Nagaland, a state considered ‘liberal’ in terms of giving equal rights to women was rocked with a controversy. It’s capital Kohima saw huge protests, violence and destruction against giving 33% representation to women in local elections. We are not talking about any state here where crimes against women are usually rocketing the statistics. If we can’t give the women their basic rights, who are we celebrating the women’s day for?
Every day, women in this country face inequality and injustice starting from their households. It is an age-old tradition, starting from basic rights and amenities such as food. A sister is expected to compromise her food for her brother because ‘he’ apparently has the right to be nurtured. Women of our country are seen as either a commodity or a liability by both men and women alike. This commodity can be exchanged for, sacrificed for anything that comes under the sun. In India, 33 per cent of women – around 20 million women; almost the entire population of Australia – are victims of physical abuse. Take a moment to think about this. One out of every three women you know is hit by a man she loves and trusts! Worse still, according to UNICEF, 57 per cent boys and 53 per cent girls in India think a husband is justified in beating his wife!
Some folks counter these facts by saying that the situation is far better now and the times are changing. Times are definitely changing but are they getting worse for the 50% population of the country as we still have to think a million times before stepping out of our homes in our own city. No matter wherever we go or run, the scrutiny follows in all walks of life. Whether you’re presenting a business idea, driving a car or even speaking loudly- the judgment follows just because you’re a ‘woman’.
What we need right now is discussion and talks. We need to talk to more and more men, to make them understand that just like them women too exist equally in the society. We need to make the men know that neither they nor the women are inferior to anyone, they just co-exist, with equal rights and opportunities. We don’t need a women’s day to celebrate the existence of women, we need a society that celebrates and acknowledges equality in its true sense.