Last week the passing of Jayalalitha, one of the strongest female politician India has seen, brought to light the contrasting society we live in (not commenting on her political agendas or ideologies). Whilst India was one of the first countries to have a woman elected as the head of the government, it also features in the top 10 worst countries to live in for women. One of the most pertinent points of this contrasting Indian nature is that we pray to Goddesses and then we prey upon women, all in the same breath.
It’s sad to read news of women being victimized around the country just because they are easy targets. News of rape, domestic violence, murder, mugging is so common. The sad part is that even if the perpetrators are apprehended the laws can be manipulated in a way that helps these monsters get away with the least of the punishment and in some cases no punishment at all.
Our country has so many goddesses that we pray to and so many festivals that are dedicated to the feminine, yet I wonder how we are so imprudent with the treatment of the women. There are a very small percentage of people that have changed or are in the process of evolving to consider women as an equal and vital part of the functional society. However, a large chunk of people still look at women good enough to only reproduce and be an object of utility for men, be it sexual or domestic. That perception needs to be changed. We must treat our women the way we treat the goddesses. Contrarily our country should be the one celebrating the feminine, rather than attacking it.
Women can, if they put their mind to, achieve anything. Women are strong too. I was very delighted when a brand came up with the campaign called ‘Like a Girl’. It was reassuring that feminine after all is not to be deplored but should be rejoiced. Feminine is as strong as the masculine albeit with different attributes, but equal in existence and being. I have had the privilege of being a part of many female groups in the recent past and the energies at these meets are tremendous.
A social group that I have been a part of is the ‘100 sareepact group’. Although it started with women vowing to wear a 100 sarees a year and sharing photographs, the impact that it has created in women’s lives is tremendous. Many strong friendships were forged and so many women became source strength for others unknowingly. That is the power of coming together. One thing is for sure; if women want to end this anguish of women in our country then the only way is to stand together. I have seen so many women draw positivity from other women to overcome their current hardship. Sharing stories and empowering each other is the way to go.
- Srushti Rao
- December 12, 2016
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