Women and Society: The Unseen Barriers
By Mudasir Ahmad Gori
Women play various pivotal roles in society from the day they are born up until they die. However, playing so efficiently these roles she unfortunately is still weak may be the other gender (man) is strong than her. Even after lots of awareness programmes, rules and regulations in the society by the government, her life is more complicated than a man. She has to take care of herself and family members as daughter, granddaughter, sister, daughter-in-law, wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, etc. By following such a big responsibility in the family, they are fully able to come out and work also for bright future of own, family and country.
What is more surprising is that, every time when elections are near, many political parties do promise women safety. Unsurprisingly, they never turn to be true. All their slogans turn only to be hollow and mere populist measure without any compacted plan to prop them up. Among many problems that are associated with women is the problem of Alcohol. It has been noticed very often during an election campaign, a political contender decides to woo women voters by promising to prohibit alcohol sales. Prohibition is painted as the first step away from eliminating domestic violence and towards empowerment. And predictably, these promises crop up whenever state assembly elections are around the corner.
In Madhya Pradesh, this isn’t even a promise restricted to one party; both the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party have made promises to ban liquor if they win. Needless to say what the ground situation is in these states. The crime rate is noticeable.
Women are looked as objects of sex. They are treated as less human being. This used to be situation in European countries but i regret to say that the condition is not any different here in Kashmir too. Many girls commit suicide every year all because of the pressure either from husband or the in- laws very often for dowry negotiations.
Do we keep this thing ever in mind that if we mistreat any father’s daughter as a matter of fact if she happens to be our daughter-in –law, what fate our daughter would meet. Why are we very selective in our approach, we take liberty in doing whatever to girls who are not our daughters.
We have lost our morals. The society is unfortunate; the sheer climax of immorality is that we have set ten feet walls around our homes. I wonder are we afraid of any wild animal! Certainly not, then who are we afraid off? In fact, man has become the wildest animal now; he has crossed all the boundaries.
The story isn’t any different here. In fact, if you track local news in Bihar and Gujarat, hardly a day passes without headlines announcing the seizure of contraband liquor, smuggling from neighboring states, arrests for consuming or trading in liquor and cops being caught facilitating alcohol sales. More worrisome are news pieces about the surge in drug consumption and trade, and even deaths from consuming spurious liquor.
As one can already see in states like Bihar and Gujarat and learn from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Mizoram (which have repealed prohibition) a ban on liquor only leads to increased criminal activity, more damage to health and lives of people especially the poor who resort to illegally brewed poisonous alcohol, more smuggled liquor being consumed secretly, people switching to alternatives such as drugs and more corruption among the law enforcers and has never worked as a solution to social-ills. In many cases, this has pushed lower strata families even deeper into debt, with the family’s income now being spent on black-market alcohol and drug-addicted youth being unfit for employment.
“It is foolish to look for external triggers for crimes against women, when the problem in fact lies within our cultural upbringing. It calls for a strong, hard look at our education system and the values ingrained into the youth of our generation and the ones that will follow. Gender equality and consequently, respect for women’s rights – be it their right over their bodies, right to education, right to life, right to equal pay or right to safety – isn’t something that can be magically achieved by taking alcohol away from the equation. Women’s safety is a challenge that requires a holistic approach, spanning across the areas of education, health, financial and social empowerment and even infrastructure. It is high time that politicians understand that their empty promises are being seen for what they are and that today’s women demand action, not consolation.”
(Acknowledgment: the writer has quoted some reference from the article “Societal Change Empowers Women, Not Hollow Populism” by Sagundh Mahajans)