EMPOWERING WOMEN REGARDLESS OF SOCIAL BARRIERS
Through this article, he concentrates on the social barriers which are affecting women across India and as well as globally. But despite these limitations, there are men who continue to support their women to make this world a happier place to live in! Being a supporter of women empowerment, I strongly feel that it is essential for any society to develop. Acknowledging men’s participation only will not lead to sustainable development. That being said, the fact of the matter remains that even after substantial and important contribution and achievements from women, locally and globally, we still want to maintain male dominance in our society. It is more of a culture than a choice. There are many facts and figures to support this such as there are only 4% women who are holding ministerial positions worldwide; and globally, only one in five senior managers is a woman. Be it a small town, village, or metropolitan, women hold very few powerful positions and this reflects their state in our society. The lack of representation and the fact that the male gender takes most of the decisions for them and makes most of the laws, accounts for the flawed system they’re bound to survive in, at home, at work and as a citizen of the country. These issues are not restricted to just the developing countries such as ours, but even the superpowers such as the US are struggling to give women their dues. For instance, their women are still fighting for their rights when it comes to something as personal as an abortion. Even through it’s their life and their body, they don’t have complete freedom to choose. Even at the most basic level, men are considered to be the ultimate decision makers and they usually don’t let women be in the driver’s seat. The reason behind this ideology, I feel, is that they feel vulnerable and insecure. Our men are made to believe all their life how important it is to have an upper hand, to dominate, and to always pretend to be the stronger gender. We, as a society, fill them with this toxic masculinity. And this ends up poisoning them, binding our women and paralyzing our society. I would like to share the instance of my aunt, a woman from my own family who has done exceptionally well in her career globally and has settled her family well in the past 20 years. She and her husband both completed their education from India. Soon after getting married, she got an opportunity to work in the UK in 90’s. She took my uncle along with her on a 6-month temporary visa. He had no job there back then. It was all because of her effort and support that my uncle is working with an MNC now and is well settled there. This might not seem like a big achievement, but considering the background of the family, this was a major development. If she would have been subject to family pressure, inflated male ego and male dominance at that time, resulting in her being stopped from doing what she is capable of, the family wouldn't have this kind of a lifestyle now. Though various laws have been passed and rights have been granted, right from the one to allow women to vote in 1920, banning of discrimination based on gender in 1964, the inclusion of women in politics and to empower women, our society is still not able to accept and implement the vision behind these issues practically. They are considered as “homemakers” and not possible “entrepreneurs” who can go out and tackle the obstacles on their own and make a mark. Moreover, our society considers women as emotional and temperamental in handling situations. The women are fighting every day for their own rights and not getting enough opportunities to come forward. In my opinion, position and work should not be determined by the gender, and women should be given a platform to express themselves freely and to shatter all those glass ceilings. I am proud of my wife, my sister and my mother for the efforts they put in, professionally and at home. We must not forget that women are individuals, and just like men, they too have individuality, dreams and a vision for themselves. They should not be defined by what they do for their family and others. It's time to understand that they too are equal. They should have the freedom to choose, and the power to implement. And this is something no one else should be entitled to take away from them or give them back according to their convenience. It is theirs, always has been, and always will be.