one of them has a restroom in the driver’s cabin! And the next station is probably 40 miles away!

Everyone is aware of the biological make-up of a woman’s body and the physiological process she undergoes every month. Still, Indian railway stations don’t even have a pharmacy or convenience store selling sanitary pads at the station! Only few city centres like New Delhi and Howrah have these plush facilities while the rest of Indian women are stuck to watching “Pad Man” on TV and still lamenting on the lack of “women-friendliness” of the Indian railway stations!

Of the 15,555 police stations in India, only 500 all women police stations exist, the highest number being in Tamilnadu. Of the 1,92,000 police officers in India, only 8% are women.
Of the 4,926 IAS officers in India, only 17% are women officers. Coming to the Armed Forces, the scene is even more pathetic. Indian Army has only 3% women, the Indian Navy- 6% and the Indian Air Force- just13% women cadres in supervisory roles.
As for political participation by women in India, only 4 -5 prominent political parties boast of top women leaders to name them.

Socially, women still suffer from eve-teasing, stalking, rape, acid attacks, domestic violence, sexual harassment and gender bias. The Pollachi case is proof of this!

Everywhere in India, women are still lagging behind while the nation lauds its women and lifts them to pedestals of princely isolation. Education, empowerment, enfranchisement and equality in all walks of life are the need of the hour for women to establish themselves and excel. Women should not fall prey to such false propaganda in the name of “Women’s Day” and rather strive to the betterment of their sisters- the women today.

It is time for women to gear up and spread their wings every day rather than celebrate themselves for just a single day.

 

Image via Pixabay

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