5 Heartbreaking Reasons Why Ours Is No Country For Women… And What We Can Do Differently!

We say that "we worship women as goddesses!" But women are human beings, not goddesses, and let's give them the respect they deserve.

Trigger Warning: This deals with violence against women and may be triggering for survivors.

When I just typed “Women Issues in India”, I got a drop down list of various issues faced by women across India. Although, I wasn’t fully surprised and shocked to see the list but was sad that after several years of independence and designing so many laws and rights for women, the issues remain the same.

I would like to highlight some of the issues here.

Domestic violence – physical, sexual, emotional, financial, and more…

This was on top of the list.

We have completed 75 years of Independence and still women across India be it small villages or Tier 1 cities, domestic violence both mental and physical is still all pervasive. The women could be highly educated working in an MNC, or sitting at home taking care of the family. The irony is that the abuse could also come from a fellow woman.

And women are of course silenced, or they stay silent and don’t speak up for themselves. This means that the actual numbers may be higher than those on record, as there are many instances that aren’t reported or registered anywhere.

Abysmal reproductive health support

Women are still unaware of the importance of good sexual and reproductive health. This is responsible for 1/3 of health issues experienced by women in the age group of 14 to 50yrs.

There is a lack of proper education and access to essential amenities, and other reasons like early age pregnancy, late pregnancy, the lack of a decide for herself whether to have a child with marriage or without marriage… anything and everything a women should know.

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Women need to have the correct knowledge and the right support. Strange to read and know that there are so many of them who are unaware of their rights and their health too. This also includes the knowledge of and access to proper maternal health that a woman needs before, during, and post childbirth.

Safety and security absent in everyday lives

We have heard, “India will be free when the women in India walk freely on the streets without any fear”. And this still remains a question, whether we as women are really safe?

We have so many laws and bills passed that assure safety and security to women on paper but in reality, the scenario is different. Increase in rape cases, abuse on streets is increasing with every day.

Informally employed women are the most abused at the workplace

Informal employment sector is one part of the economy which isn’t taxed or monitored. Some researchers even say that it accounts for 60% of the world’s total labour force. This informal employment majority has women in it who opt for secondary income for themselves and for some it may also be the only source of income.

With the recent pandemic many lost their job and it’s stated that women were the ones who suffered a lot. It is estimated that in low-income countries around 92% women suffered of losing employment and source of earning income for their families.

Mental health issues of women are mostly ignored or maltreated

This has been rising on alarming rate.

Women have always been at the receiving end for any situation that happens around them. They are blamed for being silent, for speaking up, for working, for not-working, get married, not marrying, having kids, having no kids, getting divorced  and the list goes on.

Although mental health is a concern for both men and women and it affects differently in both. Cases of suicides, depression and anxiety are more often seen in women compared to men as they undergo various emotional and hormonal changes along with suppression  from the society.

Dealing with these 5 issues is the only way to make Indian women’s lives better

I found these to be the top 5 issues that needs to resolved and eradicated completely. Apart from these issues I also found that women face issues like restricted Political participation, Online Extremism that includes fake photography, luring young girls and forcing them in selling their bodies and extracting money by threatening them., forcing them into human trafficking. All these not only raise eyebrows but also creates a sense of fear about safety of women in the country.

This year the motto of UN Women is “Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress” where in they want to create an equal opportunity for women by eradicating everything that comes in their way. Be it poverty, shifting to green economy and financing women.

We as a country that worships women as goddess can also achieve this by “Investing in Women”, the right way. By focusing on Gender Integration, transformation and mainstreaming so that they get equal opportunities and equal rights.

The critical triad of gender integration, gender transformation, and gender mainstreaming as visualised by UN Women

Gender integration refers to various strategies that take gender norms into account. It goes beyond simply targeting women with products and services. It includes context-specific gender analysis that considers how people might experience a problem differently because of their gender. It also aims to identify gender gaps in access to and control over resources, as well as gender driven power relations that can affect how a problem might be best addressed. Gender integration supports the development and implementation of gender biased health programs, policies, and services.

Whereas Gender transformation aims to change gender inequities at the same time it also focuses on improving women health and resolving issues around it. Gender transformation approach is designed to change gender norms that restrict women and men access to various health services. They also help women to understand the importance of good health. They question and challenge the unequal distribution of power, lack of resources, limited opportunities and benefits, and restrictions on  rights of a women’s health and overall well-being.

Gender mainstreaming is the public policy concept of evaluating the different inferences for women and men of any planned policy action, including regulation and programmes, in all areas and at all levels. Mainstreaming uses a diverse approach that values the miscellany among both women and men.

All the 3 include but are not limited to:

  1. Encouraging critical awareness of gender driven roles and norms among all the genders in the society.
  2. Endorsing the position of women at a higher level relative to men.
  3. Challenging the disproportion of power, distribution of resources, and allocation of duties and roles between all the genders equally.
  4. Addressing the inadequate power relationships between gender and health care providers.
  5. Engage men in women empowerment approaches through information sharing, raising interest and support, or empowerment strategies for less empowered men.

Let’s stand together for each other, let’s uplift every woman we come across so that we have a nation that respects women as a whole as the creator of our very being. Let us change these challenges into better opportunities and transform the world to be a better place for everyone.

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About the Author

V Rashmi Rao

V Rashmi Rao is a Creative Content Writer and Digital Marketing expert who excels at creating exceptional content across various platforms both Print and Digital. 12+ years in the industry, she has gained immense knowledge read more...

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