I am not anti-man. I am pro-women.
India is not only a country home to various traditions but also a manifestation of discriminatory attitudes. Gender inequality is a leech sucking the soul out of our country. Women have proved their mettle time and again in various male-dominated fields but the society fails to treat women and men with equality. In India, discrimination against a girl starts before she is born. People desire for a male child. According to them, a man would bring glory to the family and look after his parents when they turn old. Why? Does a girl not have the ability to glorify her family? Does she not love her parents enough to look after them when they are old? The birth of a girl child is avoided in every way possible. A girl is considered to be a burden. Female foeticide is one of these horrifying ways. Yes, a human being killed for her gender.
Malala Yousafzai has rightly said,’ One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.’ Sadly, 34.46% of the women in India are illiterate. Investing in a girl’s education is often considered worthless. As girls grow up and start developing opinions they are conveniently shamed to an extent where they desire nothing but respect and acceptance. They are told: don’t laugh loudly; don’t smile a lot; stop talking so much; don’t stay out late at night; don’t make friends with boys. Why are women asked to be careful when they have done nothing wrong? Why can’t men behave themselves and look at girls like they would look at humans rather than objects of pleasure. Even after following all of these advices a woman is not safe. While girls are not advised to wear skirts, women in burqas are raped. It is funny how people are able to judge you so quick. A girl in a short skirt at a bar has a bad character but a guy passing snide comments at a bar is a ‘cool dude’. If a woman manages to succeed at her workplace even after all the hardships she would still be called a whore. If a man succeeds at his workplace then he is considered to be hardworking and smart. Every five minutes a woman is harassed. Every two minutes a woman is molested.
According to some people, the only purpose of a girl’s existence is marriage. In India, no one marries a girl for her qualities. A person would marry a girl only if her father is rich enough to give the dowry he has demanded for. It doesn’t end here. The woman would be tortured and harassed. 24,771 dowry deaths have been reported in India from 2013 to 2015. If a woman manages to survive after all of this then she falls a victim to domestic violence and spousal rape. It is a belief that women belong in the house and men outside. If a man is brave enough to take the responsibility of the household, he is not a man any more. When this lady fails to give birth to male child she is abused again. She is thrown out of her house. Only if her husband knew that it was his X chromosome which made that child a girl. Even old age does not bring bliss to a woman. There are so many cases of old women being raped.
All of this and girls are still asked to ‘sacrifice’.
The situation of women in India is changing slowly. Sex determination is a punishable offence. Girl education campaigns are at work. Men are refusing to accept dowries. Women helpline numbers have been established.
The belief that male sex is superior is a misconception which if allowed to manifest deeper would cause severe consequences. Women reading this please understand that its high time. We have to believe in ourselves. We have to teach our children, both girls and boys, that men and women are equals. None is superior to the other in any aspect. Be proud of being a woman. Only after we accept ourselves will the society accept us. Men reading this please understand that we are not here to prove who is better. Speeches and rallies won’t help. We have to let the society know that we would do whatever we like to do. No one can stop us from doing that. We don’t want sympathy. We were made different but equal. Women empowerment is not making women do the things which men do. It is creating an environment where women feel free to: have a say, make choices, take decisions, and act according to their will without fear. We must understand that God made men and women so that they could complement each other and not dominate each other. The existence of a man is meaningless without a woman and the same is true for a woman.
All we are asking from you is acknowledging the fact that we are humans too. All we ask for is freedom. All we ask for is respect. All we ask for is equality. Is that too much to ask for?
Let revolutionaries be our inspiration!
Let gender not be criterion for judging a person’s worth!
Let us understand that we are here to make the world a better place!
Let us understand that we are nothing without our counter-parts!
Let us respect them and be brave enough to ask for the equality we deserve!