In the wake of the Delhi bus gang rape of a 23 year old medical student, almost the whole of India is protesting against the government and the police department’s lax in protecting the country’s women. But, is it just improved law and order that can change the situation in a country where most of such cases go unreported especially in domestic fronts? I guess not.
Reminiscing Mahatma Gandhi’s words, Dr. Ranjana Kumari, a social activist from India in a news telecast (28th December, 2012, Channel ABC2, Australia) mentioned that domestic violence breeds violence in society. She also mentioned that one in every three women in India has faced some sort of domestic violence. If her figures are true, then among many of us who have gone out today protesting against this heinous crime, must have been involved, witnessed or even experienced some sort of violence on women at home. Then why not change things at home as well? Is there a guarantee that tomorrow men will stop raping women due to a stricter law? Did men stop physically abusing women in a domestic set-up despite the Domestic Violence Act of 2005? Just stricter laws will not help. The families or the microcosms of our society need to practice proper implementation of these laws on a daily basis to ensure that it percolates to the macro level.
In such a society only a change in attitude towards women can bring about a reversal change in these matters. The key factor is that women are still not respected enough by their own family members; leave alone the society as a whole. The origin of such events lie in the sheer male preference factor predominant in India even today, giving men a feeling that they can easily objectify a woman to a mere commodity. In many parts of the country, the good daughter or wife is still considered to be someone who is an epitome of sacrificial life, with no career (no financial independence), serving her family (sometimes working more than the men and not getting paid for it), always listening (no freedom of speech) and thinking about the family before herself (no right to choose). The men and sometimes even the women of our country need to realise that a woman’s independence is as good for the society as it is for her.
We need more representation of women in powerful positions, so that the equality between the two genders is evident to everyone. If women continue to throng administrative junior positions while men throng decision making senior roles in organisations as well as families, we might have to witness more and more of such dreadful representations of male dominance.
Equality is everyone’s right in a democracy, but understanding its relevance is lacking in most of us. Many think that women empowerment getting stronger may also be a reason behind such incidents, as men tend to get more insecure of losing their importance and their insecurities get manifested in appalling ways. In that case, we need to educate and promote women in ways that will make men realise that they gain too, and not just the society at large, by sharing the responsible positions and roles with women.
It’s a daunting task indeed but one that needs to be done in order to inculcate a safer place for the Indian women to live a normal life that they well deserve. It’s important that our government takes firmer action against rapists and also improve the law and order in the country. But, it’s equally important for us to implement such beliefs on the micro level, as the roots of our society lie there; our homes.