“There is a good principle which created order, light, and man and an evil principle which created chaos, darkness, and woman.” -Pythagoras
When I call myself a woman from a different land, I don’t mean it geographically. Just, at a tender age of 20, I already find myself full of discontentment, full of unanswered questions, unheard doubts. I’m often told to shut up, lower my voice, ground my opinions and to take it easy. Not just men, but women have told me multiple times to curb my urge to understand every social norm that a woman of this society is chained to. Enough ink has flowed over the quarrel about women yet it is still being talked about.
The object of this paper is to clarify as unmistakably as I am capable, the grounds of a conclusion, which I have held from a most punctual period; when I had shaped any assessments whatsoever on social or political issues, and which instead of being weakened or modified, has been constantly growing stronger, by progress of reflection and experience of life
Since all civilisations have been patriarchal, regardless of the overall human rights conditions maintained in society, women have been subject to more human rights violations than men. Women establish the most unfortunate and the least incredible sections of their networks. They are denied equivalent access to instruction, work preparing, business, relaxation time, pay, property, social insurance, open office, basic leadership power and opportunities, just as command over their very own body and life. Social standards, laws and methods of reasoning, including those that are viewed as dynamic and emancipator, have as a rule oppressed woman.
Woman? What is she? Sadly, she is still just a womb to the majority of the people in modern society.
In the words of Simone de Beauvoir “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman”
In the bosom of the family, a woman seems, in the eyes of childhood and youth, to be clothed in social dignity, manners and respect. Later on, in marriage, many respects woman as wife and mother, and in her social circle, she is always seen as somebody’s daughter, wife, mother, lover, but never as someone. Women, even in the 21st century, have to struggle hard to make an identity of their own, to be called as ‘someone’ rather than ‘someone’s’.
Being a student of English literature and History, one question always struck me; it is a perennial puzzle why no woman wrote a word of that extraordinary literature, when every other man, it seemed, was capable of song or sonnet.
What were the conditions in which women lived? I ask myself. I went, therefore, to the shelf where history stands, and took down History of England. Once more, I looked up Women, found ‘position of’ and turned to the page indicated. ‘Wife beating’ I read ‘was a, perceived right of man, and was practised without disgrace by high and low.
Similarly, the historian goes on; “the girl who won’t wed the nobleman of her parent’s decision was subject to be bolted up, beaten, and flung about the room, with no stun been caused on popular supposition.”
Marriage was not an undertaking of individual love, yet of family voracity, especially in the “chivalrous” high societies. Not being a historian, one might go even further and say that women have burnt like beacons, in all the work of all poets, from the beginning of time.
In the words of Virginia Woolf “Clytemnestra, Antigone, Cleopatra, Lady Macbeth, Ph`edre, Cressida, Rosalind, Desdemona among the dramatists; then among the prose writers: Millamant, Clarissa, Becky Sharp, Anna Karenina, Emma Bovary – the names flock to mind, nor do they recall women ‘lacking in personality and character.’ Indeed, if a woman had no existence save in the fiction written by men, one would imagine her a person of utmost importance; very various; heroic and mean; splendid and sordid; infinitely beautiful and hideous in the extreme; as great as a man, some think even greater. But this is a woman in fiction.”
Thus, a very queer composition being emerged. Imaginatively, she is of the highest importance; practically she is completely insignificant. She pervades poetry from cover to cover; she is all but absent from history. She dominates the lives of kings and conquerors in fiction; in fact, she was the slave of any boy whose parents forced a ring upon her finger.
Some of the most inspired words, some of the most profound thoughts in literature fall from her lips; in real life, she could hardly read, could scarcely spell, and was the property of her husband.
And talk not to me of The Manor Court and the Methods of Open- field Agriculture, The Cistercians and Sheep-farming, The Crusades, The university, The House of Commons, The Hundred Year’s War, The Wars of the Roses, The Renaissance Scholars, The Dissolution of the Monasteries, Agrarian and Religious Strife, The Origin of English Seapower, The Armada and so on. Occasionally an individual woman is mentioned, an Elizabeth, or a Mary; a queen or a great lady. But by no possible means could middle-class women, with nothing but brain and character at their command, have taken part in any one of the great movements which, brought together, constitute the historian’s view of the past.
Women’s Rights is an extremely ethical topic, that is surrounded by ethical theories and has a lot of history. While some of the theoretical systems in ethics have helped to gain women their rights, others have assisted in preventing women rights.
However genuine, holes and infringement stay in each area of the present reality, and progress has been inadmissibly moderate, especially for the most underestimated women and young girls. Segregation in the law perseveres in numerous nations.
