We’re so passionate and prompt in celebrating days like Women’s Day as though such events in themselves mattered more than the ideas or institutions behind them. This past one year was a brutal reminder of how the Indian Women is still struggling to find her position in the society. For a change it seems like mourning Women’s Day this year will be far better than celebrating it.
On the one end of the broad spectrum, we have a list of influential women, who have defied the patriarchal society and earned a name for themselves. Women like Pepsico Chairman indira Nooyi, Chanda Kochar (CEO and MD, ICICI bank), Sonia Gandhi (Predident, Indian National Congress), Preetha Reddy (MD, Apollo Hospitals), Kalpana Morparia (CEO, JP Morgan, India), and a countable few others.
But, there’s also a much longer and appalling list of women, who’re victims of molestation, domestic violence and social apathy. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, 24, 200 rapes were reported in 2011, one every 20 minutes. There is no record for cases of domestic violence, honour killings, forced suicides for dowry, and other forms of abuse and trafficking.
Finance Minister P. Chidambram revealed his larger than life plans in the budget of the current fiscal year, retaliating about spending a large chunk on gender based issues. He went ahead with proposing a fund of 10 billion in the name of Nirbhaya, the Delhi Rape Victim for extending help to future rape victims with shelter, compensation, medical support and more.
But, will this put a full stop on crime against women? Isn’t this mere hypocrisy, crying out loud that compensation is the price women will get for being raped and molested?
The budget also suggested the setting up of a ‘Women Only Bank’ and that’s what can be termed as laughing stock. It’s going to be another dowry home for the greedy male patriarch, giving them a legal avenue to send their wives to get some money home.
And lastly, we also have a proposal for ‘The Sexual Harassmetn of Women at Work place Bill’ in the Parliament. The Indian women still remains a domestic animal. Rural and Urban home makers outnumber the working class. Surprisingly, the government refused to include marital rape under criminal law.
Celebrating Women’s Day when so many women live an apathetic life in the country is utter disrespect to the institution of womanhood. A one day long celebration or discussion on public platforms can do little. In fact, they just let citizens think everything is right, when it isn’t.