When She Walks Alone!

When a girl comes out of the home or migrates to a bigger city in search of her career goals, she shows gratitude to the men as if her father, brother or husband had done a favour for her. Often women say - "I would not have been able to do anything if my father, and/or husband had not allowed me to do it and not supported me." they don't get tired of saying many such lines for their success and freedom while they have been usually silent on the suppressed rights of female in family and society. But it is not the fault of the women alone. We learn what we see around us right from childhood, and unknowingly adopt it as culture. The same is accepted as truth, without checking its basis, sometimes in the name of religion and sometimes in the name of tradition.

Women are considered an asset in the male-dominated system, their identity is transferred from one family to another in the name of the highly glorified social system, and their surname is changed accordingly. But the most insensitive thing is that when women are abused or raped, the news media, police and government highlight their community or caste instead of sharing their trauma and mental anguish. 

Broadly speaking, women have been victims of sexual exploitation due to the community-based polarized system and exploitative mindset. Every day it is exacerbated by the negative mindset of an individual, as often seen in popular slurs, which are essentially gender-biased. Interestingly, some women often use these popular slurs by ignoring the fact that the result is the sexual exploitation of women at the collective level. Let us see this with another example - when a woman instigates her man or relative to rape and exploit women of another community at a particular place. These things happen on a large scale in conflict zones as seen in the Manipur video.

Thanks to the mass digital revolution in post covid world, which is helping everyone to fill the gap by giving a space to share their opinions through social media. Although cybercrime including moral policing and trolling are current challenges faced by women. The world of smartphones has objectified the female body as an entertainment material. OTT channels and YouTube, reputed media platforms selling vulgarity and sex as creative expression, targeted to the male population which is resulting in the increasing cybercrime and insecurity of women.

The implementation of the Uniform Civil Code as provided in Article 44 of the Indian Constitution will be a milestone to bring economic equality as it will get women freedom from discrimination in marital affairs. It will also promote equal property rights in the family, which may certainly boost the efforts to reduce the gender divide. Why is it important? Our country has religion-based personal laws which are responsible for discriminatory practices to exploit women. It must be rectified at the earliest by our government. For a moment, by keeping politics and religion aside, can you imagine 1:4 on practical terms in this digital age, how one male can have legal rights to marry up to 4 women for his sexual pleasure, variety and more no. of children etc.?

The male-dominated thinking of society has been shifted to financial alignment but the insecurity of women has increased even more in the last few years. It is said loudly in the media every day that there is no difference between a boy and a girl. But the level of difference is visible when one woman comes out alone in day-to-day affairs like taking an auto-rickshaw/cab or doing roadside vegetable shopping, you can sense the eyes scanning her body from top to bottom.

The mass rising of pre-marital relationship (bf-gf) culture across the country has its pros and cons. It maintains the demand-supply of sex, which is a healthy arrangement for any civilised society. But, as recently seen in the news, Shardha (27) and Sakshi (16) murder cases be referred to as two of its worst examples. The overall situation has indeed changed and is changing day by day. But the change has not happened as much as is being told. Participation is still uncommon, the gender gap can be seen everywhere.

When She Walks Alone!

P.S. This article is first published in BT Newspaper, August 2023. Please, contact to re-publish it. 

- Prof. Sudesh Kumar

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