Sounds the same, doesn’t it? After all it’s the same words just positions interchanged. But do they mean the same, well…. No! All of a sudden women are at the centre stage. They are being talked about and everyone seems to be realising that something should be done for their development and progress. Corporate ‘s as a CSR initiative want to focus on projects which are women empowerment oriented, play’s like ‘Vagina Monologues’ based on a woman centric plot are getting critical acclaim, movie like ‘Queen’ goes on to become a super hit, etc.
The society finds great strength and pride in transforming a ‘bechari abla naari’ into a strong independent woman. We still live in the fantasy that a woman is weak and thus she has to be supported and helped. NGO’s and many Social Organisations work endlessly and tirelessly in helping women but end up winning a lot of sympathy and little help and cooperation from the society and the living example of this is the members of a society in Mumbai, made the children of sex workers leave their society after finding out the truth.
Why do we say, ‘oh bechari’ or ‘kya halaat hai’ when we ourselves aren’t ready to help them improve their situation. We just want to carry out a pretence that we care and want to facilitate change in the lives of such women who are victims of the ugly side of the society. There is a lot of talk on women empowerment but at the grass root level barely anything is being done. Just by speaking about women and their problems, the situation or their condition won’t change. By having women President, CEO’s, astronaut, sports players, entrepreneurs, etc we want to believe that the position of women in our society has improved. Sadly the picture at macro and micro level is different.
I strongly believe that we need to empower women by firstly providing them with their basic essential needs, secondly educating them, making them aware of their rights and duties, by treating them with equality and honour. This change won’t come overnight but will happen only if we change our mindsets and behaviour towards women. It starts from each and every house, the way one treats a woman in the house. Only if one respects his mother, sister, wife, daughter etc then one will be able to respect women in the society. Empowering women means making them realise and see their potential and shape their lives by making them independent unlike the women empowerment projects which focus on gaining sympathy.
Rahul Gandhi in the election season kept stressing on women empowerment but sadly didn’t work for him. Except for the people of ‘Amethi’ who chose him yet again (I can’t believe it still) nobody could make sense of his reference to women empowerment. What we really need today in 21st century India in women getting empowered and their real and true worth being recognised.
– Anjani Nautiyal
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