यत्र नार्यस्तु पूज्यन्ते रमन्ते तत्र देवताः ।
यत्रैतास्तु न पूज्यन्ते सर्वास्तत्राफलाः क्रियाः ॥
The divine are extremely happy where women are respected;
Where they are not, all actions are fruitless.
If we believe the above shloka then it doesn’t look like the Gods are happy with our country. This isn’t my thinking. It’s what the latest statistics show. Take a sneak peek into the following before reading further. These are approximates and internet searched.
1. There are over 200 million illiterate women in India.
2. 27% of the girls are married before the age of 18 and 7% before they turn 15.
3. Out of the total count of child labour, 4.5 million are girls.
4. Horrifyingly, every 16 minutes, a woman is raped somewhere in India.
5. 16 women out of every 100,000 across India have experienced domestic abuse in some form.
Above pointers are exclusively related to women and we still haven’t considered other aspects of unfairness and injustice which pertains to both genders. Like, caste system, human trafficking, poverty and lack of basic survival necessities.
‘Women emancipation’, literally means: the process where women in general can gain access and control to all resources in a nation.
Regretfully, this is not enforced strongly in our country or even around the world. Otherwise we wouldn’t be having countless NGOs fighting for women’s rights.
Ironically, women are ill treated in a country where we worship Maa Durga, Goddess Saraswati and Laxmi. The Vedas and Upanishads have mentioned highly of women. But over centuries, selfish people, believing in the patriarch society, twisted many facts for their own benefit and convenience. Which is why the state of women is so pathetic, in spite of modern times.
We, the educated, contemporary lot are actually only a handful. Moreover, due to our lifestyle and comfortable, digital working environment, we don’t come in contact with the underprivileged and less fortunate types regularly. Not unless you are practically working for them. So to many, the figures mentioned might look quite alarming.
The most significant aspect that’ll change the face of women’s status, is EDUCATION. Only when female literacy rate increases, will it bring a drastic change in other fields also. Education is the light which will shift the clouds of ignorance. It automatically leads to thinking and doing bigger and better to improve one’s own surroundings and circumstances. The first wave of revolution that education brings in a person is confidence and self worth. The entire outlook towards life and living transforms for the better.
We all have a voice and wish to be heard. We all have choices and want the right to decision making. Be it a man or a woman. Emancipation begins with respecting these rights of a human being.
Women are not only the strength of a household but when given an opportunity, can become the strength of the nation as well.
“If you wish to know how civilized a culture is, Look at how they treat its Women” Bacha Khan
Shamim Merchant, Mumbai