“For A Free Country, India Has A Lot Of Restrictions For Its Women”

Even as a free country, has a lot of restrictions for women.

We always discuss the injustice that is centred only around women. We express our thoughts, share our problems, but does it really make any difference? The world thinks of us as something fragile when, in reality, we can be badass too! The only hurdle we have to cross is the mindset of society.

Society is attuned to rebuking women and demoralising them whenever they embark on anything on their own. Indian society needs to give women their much due chance. There are a lot of restrictions, and I wish women across the country would not have to face them.

For those who are ignorant, you need to look closely, and then you’ll realize that India, even as a free country, has a lot of restrictions for women. I remember our teachers in schools and colleges teaching us “equal pay for equal work”. I don’t see that happening at all.

A report reveals that, in India, a man earns 46.19 Indian rupees more than a woman. The world is progressing so fast, and we’re not even able to bridge our gender pay gap. Women still get paid a lower sum than men for the exact same job. The gender pay gap in our country is so high it can touch the stars!

Research and surveys show that women earn 19% less than men. This is most prevalent across corporates and industries that involve high-skilled work. The gap reaches a 30% mark as the position and skills keep on increasing. This is the reason why there are fewer women higher up. But when you talk about it, there’ll always be an excuse to cover up this inequality. Those aren’t excuses; those are misogynistic mindsets.

Society thinks that you are some person who uses influence and power if you’re a woman and you’re made the head of a company, or are getting paid higher than some men. No! They deserve those positions because they have worked hard for it.

Research and surveys show that women earn 19% less than men. Image for representation purposes only.

It is not because of the way she looks or talks or walks; if you do that or think that’s the way to be a leader, you should not head the company or the organisation you are in. Why are women still getting low pay for the same job as others? Saying “women are women” is a foolish way to show you have control over them.

The most common restrictions that girls and women face range from curfew timings, late-night parties, drinking, choice of clothes, and solo travelling too! Shocking, isn’t it? In today’s time? I thought the same too. We are considered immoral and “available”. The thought in itself is a cringe-worthy one!

We are assumed to be lacking morals and are considered reckless if we travel, drink, or party. It is absolutely fine for men to travel the world, but if we want the same, it is a straight-up no. I think it is an excuse to try and keep the slowly diminishing control on women since the time the country came into existence.

The patriarchy has almost lost to women, and I hope it stays that way. So, to the girls and women ready with a backpack and fear over your head, break free! You can do it. You are stronger than you think. Scream, party, drink, wear anything you want because you can! We are the ones that can bring out the change because we’re independent. We have no one. We have to do it all alone, and I’m sure we can!

To the religious temples spread across India, you worship Goddesses, and yet, you restrict the women to enter the grounds? I thought the highest power in the universe treats everyone the same. But something is not right here. Why? Just because they menstruate, you think they are nasty and impure? I’ll tell you what is dirty and disgusting: your thoughts and mindsets that we have been trying to change since the day we were treated like trash.

It is so ironic how society tries to live by words and do good deeds by worshipping Goddesses Durga, Kali, Lakshmi, and Saraswati, and yet, here you are struggling to find a righteous place in society that you deserve as a woman! The society and the patriarchs that worship them for wealth, power and wisdom; they are women gods if you didn’t know. Then why do you stop them from earning good pay, education and power?

If you really do not want that to happen, you can just say it outright, you don’t need to create ways to ignore these issues that surround our country. We know you will not be able to handle all the success and achievements women will gain.

Families need to be progressive. I say this because that is the only way change can happen. One small change can create a spark across India. Teach your girls the right things, provide them with education and immense knowledge, give them the freedom the country fails to give. Tell your sons to respect and treat women properly and help them out when in need. Do not put wrong notions in their head. At the end of the day, we are humans and we deserve the same amount of respect rest of the “male” India receives.

So to sum it up, I salute all those women who are CEOs, pilots, captains, working women, homemakers, women who’re learning and travelling to show your badassery! You are an inspiration to us! And to all the women in India, you can do it! You are the power!

Keep fighting! Keep believing! Keep on achieving! 

Similar Posts

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below