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Women in India – challenges

Women in the current generation in India are comparatively in a more respectable position. The biggest  challenges which had been haunting the women for decades are less visible now in most parts of India.

The problems like  child marriage, practice of ‘sati’, prohibition on widow remarriage, exploitation of widows, devadasi system, purdah system, etc. have almost disappeared at least in the urban cities and also lesser effective in the rural India. Women are now in the  every field like  science and technology and  universalisation of education, socio-political movements, modernisation and other developments have changed the approach of people towards women to a certain extent.

The recent video of Actress Deepika Padokone called MyChoice which was a huge hit on the social media show the new women of India and their interpretation of Life and the way they want to live. Its agruable if the video is right or wrong but it women are now more expressive and want to come out of the closet. These kind of stand alone incidents on social media have boosted the morale and self-confidence of women. As a result, Indian women now feel that they too have their own individuality, personality, self-respect, talent, capacity and efficiency.

As a Nation its proud of two young women Saina Nehwal and Sania Mirza both of them in their sports are now Number 1 in the world rankings and proved that they are no less than any men and they are infact more powerful in their achievments them men. Many of these young  women who could grab the oppor­tunities extended to them have proved that they are capable of discharging the responsibilities assigned to them on par with men.

India  neglected almost 50% of its population for several centuries has now understood the necessity of giving equal rights and opportunities to its women. Dr B R Ambedkar in The Constitution of India provided equal rights and opportunities to women. He did  not make any discrimination on the grounds of sex.

If the above 3 expamles prove that women are successful and independent, then does this mean the nation is problem free for women ? CERTAINLY NO

On the contrary, the changing situation is causing them new problems. They are now beset with new stresses and strains. Some of the major problems haunting the modern women may briefly be analysed here.

Violence against Women in on Rise :

Across India we have seen a trend of increase  of violence against women. Rapes have been reported  even at the Capital city of India, Delhi. The Dlehi rape has shocked the nation and by the barbaric act that killed the young girl.
Violence against women is not a new phenomenon in India. Crime against women is an ever-increasing problem. And also beacuse of the social media and 24 x 7 live Tv we hear more incidents of crime against women.  This problem has been growing more and more acute in India during the recent years. Crimes against women include violence against women, rape, molestation, dowry harassment, wife-battering, kidnapping female children to be sold into brothel homes, forcible embracement, forcible religious conversion, cheating young women with a promise to marry them or fetch them a job and various types of sexual harassments and abuse of women including eve teasing.
In a society like  India where male dominates the violences against women are unfortunately increasing at an alarming rate. Such violences can be grouped into two types: (a) violence against women within the family, and (b) violence against women outside the family.

(a) Violence against Women within the Family or Domestic Violence:
Women are often subject to violence within the family, a place which is expected to protect their dignity and assure their safety. This type of violence includes crimes such as — dowry related harassments including death, wife-battering, marital rape, sexual abuse of female children and women of one’s own family, deprivation of sufficient food to female members, committing incestuous offences, inducing female members of the family to resort to sex-trade, female genital mutilation, abusing female servants of the family, and so on.
(b) Violence against Women outside the Family or Social Violence:
Kidnapping, raping and murder of women are very serious offences. The society at large itself is to be blamed for many types of violence’s that are committed against women especially outside the family.

Gender Discrimination:

In comparison with some other social problems, “gender discrimination!’ does not “appear” to be a serious problem in India. It “appears” to be so because; it has not been made a very big social issue so far. But in reality, it has weakened the strength of the female community of India.Though constitutionally men and women are equal, socially men are given priority and importance sometimes to the disadvantage of women. There are various areas wherein this discrimination is apparent. This male preference has led to the abuse of advanced technology. The sophisticated scanning and supersonographic equipments are being misused to find out the sex of the child; that is to go for abortion if the child is found to be an unwanted female child.

Exploitation of Women in the Media:

The mass media such as the radio, television, news papers and the cinema play a vital role in social change and social development especially in the modern societies. But unfortunately, the media has not been playing a positive role in the case of women. The media is even condemned of exploiting and misrepresenting women. Newspapers, weeklies, monthlies or other types of magazines seem to be interested in increasing their circulation by rousing the cheap emotions of the people. “They target the woman’s body to get their things done.” Papers no doubt give due publicity to some unfortunate events under the captions such as “Atrocity against Women”, “Dowry Costs A Woman’s Life”, ‘Mass Rape of a Woman’, ‘Sexual Harassment of Women’, etc. But in doing so they give the least information about the culprit of the crime. On the contrary, they take more interest in weaving stories about the victim of the event which often amounts to character assassination.

Media and Women:

Since about 35% of the people in our society are illiterate, visual media such as television and the cinema have a greater impact on people. The Indian visual media is a failure in playing a positive role in educating people and enriching their knowledge. Like the newspapers, they also exhibit the female body and make it their main capital to mint money. Modern movies believe in achieving success by portraying more and more sex, violence and murder. Women are shown as targets of attack, sex, rape and such other exploitations Unfortunately, our T.V. is also following the example of the movies. With the invasion of our skies with a number of T.V. channels, the choice of T.V. viewers has greatly expanded. T.V. serials are playing havoc with our values and morals.

Conclusion

India is a country where women are worshipped in the form of goddess. We call earth as bhu-devi and respect the culture and tradition of age old country.  Lets all hope that in the near future with the increasing evolvement of women as a strong force in India, economically , socially and politically certainly a change can be anticipated from the society wherein women will certainly have a safe and secure place in the country. Finding soulutions for problems is not over night. Country should evolve and understand and start respectinng its 50% population. Slowly but studily Nation has to progress like any otter developed nations acorss Europe and USA.

Kothapalli Geetha is member of Parliament (Loksabha)

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