Women don’t partake on an equivalent balance with men in governmental issues. They face obtrusive separation in labour markets and access to monetary resources. The numerous types of brutality coordinated unequivocally towards them, and they are often denied their privileges, and very frequently, their lives.
Unsuitably elevated levels of maternal mortality proceed in certain districts. Unpaid care outstanding tasks at hand keep on constraining ladies’ pleasure in their privileges. Despite great strides made by the international women’s rights movement over many years, women and girls around the world are still married as children or trafficked into forced labour and sex slavery.
They are refused access to education and political participation, and some are trapped in conflicts where rape is perpetrated as a weapon of war. Around the world, deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth are needlessly high, and women are prevented from making deeply personal choices in their private lives. Human Rights Watch is working toward the realisation of women’s empowerment and gender equality—protecting the rights and improving the lives of women and girls on the ground.
The 27-year-old veterinarian had called her family to say she was stranded with a flat tire in India’s Hyderabad city, and that a truck driver and his friends had offered to help. Then she stopped answering her phone. Later, her family learned that she had been gang-raped and murdered.
All of this is hauntingly familiar. Indian newspapers regularly carry stories of gruesome violence against women and girls and the ensuing lack of justice. Following nationwide protests after the 2012 gang rape and murder of Nirbhaya, a 23-year-old medical student in Delhi, India’s government adopted significant legal reforms.
However, as Human Rights Watch has found, these changes largely remain on paper. Survivors of sexual violence face formidable barriers, from reporting to police, to obtaining health care, counselling, and legal aid. Powerful perpetrators are often protected by the authorities. Increasingly, the victim’s and perpetrator’s religions have unleashed religious prejudice.
According to the latest Indian government data, crimes against women increased by 6% in 2017 over the previous year. Police registered 33,658 cases of rape – an average of 92 every day. Women and girls have a right to live with dignity and free from violence. Concerned Indians should consider the words from the United Nations conference focused on violence against women: “Be angry. Ask your government for change.”
Government officials should end their lazy political rhetoric and recognise that calls for the violent punishment of perpetrators does little to protect women and girls. India has enough strict laws. What is needed is enforcement, police accountability, a more sensitive and responsive criminal justice and healthcare system, and a concerted campaign to address gender-based discrimination. Women and girls should be able to live in safety.
Tens of millions of women and girls around the world are employed as domestic workers in private households. They clean, cook, care for children, look after elderly family members, and perform other essential tasks for their employers.
Despite their important role, they are among the most exploited and abused workers in the world. They often work 14 to 18 hours a day, seven days a week, for wages far below the minimum wage. They may be locked within their workplace and subject to physical and sexual violence. Children and migrant domestic workers are often the most vulnerable. An international treaty – the Domestic Workers Convention – was adopted in June 2011, providing the first global standards to protect domestic workers.
On the other point, which is involved in the just equality of women, their admissibility to all the function and occupations hitherto retained as the monopoly of the strong sex. I should anticipate no difficulty in convincing anyone, who has gone with me on the subject of equality of women in the family, I believe that their disabilities elsewhere are only clung to in order to maintain their subordination in domestic life; because the generality of the male sex cannot tolerate the idea of living with an equal.
I’m blessed enough to have an upbringing to speak my mind and I will. I am left with the understanding that this concept we call “freedom” is one that some women consider an existential threat.
It is destabilising to their worldview, their belief system and way of life. To be a free woman is to shrug off the dubious cloak of “protection” that patriarchy offers, which is its unique selling point for many women.
I do not suggest that such women are weak. I merely offer only that they have been deceived and that they have been coached through fear into fear. This is also why so many people are unhappy, because of the pressures of being “free” to work and add to income, and at the same time “unfree” as they have no freedom of choice, will topple the most stable person into an abyss of unhappiness and confusion.
Our societal norms are preferentially framed, making women vulnerable to character assassination. We have to undergo the ‘knife’ many a time, be it our personal life or professional zone. Unfortunately, the proportion of assassin largely belongs to the same community- ‘Women’. But I’m glad people are realising this thread and a large number of students are addressing these issues.
You cannot chain up the students just because you see them raising, doing better than what they did yesterday/ You cannot ask them to sit quietly witness the utter gibberish. You cannot have interactive sessions in college and universities about women empowerment, without giving equal rights to female and male students. You cannot shut me up just because you don’t find sense in my talking.
I truly wish I could go forward in time to see what becomes of this in a hundred years.