Power, the Self and Responsibility: On Being a Woman

Posted on March 29, 2012 in Specials

By Amrita Nayak-Dutta:

It is rightly said that being a woman is one of the biggest challenge for mankind from the Almighty. From time immemorial, the dainty shoulder of a woman has been bestowed upon some of the enormous responsibilities of everyday life. However, the basic inclinations and interests of the woman have seldom mattered to the world. It was never asked what the woman wanted to do, but there were always expectations thrust upon her. And she is still in the midst of them, expecting the next expectation. This is a truth for all the women in the world.

Closer home, the rural part of the country still sees a number of child marriages in the country. The girl child, whose mental and physical growth has still not reached its full potential, will pre-assumedly do all the housework. In poor households, the child is at times expected to earn her share of bread and butter for the family as well! Even in rich, traditional families, it is the woman who is coaxed to wash, cleanse, rinse, cook, make kids and manage them as well.  She has to smear the vermillion in her forehead and has to wear the beaded necklace to prove that she is married. While we should not disregard these traditions, it is definitely important to question the extreme partiality of the cultures towards the men folk.

The situation is such that even highly educated-career oriented women are not spared of this — the biased Indian society expects the woman to do all the household chores even though she would be dead tired after meeting her own deadlines at work.

Even though the situations have improved a lot in the 21st century, women are still the victims. She would be lambasted by her family and the society if she fails to do what she is expected to do. In spite of this, the public in general has failed to provide complete security to women. Domestic violence and rapes still make the headlines today.

However, even with many such potential barriers to empowerment and self-development, women are no more the meek and docile women of the past century. The yore has encountered eminent women as Annie Besant, Rani Lakshmi Bai, Indira Gandhi and more. With the years, the emancipation of women has increased, and today most of the Indian women are so empowered that they can fight for their rights and fend for themselves, so much so that they should be not be scared of the society and should fearlessly do what they want to do. They should ideally share the regular workload with their partners so that it gets equally divided — they should now do what all human beings are bestowed with the right of doing from the day they are born, to follow their dreams.