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Women empowerment in India


Women empowerment is a much chanted slogan in India by political parties and social groups but the real causes and underlying issues are rarely addressed. This sensitive issue encompasses two elements one revolves around the legal framework or laws initiated for this purpose and the second is about social mindsets. Neither can be denied in importance but it is my understanding that the social and psychological aspects need to be resolved primarily in order to actually empower women in India.

Years ago under the British rule the cursed ritual of ‘sati’ was abolished and subsequently women were at least spared the misery of being burned alive with their deceased husband. This is one of the few British legacies that we can certainly be proud of. But if some people mistakenly assumed that this would begin a chain reaction of women empowerment in India; they were never more wrong. Reverting back to my own analysis that empowerment of women in India is more of a social issue than a legal one; the reasons are simple whenever women are considered the mindset of people living in India is a ‘unique’ one. 
The general feeling or notion is that women are one step below men in the ‘hierarchical order’ of living things. Therefore how can they have equal rights with men? This particular thought is responsible for women being deprived of their rights. However when it comes to obligations they are numerous that must be ‘bestowed’ upon them. 
They must be a loving and faithful wife, an ideal mother, a caring sister, an obedient daughter in law and a helping hand for all those living under one roof. While the ‘woman’ is busy in performing all such duties she is denied the right to take part in any major financial or social or even personal decisions. If she wishes to get dressed in a red sari with her hair cascading over her shoulders; a big no can come from her in laws and she must abide by that declaration. 
So if you are still not getting at what I am trying to direct you to; let me put it in the simplest words that I can think of, “women are natural followers who cannot be allowed the liberty to take decisions even in matters that pertain to their own self”. So forget the ‘big words’ about liberating women or ‘women rights’ when the same people chanting these lines are unable to empower women in matters related to their own household.  

If we really want to empower women, we will have to begin in our own homes; isn’t it said ‘charity begins at home’, so why are we forgetting that every journey starts with a small step. We want to empower women in India than they must be given the freedom to take their decisions on their own starting from our own homes. 
If my sister wishes to study engineering or pursue a job of her own liking I should ‘empower’ her to take that decision on her own and without any compulsion. The women empowerment in India can become a reality only if we start by changing our own mindsets and giving them the liberty to do what they wish to do.
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  1. Changing a mind set of an entire nation is not an easy undertaking but one that, I agree, must be taken if women are to be afforded true equal rights with men in India. Perhaps the woman could start by teaching their sons (unobtrusively of course)that women are every bit as intelligent as their male counterparts. Men will have to take the initiative on this one from a legal standpoint from what you are saying.

  2. Have you ever heard the saying,.. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.
    It is so hard to make people change their beliefs.

  3. I find it intriguing that you are so intune with your countries history and stuff. I know some things about the US but to be honest I am not a history buff so I probably no nowhere near what I need to know.

  4. Such a powerfully written and important post. Thank you so much for writing it :)

  5. Really thought provoking post - it often amazes me how different women are seen across the world.

  6. Good luck to all of the women in India in finding the strength and stamina to pursue your dreams and be treated as equals. I know it takes a lot more than luck.

  7. I didn't know that at one time women were buried alive when their husbands passed. I agree with you, we must all support our sisters and encourage them no matter where we live.


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