By Soumya Kundra:
We live in a modern society boasting of a culture where women are respected and treated as equals. In fact, they are said to be at par with men. But every morning when we turn the pages of our newspaper and start our day, the headlines act as an eye opener.
Headline 1: Cop arrested, suspended for molesting woman in a moving bus.
Headline 2: A young girl molested by a gang of immoral men outside a pub
Headline 3: NCW’s Chairperson said that women should be careful about the way they dress to avoid untoward incidents.
These headlines break the false notion that we all carry with ourselves. The notion of being an independent modern women, a woman who has the right to dress and speak the way she wants to, a woman who doesn’t need to be scared of her male counterparts .
And when, the authorities shrug off their shoulders, by blaming the victim for wearing provocative clothes and consider those clothes as the trigger to rape; then there can be no end to such cases, no matter what.
Its not just molestation and rape which continue to haunt today’s women. Dowry deaths are also a harsh reality that continue to make headlines every day. Apart from these, there are thousands of cases that go unreported because of fear of the society and criminals. The lecherous men roam about scot free and as far as filing a police report is concerned, it is a big ordeal and the investigations thereafter have been stories of apathy and downright humiliation meted out to the victims. Whereas, for the convicted, punishments have been ranging from capital punishments to a day in jail.
Until and unless the mentality of men who consider women as an object or a commodity isn’t changed, women will continue to be harassed and oppressed. We have succeeded in abolishing many lame practices by broadening our mindsets, practices like – Sati system, restriction on widow remarriage and restriction on girl education.
A little more push by the government – (by harsh punishments to such men) and refinement in mindsets will definitely make rape incidents, molestation cases and dowry deaths a thing of the past.