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Women, often, have no choice but to surrender, follow norms of society, and believe in the universe to guide her forward no matter what the journey entails.
“She rushed to her mother’s place to save herself from the verbal and physical torture of her spouse. There she felt she was safe and at peace, but her hopes soon disappeared. Her brother apparently felt she was an additional burden to ‘their’ family. Do we all feel her dilemma?
Woman play a vital role in human progress and have a significant place in the society. However, they are still considered inferior to men and subjected to all sorts of social evils. Despite being capable of sharing all the responsibilities in life, women are endlessly abused.
They have to fight for basic rights like Right to bodily integrity and Autonomy; that to be free from sexual violence and hold public office. Women rarely can enter into legal contracts and have equal rights in family law. They lack the basic rights to work, fair wages or equal pay and even their own reproductive rights.
Violence against women is a grave issue reflected globally. It is happening almost every day in various forms. National Commission for Women received 315 domestic violence complaints in April alone amid COVID-19 lockdown.
Although, gender issues existed since time immemorial in various forms, they are still as prevalent in our society. In early days, it was the Sati system, no widow remarriage, or even the devadasi system. Today they exist in the forms of rape, sexual and domestic violence.
On one hand, problems such as acid attacks, honour killings, accusations of witchcraft and rape restricts their public life within the ‘Laxman Rekha.’ And on the other, social evils like child marriage, domestic violence, dowry, female infanticide and sex-selective abortion haunt them in their own homes.
Further, there is dowry-related harassment, marital rape, genital mutilation and gender discrimination. Many women often undergo an identity crisis. Patriarchy dictates a woman’s life unfairly. They have no choice but to surrender and follow the norms of society and believe in the universe to guide her forward no matter what the journey entails.
The question remains “Where exactly can we assure a woman’s safety? Can women depend on men for their safety?” The answer is vague. When a brother turns against her sister and considers her an additional burden, these thoughts need reconsideration.
These grim scenarios compel them to step out, earn their livelihood and become independent. This is what happening these days. 2011 census shows that around 71.4 million women (12% of total female population of India) are single with a 39 percent increase. This includes widows, divorcees unmarried women, and those deserted by their husbands. Widowed women, 29.2 million, lead the single-women category in rural areas followed by those who never married at 13.2 million.
However, the road is not as smooth as it sounds. Being a single woman in this man’s world is both scary and challenging. It takes real strength to emerge and prove our individuality. We cannot expect dignity from the outer world when we are not safe at home.
Women must realize that they need learn to grow and struggle to emerge as liberated human beings. We must struggle to live gracefully as a free and full expression of who and what we truly are. And we need to free ourselves from our protective cocoon of family, relatives and society in order to embody the highest form of our soul’s evolution.
We must learn to break free from the limitations and fears that restrict us from living our life.
Picture credits: Still from Bollywood movie English Vinglish
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