DRIVING TOWARDS EQUALITY AND EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN (WOMEN AND CONTEMPORARY CULTURE)
The paper views the role of women in our contemporary India, where they are still fighting for their equality. However under Article 14 of the Constitution says about the equality, whether men and women are equal in the society? It is still a question mark. Also, certain other fundamental rights are guaranteed for women for their dignity and freedom against discrimination. Additionally, India has various statutes governing the rights of women. But I guess it does not create any huge impact among the people, since India stands the first among the world countries in crime against women. The author also tries to focus on the role of the Judiciary and Legislation in the empowerment of women. Though the representation and contribution of women has increased almost in all the fields, they are facing a lot of difficulties even today. But then there occurred a great change in the status of women in the society. The main aim of the author for dealing this particular theme is to discover the new emerging trends for women in the society as they are struggling to develop their position in this male dominated society. Hope this paper will provide some more data regarding the theme, “Women and Contemporary Culture”.
Keywords: data, domination, empowerment, equality, representation.
“Society is stagnating under the veneer of modernity”
- Narayan, sociologist.
In this busy world, there exist a lot of crimes against women, where she has been facing a lot of difficulties, even to live peacefully. It is a mark in the history, which is none other than the case of Nirbhaya where a woman was brutally murdered and raped at Delhi in 2012. Everyone marched against it and raised their voice, but what is the use? Whether it created any change over the status of women or else it put an end to the crimes against women. Not all at! What can make a new change in our nation? What is the role of we people? What is about the culture that leads to such violence against women? Let us discuss in detail in this following paper.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY:
It is the need of the hour to create some knowledge regarding the real situation of women, as how they are facing challenges in our current society. Women are the one who are created to be bonded with some emotional qualities and strengths to cope up with their duties. But unfortunately our India fails to notice her qualities and as a result it stands 131 out of 188 countries in the UN Development Program’s Gender Inequality for the past 3 decades.
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY:
It has been 72 years, as our India got independence from the British, but I hope that women do not acquire this independence, it is so then our nation would not be the first most dangerous place for woman and the violence against women would not even happen. Though the social issues like dowry, eve teasing, female infanticide and sexual harassment are still occurring in many parts. It is a fact that the rate of occurrence of social problems might have decreased and some of the customs like sati, child marriage and institutions of temple prostitutions were completely eradicated. As they no longer exist, many other issues have been arising against women in our daily schedule.
PROS OF THE STUDY:
· The superstitious beliefs against women are not being followed in such a manner as our past.
· The literacy rate of women is increased gradually from 10 percent ot more than 50 percent today.
· Immoral activities in the name of customs are eradicated.
· The social problems against women are reduced in a greater manner.
· There is an enlargement in the status of women.
· Women become competent and equal to men as she excelled in almost all the fields such as politics, sports, entertainment, literature and technology. She started asking questions for her liberty and breaking barriers to earn a respectable position in this world.
· Women are provided with several social, economic and political benefits under the governance of Judiciary and Legislature.
“India has the world’s largest population of working women and world’s largest number of professionally qualified women”
CONS OF THE STUDY:
· However there might be reduction in the number of social issues against women, there are some problems which act as persistent issues that cannot be abolished completely.
· The crime rates not only occur in rural areas but also in urban areas. It can also be stated that crime rates in urban places are so frequent and serious in nature.
· Disturbances and stereotypes against women are growing rapidly.
· The crime rates and violent activities against women have attained its peak.
· Gender inequality tends to exist.
· The efforts taken by the Government has not reaching the rural and uneducated people. Even the literate lacks sufficient legal knowledge.
· The expectations over women tend to increase which spoils her peace in the form of trouble.
· The patriarchal ideology seems to continue.
· Women are more victims of honour killing nowadays.
· Since most of the time, women are the victims of offences such as rape, murder, the sex ratio of women has decreased to 945 females per 1000 males. Yet this condition screamed a different reality of women.
· Women in our nation are lacking their safety.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY:
The five main objectives of the study are listed below:
1. To study the role of culture in the empowerment of women.
2. To create awareness among the readers related to the legal provisions that develop women.
3. To analyse the aspects that disrupt the advancement of women in our society.
4. To find out solutions for the present problems that women have been placed in front of her.
5. To evaluate the part of Government and Legislative in the enablement of women.
WHAT IS THE ACTUAL STATUS OF WOMEN IN MODERN CULTURE?
