By Bhavita Kukreja:
I wanted write on violence that women face in everyday life, when after a day off my maid returned to work and I noticed scars on her face and bandage around her arms. On my repeated questioning, she broke down and confessed about how her husband beat her up, just because she refused to give him money for drinking. What pinched me the most was that she, being the principle bread earner, was subject to violence.
Violence against women is a very secular, egalitarian phenomenon that is prevalent across all sections of the society irrespective of caste, class and religion. What we notice on day to day basis is physical violence that we can see with naked eyes, but what we tend to ignore is the psychological violence that the victim has to go through. Psychological violence is not seen and cannot be shown or proved easily, not only is it invisible it has wounds far deeper and at times beyond healing.
Women tend to ignore the psychological violence. Women have to come out first by themselves and admit that this unseen way of verbal torture and humiliation is also violence, like beating, battering and burning. We must speak up and come out of this phase of violence before they die or go mad. Women’s questions and problems are not problems of their own but are social problems. Every man should realise this and should come forward in order to eradicate inequality and gender blindness in the existing patriarchal system.
The concept of violence against women is not just limited to physical or psychological, rather it is more broadened. Lack of opportunity in the education sector, jobs, lack of healthcare services; all this is violence in one way or the other. All these have hazardous effects on the mental health of the women which in turn affects their physical health.
Yet another form of violence that we all tend to ignore or rather we would never term it as violence against women is of female foeticide, which is reflected clearly in the male female ratio. The decision of a woman is never taken into consideration but it is neglected or ignored as if it has no value at all.
Women have to demand and assert that they are human beings as men are, and they have the right to take their own decisions. Until and unless women are fit in both physical and psychological terms they will be a subject to repeated violence and subordination by men.
Beijing conference came up with the slogan that “Women’s Rights are Human Rights”. Women are different but equal to co-men. Some men treat women as commodities and sex objects. They fail to understand that by doing so they not only dehumanise women but also dehumanise themselves. They need to understand that women are and will always remain an essential part of the society and that they should respect them equally as they respect their mothers and sisters.