EMPOWERING WOMEN IN INDIA BEGINS WITH EDUCATION
Funny isn’t it that several laws exist all over the world regarding women rights and yet they still end up being discriminated? In India too such laws are quite in abundance but they are rarely implemented in letter and spirit. Some laws exist on paper but are rarely known by those who are affected by them directly or indirectly; how can they know or understand those laws made for safeguarding their rights?
They are unable to read or write even their own names so to expect them to understand what empowerment of women is all about will be quite similar to asking a monkey to speak mandarin.
|Wake up India !!!|
Empowerment of women in India is much related to the level of literacy in general and in particular for women. By rough estimates it is suggested that more than 75 percent of the women population in India is uneducated. Though the official figures are not so discouraging but in my country public officers are everything except public servants.
You can enact 1000 laws that could empower women but who will tell those women that they are protected by such laws? How will they understand the legal ‘jargons’? How will they read the newspaper to know that ‘Law xyz’ has been passed in the parliament empowering them? These questions add to my pain and to the dilemma of empowering women in India in all aspects.
For me the real empowerment of women can only come from education. If women are educated in India they will become aware of what is going on around them and when they are aware they can respond accordingly. Education can only ensure that women know their rights and are also able to exercise them without any obstacles.
If we exclude the urban areas of India; the rate of female education in rural parts of the country is dismal. The majority of families in rural India does not send their girls to school and some who do cannot afford to let them pass the primary level which is often thought of as adequate for any ‘girl’ to get married to a decent suitor. The underlying thought pattern is that girls need no education to be ‘successful’ in life.
Their success largely depends on their looks and fertility as well as cooking abilities. The denial of education to females in India is a guarantee that empowerment of women can actually never take place. Laws require two elements for their success; one the knowledge of laws in every one related or affected by such laws and secondly the implementation of these laws. In my country both elements are generally absent.
The majority of women are unaware that there are certain laws that can not only protect their rights but also empower them to do a lot more than they are ‘allowed’ to do by their male family members. This unawareness is linked directly with them being ‘uneducated’ or ‘isolated’. And for the lucky few who happen to know of such laws; the implementation procedure is so cumbersome or unpractical that they prefer to forget the whole issue than stand up for their right and fight.
You may ask why we cannot make the implementation easier. Yes we can but even for that purpose the women of India need to be educated enough to propose such changes. So in the end, empowerment of women in India will remain a dream unless we ensure that all women are educated at the same level as their male counterparts in the society.