In our modern era, the position of woman has changed considerably. The women are self-sufficient that she can be easily called a super-woman, manipulating many fronts with her own powers. Today, women are showing their capability not only in household chores but also in whatever profession she inclines to work. Indian women are coming up in large numbers in all spheres of life. A nation’s progress and prosperity can be judged by the way it treats its women folk. They are fulfilling their roles in an active manner. Over the years, women have made great steps in many areas with notable progress in reducing some gender gaps. In one hand, women are climbing the ladder of success on the other hand they are suffering the violence. In this modern time, women have left the secured domains of their home, but harsh, cruel, exploitative world awaits them, where they can prove their talent against the world who see them as mere vassals for producing children. Generally, a woman in India has to make her way against all the social prejudices.
Some among the rights that have been neglected for her in the past are right to education, inherit and own property, participate in public life and political life of then nation. But now she has been provided with adequate rights to lead a meaningful life. She has become economically independent. She is no longer a domestic slave. She is the backbone or bedrock to sustain religion and national strength, peace and prosperity. It is an empirical evidence, that women contribute significantly to the running of family, businesses mostly in the form of unpaid effort and skills.
“India is the most dangerous country for women. Indian women are in a constant state of vigilance, like a country of country on terrorist alert.”
However the status of woman has been developed far better when compared to the past. Still their sufferings continue to prevail. Even the feminists who are supporting the empowerment of women, tend to use the terms, ‘sacrifice’ for a woman and ‘powerful’ and ‘leader’ for a man. This may occur since in the developing nations, the burden of women is increasing as the expectations over them continue to upturn in their day to day life.
The #MeToo movement is one among the best measure put forward in our nation so that many women felt comfortable to raise their voice against those men who sexually abused them. The media rather than telecasting female as a stronger sex; portrays them as glamorous object with create an evil intention in the minds of male. The irony is that without wide media coverage there is no possibility of cultural shift and with media coverage, the illusion of women’s safety breaks and ratings fall.
In this modern India, women are provided with Constitutional rights in order to protect and develop them. Also multiple provisions are made in favour of women in Indian Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code and Civil Procedure Code in order to preserve their rights, prevent them from becoming victims to the offences and confer justice. There are numerous legislative measures, schemes and Government helplines to protect the women from her infant stage to her death bed. My only confession is that all these measures can be made effective only when women come forward to know them.
“Women have internalized these behaviours that make it so men continue to be in power”
METHODOLOGY OF STUDY:
A research can be defined as a set of activities for an advancement of knowledge. Research methodology is a way to systematically solve the problem. The present research is a blend of doctrinal research. It is completely based on collection of data, observation, refining and analysing data.
· Celebrating Mother’s day, Friendship day, Sister’s day and Wife Appreciation day and Women’s day is not women empowerment, they should be provided with great opportunities to sustainably develop their life and there should be an overall upliftment of women in all the fields.
· There should be an increase in the number of posting of women in jobs so that it may encourage them to come forward to utilise their employment opportunities.
· Stipend can be provided during the internships, so that women may get economically strengthened.
· Education should be provided free with some privileges and basic facilities.
· Awareness programmes should be conducted for women as osnly 10 percent of the women alone have legal knowledge regarding their rights and obligations. Also programs related to the welfare schemes that help and support women should led by the Government.
· Professional training can be provide for educated women and general teaching to run a small business or cottage industry can be provided for uneducated women.
In the way of concluding, I would like to put forward a question, in this independent India, whether women are taking decisions independently? Not at all! In each and every part of her life, she has been under the control of men, like in here early, middle and later stages, she is under the control of her father, husband and son respectively. A very few of the women alone are leading their life individualistically, that too after a great struggle. Whatever grade she attains, she has been insulted in an immoral way in this male dominated society. Though she tries to absorb all the negativity around her and keeps the peace. We should not be dealing with the same issue every time we should also consider the other side of the coin, as the tension over women continues to proliferate. Though women had developed in a manner as she even reached the space, but still there are innumerable debates that are going on in providing rights to women even in entering the Sabarimala temple, even after the judgement was delivered. Hence the author concludes the paper by saying that nothing can alter the current scenario, except only when there is a change in the mind-set of the men who fails to treat her as an equal and ordinary human being and recognise her true potential. Also it happens, once the women realise the true strength that lies within her and only when she refuses to give up.
“It is impossible to think about the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved. It is impossible for a bird to fly on only one wing”
- Swami Vivekananda.
Author Details: P. Yuvasree f(The Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University)
The views are personal only, if any.