Every year, we seem to remember women twice – mother’s day and women’s day – and share sentimental messages of how strong they are, how they are pillars of our life, etc. Why is it we seem to remember the women in our life, and so many others only when whatsapp reminds us of them. We continue to have a very high dropout rate of girls in school. Women have a reservation in the panchayat but only so that they can be the “anghootha” of their husbands. We have few women in engineering colleges and even less in the workforce. We celebrate when Saudi women are given a choice to drive, but we remain quiet when Indian muslim women are denied their rights. We go and watch movies like Padman, but make social evening small talk of them. Educated urban men talk of equality, of how they want their daughters to study, and go abroad, but when it comes to their wives, a different tune is sung. I was chatting with a surgeon today, a doctor and a friend, and she was sharing how her “corporate” husband doesn’t like her working because she is ignoring the girls, but wants to send their daughter to college in the U.S. ! How many of us have wanted to have girlfriends who were like Deepika Padukone, but want our wives to be like our mothers !
Victor Frankl wrote: “liberty is having more choices in life, but freedom is being able to exercise these choice”. We give our women liberty but take away their freedom.
Women’s Day will truly be celebrated the day that women have the same freedom that men have. And the only human who can grant them this freedom is women themself. Women’s freedom is not for men to grant. The day our women recognize that, they will be free.
I was reading a supreme court judgement where a judge who is a distant acquaintance used the apt word ” chattel”. The woman did not want to stay with the man and the judge said one cannot force a lady as she is not a ,” chattel” which means a personal possession. Men need to let go of that mentality which is difficult as it needs one to be aware that women have their own rights and a mind. Gender sensitivity is an issue and Indian male in general has not allowed it in his conscience. It is a question which we need to address from childhood.