Women in India
All over the world gender inequality is present. It used to be common for men to be consider more important, intelligent and valuable than women. Women have been trying to confront and change this inequality for centuries; they’ve treated them like crazy and never accepted what they were asking for: equality. Nowadays, although it’s still a lot to work to do, it is little by little changing in some aspects. This is due to women’s every day fight for their rights, not only political rights but also social ones; one of the main objectives of this worldwide movement is to change society’s mind about what women are supposed to do and how they are supposed to act. Women are as free as men and can do whatever they want and like without any restriction at all. Gender is not at all a requisite for doing certain things and that’s what people need to understand. Although a huge progress has been made women continue to suffer inequality mostly in the middle east were their opportunities and power of deciding are none.
This takes me to India, where women’s participation and action in important things are considered something crazy. Women are seen as an object, something that can be used by men and do not have a voice at all. Gender inequality in India also refers to health, education, economic and political inequalities between men and women. Although the constitution of India grants men and women equal rights, gender disparities remain.
Inequality in India is also seen as their culture shows a strong preference for male children. When a baby boy is born in this country there are huge celebrations, however when a girl is born people give their condolences to the mother. Specially in that society, the exact moment girls are born they are considered inferior only because of being a girl, how can that be even possible? Education is also a key fact to take into consideration, literacy for females stands at 17.86%, compared to 82.14% for males. This is mostly about the parents’ perceptions that education for girls are a waste of resources as their daughters would eventually live with their husbands’ families. This chauvinist perception is the one that women are fighting for, this stigmatized thing that women are only useful to have children and take care of the house. What if they don’t want to have kids? What if they want to work? They can be as capable as men of working and having important charges. This social perception is the most difficult to change as it has been installed on society about million of years ago. Although we do not have much information about it, in India there’s a huge feminist movement which are aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women in India. It is the pursuit of women’s rights within the society of India. Like their feminist counterparts all over the world, feminists in India seek gender equality: the right to work for equal wages, the right to equal access to health and education, and equal political rights. Indian feminists also have fought against culture-specific issues within India’s patriarchal society, such as inheritance laws and the practice of widow immolation known as Sati.
This incredibly important issue which concerns not only women in India but all over the world, are in India carried out by huge organizations which fight every day for Indian women equal rights. Organizations such as:
- All India Democratic Women’s Association
- National Commission on Women
- Ministry of Women Children and Development
- International Center for Research on Women
- UN Women
I decided to talk about this topic as I consider is crucial nowadays. Feminism is a huge movement in which we all should be included and be a part of it; not only women. Inequality is a problematic which affects women all over the world but mostly to women living in the middle east were an ancient culture is above their rights.
This inequality has existed since always and although it’s very difficult to be change, little by little women from all over the world are speaking up and fight for equality, for women’s rights, which are in fact human rights.
I started to get really interested in this topic when I read a book called “Milk and Honey” by Rupi Kaur, an Indian woman which I really admire.
She was born in India but grew up in Canada. In spite of this, she never hide her indian culture and is, in fact, very proud of it. Here’s a short biography about her life and career that I took from a book that I read, which I really recommend, called “Mujeres Autoras”
In her short poems the Indian culture is really present as she talks about her relationship with her father difficult was for her to deal with him and his patriarchal actitudes from the tough and unequal indian culture.
This are the poems that I personally like the most from the book Rupi Kaur wrote “Milk and Honey”
Finally, I leave here a video of Rupi Kaur giving a speech in India Today Conclave , a thought platform, were Kaur made an impressive speech about her mother and what had she told her the day of her wedding. Within her words the patriarcal Indian society can clearly be seen.