A Society Without Women
A Society Without Women5 mins 214 5 mins 214
Since the origin of social life in the country, various centuries have come and gone, time has changed people’s mentality, mind, and environment a lot, however, violence against women doesn’t seem to change a little bit. Time is the real eyewitness of all these sufferings (like sex discrimination, oppression, exploitation, aggression, humiliation, degradation, etc.,) which is bore by the helpless women. In our Indian society where females are worshipped as goddesses are left to fend for themselves. In the Vedas, where women were glorified as mother, the one who can create and nourish a life, on the other hand, have found themselves suppressed and subjugated by the men in the patriarchal society.
In India, women have been victims of violence since many years in almost all the societies, regions, cultures and religious communities. Women have to bear all kinds of violence such as domestic, public, physical, social, emotional and mental. Violence against women has been clearly seen in the history to a larger extent which is still being practiced without any positive change. Women used to enjoy a comfortable position all throughout the Vedic period, however, the condition got worsened gradually because of the practice of violence against women all over the country. With the increasing level of violence against women they started to lose their educational, social, political, economic, and cultural opportunities in the society.
They were even restricted to lead their normal lifestyle like healthy diet, wishful dress, marriage, etc. It was because of the male dominated country that made women limited and obedient. They started making them enslaved and prostituted. They were used as commodities for the men to perform different functions of daily routine. It’s a culture in the society where women had to think husband as a God, and keep fast for their wellness and long life and always be dependent on their husbands. Widows were restricted to remarry and were forced to follow the sati pratha. Men thought they had their rights to beat women. Violence against women took a very fast pace when young girls were forced to serve as a Devadasi in the temple. This gave rise to the prostitution system as a part of the religious life.
The fight between the two major cultures (Hinduism and Islam) in the medieval period has increased the violence against women to a greater extent. Young girls were forced to marry in an early age and were asked to follow purdah system in the society. This made them isolated from rest of the world except their husband and family. Polygamy with strong roots also became rampant in the society and women lost their right of having unshared husband’s love. Female infanticide, dowry system and bride-killings were other acts of violence. Women also faced other forms of violence which included lack of nutritious food, negligence to medicine and proper check-ups, lack of educational opportunities, sexual abuse of girl child, rapes, forced and unwanted marriages, sexual harassment at public, home or work place, unwanted pregnancies at small intervals, bride-burning, wife-battering, negligence of old women in family, etc.
Rapes and Acid attacks have seen a surge in recent years. The dastardly Nirbhaya gangrape was a testiment to the violence. Violence is not only restrcited to physical violence, the women in India are regularly subjected to character assasination. The women are considered pure if they uphold the dignity of the family, if they question patriarchial practises they are ostracized and suffer from different forms of violence. There is an increase in honour killings in last few years for intercaste marriages.
So, in order to reduce the number of offenses and crimes against women in India, another Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) law, 2015 was been made by the Indian government. It was done so that it could replace the earlier Indian juvenile delinquency law of 2000 especially after the Nirbhaya case during which an accused juvenile was released. In this act, the juvenile age was reduced by two years means 16 years from 18 years in cases of heinous offenses. Only stricter laws are not going to stop these acts. There needs to be a change in mindset how Indians view women. Educated people are equally responsible for this state of the country. In the name of traditions and values, the henious practices like dowry, honour killings, conjugal, marital rapes are still prevalent in the country. The educated class has to be more vocal against these practices rather than meekly surrendering to the parental pressure. Most of the Indians perceive a girl child as a liability who has to be married off. Better oppotunities need to be created and bigger social awareness programmes should be put in place. 'Beti Padhao Beti Bachao yojana' is such a flagship programme undertaken by the union government. India has produced some great women athletes in the last decade. As sports is coming to the fore of Indian education curriculum, the families should encourage their girl children to take motivations from icons like Sania Mirza, Saina Nehwal, Deepa Malik, Sakshi Mallik, PV Sindhu.
A society can only prosper if equal opportunity is given to all irrespective of gender, caste, class and religion. A society without woman is as good as a barren land.