Sunday, May 26, 2024
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The essence of Women’s Day!

Soumya Sambedana

So last Sunday the world celebrated women’s day.. a day specifically “dedicated” to women… Women all over received unlimited wishes, thank yous and gifts. So alongwith all the celebration, why don’t we dive a little into the very essence and fate of women and womanhood?
From oppression and torture to empowerment and equalisation.. from patriarchy and suppression to freedom and feminism… And now, from feminism to over feminism and even pseudo feminism… We have seen it and seen it all. So after all these see-saws and hocus pocus, where do we stand now? Is the situation better? If yes, is it enough? If not, then why not better after all these evolutions and revolutions? 
Are we really aware of the situation now?
Just quoting a few stats from UN Women Org. :- “More than 2.5 lakhs rapes are recorded by police annually.” That’s a little less than the entire population of Maldives!! That too, UN claims that this survey was done only for the reported cases in 65 countries.. Now the darkest figures in the survey shows that almost 90% cases go unreported and there are 192 countries.. We can do the math.
-“Approx 15 million (one crore 50 lakhs) girls of age 15 to 19 years have experienced forced sex at some point of their life. And only 1% sought help.”
-“Around 60% women have experienced Street based sexual harassment (comments, stalking and ogling).”
And to break the notion that this normally doesn’t happen among the educated mass:-“82% of women parliamentarians in 39 countries reported having experienced some form of psychological violence ; nearly half of those surveyed (44 per cent) reported having received death, rape, assault or abduction threats towards them or their families.”
Coming to the plight of girls and women some form of disability and impairment:-“24 per cent of 11 to 14-year-old girls with disabilities reported sexual violence at school, compared to 12 per cent of non-disabled girls.”
For people who think marital rape is not even a real thing:-“Upto 70% women worldwide have experienced sexual violence from their partners in their lifetime.”
Coming to India:
According to a survey done seven years ago by The Thomson Reuters Foundation, in the list of 5 most dangerous countries for women, the Afghanistan was at the top, followed by Congo and so on. India was ranked 4th. By 2018, the results saw some changes and now the list starts with our country.
The Delhi gang rape of December 2012 had left our nation shaken. The country saw numerous protests and more strict laws were written named after Nirbhaya. It left us with an assurance that now the situation might improve. But did it though, really? No. of rapes in 2012 was nearly 25000. In 2013, it was in fact 35000. After that it has been steadily increasing…
You might wonder, of all the issues faced by women like female foeticide, trafficking, acid attack, honour killing, and so on, (I need not enlist them, we all are well aware); why did I focus only on rapes. Because of all crimes against women, it’s probably the most horrendous one.. every 20 minutes a woman was being raped in India. Now that has become 15 minutes. Do we even understand the implication of this? Each hour in our humdrum days, nearly four women’s souls are getting crushed to their very cores..!!
Think of the most horrible situation a community can be in, be it poverty, famine, concentration camps, detention camps, refugee camps, jails, living on the streets, living in wars, riots….even in that worst condition, the worst of the worst plight will always be women’s…
Much much before we talk about equal representation, equal opportunities and equal pay, we have to first clear the crude horrors..
In life, often at the time of utter despair or deep contemplation, people wonder : is there a point of living? Won’t it be easier if life ends? But for women, can even death bring solace? Haven’t we seen numerous incidents where even the corpses of women were sexually assaulted in mortuaries? 
There are more than enough incidents, reports, surveys, books, biographies and documentaries which can leave us deeply shattered and grieving in shame. One can easily lose faith in humanity. 
But the silver lining is that the world has more good men than bad. There’s always more good than bad. And the world thrives because of these wonderful men who know what it is to be ‘real men’ . 
The situation is quite grim, but really it’s not a thing which can’t be defeated. Since crimes are numerous, solutions too, are numerous. But what we can do, is start from ourselves. I often feel that miniscule steps can yield gigantic effect. So we can start small.. one step at a time.. and each one of us can choose our own first step. The step can be anything we feel we can do: next time we notice anyone  jeering, stalking or brushing against a  woman in public, we’ll simply speak up and put a stop to that.
 Now, the step need not be heroic, it can be the tiniest of change: is it really needed to swear on a person’s mother or sister to show our cool wrath? There surely must be plenty of gorgeous words to compliment beauty? Then maybe we can give up using ‘item’ or ‘chic’ as a compliment? These things might seem unlikely to be potentially dangerous for womankind and unknowingly they might have become a part of our lives…But every tiny lapse keeps adding up and often end up creating a big epidemic..
 As I said, each one of us can choose our own first step as per our wit…Need not be a very big one, but has to be taken…
On a lighter note….It has been said, written, quoted and re-quoted time and again that ” it’s easier to understand rocket science than a woman’s mind….”
  Well, can’t say whether the statement is justified or not. But here’s a trial to decode a woman’s mind in a single sentence- If you are a son,  maybe you can try adding a few ‘how are you’ or ‘did you take food’ to all the yes’s and no’s that you reply to your mother on phone.. ; if you are a father, maybe once a while you can tell your daughter that “your are my pride and no son could have ever replaced you” ; if you are a brother, maybe you can miss football once in a while and take your sister parlour or shopping!!; if you are a husband, maybe you can ask her once in a while, “shall I help you clean the dishes?” or “I am disastrous at cooking, but I can help chop the veggies”…. even though love can do well without words, maybe once in a while you can just use words to express your love..and even in her worst of the looks, you can simply say, ‘” you are always the prettiest'”…
I hope I made a woman’s mind seem a lot  simpler than rocket science..# let’s cherish womanhood..Reply Forward
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