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Women, for years, were suppressed under patriarchy. However, now they have begun to speak up. Here’s why we need to break barriers to achieve equality.
The fact that we still discuss women’s issues and talk of women’s rights is proof that we still have a long way to go to achieve the basic rights and opportunities they deserve. Even today, women are not free from abuse, harassment, objectification, body shaming and other evils.
Apart from this, it is an everyday struggle for a woman to be treated as an equal. Women are expected to follow several social norms and conventions in order to be an acceptable member of the society. However, there is a large number of women who fought against the stereotypes imposed on them by the society.
It is an undeniable fact that anatomically, both men and women are different. And as a result of this, people assume women are available to be exploited.
Sadly, it often these men who play the role of the protectors of women are seen exploiting them. All in the name of gratifying themselves and proving their ‘masculinity.’ However, the women who have raised their voices against this fragile masculinity cannot be overlooked either.
Women proving themselves in fields that were earlier reserved solely for men is another example that proves they are constantly breaking barriers. It is proof that their worth is not limited to hearth and home only.
Women have been emerging as writers, teachers, astronauts, soldiers, doctors among so many others. Despite this, there are people who still judge women on their ability to be a ‘good wife’ or a ‘good mother.’ The harsh reality of the Indian society is that a man is considered successful once he starts earning. Meanwhile, a woman is considered successful only after she is married and bears children.
Women are slowly bringing about a change in this notion. They are taking steps towards proving that females are not mere objects meant to satisfy a man’s desires. Women, in fact, do have their own aspirations, dreams, desires and their choices deserve to be respected.
Living in a patriarchal society often poses several challenges for woman. The basic rights and opportunities served on a platter to men are usually given to women after a long struggle and lots of hard work. It is the sad truth that even today, parents consider their son’s education and career more important than that of their daughters.
Often parents educate their sons and encourage them to earn well. But when it comes to their daughters, their priority is to find her a suitable groom and they will happily watch her raise children.
With changing times, women are raising their voice against the injustices that were practiced on them. And this has led to certain positive changes in the society. Day by day, women are seen to be standing up for their rights and crushing down the patriarchy. Women are succeeding in explaining that they don’t always need a husband or a child to be happy.
A woman is always asked to choose her clothes ‘wisely’ and dress up ‘decently’ to prevent men from being ‘aroused.’ Right from childhood, women are taught that their bodies are objects meant for a man’s pleasure. They are essentially told their bodies are meant to be sexualised.
As a result, women become a victim of patriarchy. It should be understood that a woman’s body is not an object to be devoured by men. A man’s arousal is not a woman’s responsibility. Neither should a man’s arousal and subsequent abuse be normalised.
Instead of telling women how to carry themselves, men need to be educated and taught to respect women as humans. It is the men who should be taught not to see women as sex objects.
Women are working towards it. They are speaking out instead of remaining silent. And are making efforts to prevent crimes taking place against them. Active participation of women is seen in trying to spread awareness about the issues they face in their daily lives.
Social media too plays an important role in helping the survivors put forward their statements. This inspires more and more women to speak up and out. Although not much success has been achieved we must keep trying unless the desired results are attained. There are several issues in this regard which need detailed discussions.
The barriers women face in their everyday lives, the steps they take to fight these barriers and the success they receive are all important. But the most important question here is, “Why should a woman face these barriers in the first place?”
The deep rooted patriarchy is very evident in the struggle women go through. Until and unless the granting of equal rights for every individual is seen as the societal norm, development shall remain a far-fetched dream. Not only should we support the individuals in taking a stand against injustice but also do our bit in order to achieve a world worth living in.
Picture credits: Still from Bollywood movie Bombay Talkies
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