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Op-Ed: Will We Ever See a Change?

Editor’s note: The following is an opinion piece on the state of equality in India. 

Is the basic essence of a woman’s life — marriage? Is the basic asset of feminism — beauty and charm?  A broad consensus would say, “No, of course not. Women are considered equal to men in all respects and have equal rights.” But, the bitter truth is that a lot of Indian women still struggle to find their place between traditional Indian values and modern society. The ultimate question is, is the treatment of women changing in India?

“Perception of Indian women has been spawned by traditions,” this is something a lot of Indian mothers have to tell their daughters. Even to this day, an Indian girl is mostly thought to play an ideal role to men, be it as a daughter or a mother or a girlfriend or a wife. Along with this instilled ideology, she is strongly made to believe in the fact that she can’t be someone in her own right.

Despite the disorientation of Indian women’s status from the most pathetic situations to an almost ‘okay’ state; from Purdahs (practice of screening women from men and strangers by means of a cloth-like covering the face and the body) to donning skirts and jeans; from child marriages to ‘no marriage prior to the age of 18’; from ‘no education’ to ‘my daughter is a graduate’; from amidst the four walls to going around to explore places; from ‘she cooks well’ to ‘she earns well’; has all this really impacted the society to work towards equality even to the slightest?

Has India really seen that sea change in the representation of the reality of women over the last few decades that it claims to have? I would say, no, it hasn’t.


Related article: “EMPOW’HER: INVESTING IN WOMEN’S POTENTIAL” 


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How can there have been a sea of change when even today, a father says, “You don’t have the right to make or take decisions because you are a girl and are very vulnerable.” A mother says, “You need to get married soon because we need to get your responsibility off our shoulders.” A brother says, “I have a say in matters that relate to our family and you don’t because you will be married off to a different family and will no longer be a part of ours.” A boyfriend says,” you need to be okay with my family despite them being absolutely dirty on their side.” A relative says, “We are happy about the baby being a girl, but a boy would have made us happier. Not because he would be a boy, but because he can help grow our family tree.” A neighbor will judge your character going by your dressing and the time you get back home; A grandfather says, “A girl should not talk loudly ‘cause others will think ill of the family she hails from.” When right beside you, one of your brothers is yelling at the top of his voice.


For a full mindmap behind this article with articles, videos, and documents see #women


How can there have been a sea of change when even today, a father says, “You don’t have the right to make or take decisions because you are a girl and are very vulnerable.” A mother says, “You need to get married soon because we need to get your responsibility off our shoulders.” A brother says, “I have a say in matters that relate to our family and you don’t because you will be married off to a different family and will no longer be a part of ours.” A boyfriend says, “you need to be okay with my family despite them being absolutely dirty on their side.” A relative says, “We are happy about the baby being a girl, but a boy would have made us happier. Not because he would be a boy, but because he can help grow our family tree.” A neighbor will judge your character going by your dressing and the time you get back home; A grandfather says,  “A girl should not talk loudly ‘cause others will think ill of the family she hails from, when right beside you, one of your brothers is yelling at the top of his voice.”

Has there been a change?

A woman is just not someone a society or a family decides her to be. A woman is someone you can look up to for strength and inspiration. She is someone you can go to when you are in your worst times. She is someone who can show an interest in current affairs when even today you think she is interested only in the next door neighbor’s affairs. She is someone you can depend on. She is someone who can be an amazing breadwinner for a family even in times when the whole world seems to have shut.

To all the men who think being submissive and passive are feminine virtues and a woman’s duty is to hold onto traditions, I am here to tell you the sea is changing. Indian women stand second to no one and will stand up for themselves. We are strong, courageous, and determined to execute change.

P.S.: All you male chauvinists, you’re on the wrong side of history.


Recommended reading: “RIO OLYMPICS 2016: IBTIHAJ MUHAMMAD ON HIJAB, DONALD TRUMP & MUHAMMAD ALI”  


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EDITOR’S NOTE: THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED HERE BY IMPAKTER.COM COLUMNISTS ARE THEIR OWN, NOT THOSE OF IMPAKTER.COM.
Featured Image Credit: Ali Naqi 
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