History is a dark page for analysing the position of women in the society. It is full of crime, slavery, exploitation, and discrimination against half of the world’s population. In Latin America and Rome women were considered as a manifestation of devil (Satan) and could only be used for sexual satisfaction and domestic tasks. Here, women were laughed at, molested, teased and abused in public spaces, even in broad daylight.
From China to countries in the middle-east, women have been held in very low regard and men have been preferred all along. Although Islam has always stated that women have equal rights as men. Prophet Mohammad said, “Birth of daughter is the biggest blessing of Almighty Allah.” It reflected the laws embracing global message in favor of women; no distinction on the basis of caste, color, creed, sex etc.
Women are the reflection of a society and nation. They are the architect of our future generation and are an important component of our social structure. It is they who gives birth to all the prophets, scientists, engineers, Political thinkers, leaders, philosophers and other great personalities but the graph of crime against them continue to rise at an alarming rate. The slogans of many international conferences, summits, voluntary organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) is directly related to issues of injustice towards women. In spite of these efforts, instances of atrocities like dowry deaths, sexual harassment, female foeticide, molestation, rape, trafficking, domestic violence etc. continue coming to surface from each and every corner of India.
The shocking statistics of sex-ratio in my home state of Jammu and Kashmir for example: 883 per 1000 boys is below the national average of 914 per 1000 boys. A study has revealed that 57% of boys were breastfed as compared to 30% of girls. The stereotypical mindset of people that boys are assets, while girls are considered as an additional burden on the parents as they have to spend massive amounts of money on their marriage and dowry. Women are among the most discriminated sections of the world population.
Even today women are kept away from the position of power and decision-making. The economic dependence of women makes them subjugated and vulnerable to emotional and psychological violence. The society should also change its negative mindset towards business women. Men should leave bias and strengthen women entrepreneurs and help them to be the job providers and not the job seekers. The entire edifice of social movements in India, which wanted to change the status of women, has been raised on the principle of equality.
And yet, the big obstacle many women entrepreneurs face in the way of approaching banks for financial assistance is that many of them are devoid of tangible assets and they cannot keep anything as mortgage against the sanctioned loans.
A woman does 3/5th of world’s work but earns only 1/10th of world’s income and owns the only 1/10th of world’s assets. Religion, polity, and the society are organised historically to make a woman’s position vulnerable in the society. Women are treated as the second sex in material terms and are quite often denied political, economic and cultural rights. Changing conditions of women and their status constituted the core of the social reform movements in the early decades of the nineteenth century, however, by thetwentieth century this core is enlarged by bringing two issues to the fore: equality of women in modern political, social and cultural realm and women’s role in the development process, into its ambit.
The year 1975 was declared as the world women’s year by the United Nations. The women’s decade, 1975-85, witnessed women-related activism by feminist groups as well as political parties.
Violence comes in many forms and, like the sea, a life that is serene and beautiful can quickly become turbulent and terrifying. Often we cannot leave the place where disruption rules, but we can leave to go deep inside and remain unaffected.
The writer is a Social activist and Political Commentator from Central Kashmir Ganderbal India.