I am very confused and unsure about what shall I write today. Especially with a heavy weight term that I have used in the title I am searching for the right words to present my views to the T. Trust me it’s not easy with a sensitive issue like this. I just hope not to enrage tempers, rest is manageable 😉. Forgive me if I am wrong somewhere.
Well this issue of “Women Empowerment” reminds of a certain advertisement endorsed by one of the leading actress of current times, below is the link, have a look:
Do share your views after you are done with this video in the comment section, I would be waiting.
When I saw this video I found it pretty shallow, out of sync at many places. To cut it short I would say that I agree to disagree with it. Because I believe the word “Empowerment” in reference to women especially in countries likes ours should encompass and embrace issues beyond and above sexual liberation, dressing preferences and lifestyle habits.
Empowerment What I believe To Be:
- To begin with I strongly believe empowerment means blurring of the rigid lines of segregation of duties. I mean it is still a predominant unwritten rule that a woman is one who takes care of household chores and a man is someone who earns bread for the family. Over the years there is surely a transition in the workforce which saw an upward trend in the number of women working “Out” but when it comes to the question “whose responsibility a home is” the answer is still a woman without any speck of doubt. When we are talking about empowering women it doesn’t necessarily mean role reversals between two genders but taking up roles, shifting or rotation of roles, shouldering the responsibilities equally as per the situation without egos hassling (for example “I am man” the male ego). To cut it short – place of work shouldn’t determine the importance of a person.
- Educating girls/ women renders empowerment. Regression makes its presence felt more if ignorance is present. Rights can only claimed or fought for only if they are known. Education is a ticket to emancipation, period. In this context educating (not mere literacy) men is also of paramount importance because ignorance of duties is also a curse. Rights of a fellow human being are not violated when duties are discharged properly.
- Empowerment is about recognition of skill without gender bias. It simply means “Equal Pay” for same work irrespective of who does it. Believe it or not inequality of income based on gender differences is an existing practice.
- It’s about acceptance of a woman as an individual having preferences & ideas and a say instead of thrusting her with the liability of family honour. She will take care of it naturally if she is cared for, that’s a simple logic.
Few Things I am Concerned About:
- Talking about Feminism and Women Empowerment is more of a trend now rather than a cause. In that process irrelevant, in fact wrong notions / ideas are being trended in the name of empowerment. For example:. In one of the trailer of a web series the female protagonist has been shown smoking cigarettes, drinking, having numerous relationships (read between the lines), using cuss words at the drop of a hat. And if anyone questions her she would say “It’s my life, my ways, my choice how I want to lead it”. I would buy this point that it’s surely her life but liberation or empowerment does not mean smoking or having one night stands. We are of course no one to give conduct certificate to anyone but wrong is wrong irrespective of who commits it. I mean if smoking and drinking is bad for a man how can it be a symbol of empowerment for a woman? And an extra marital affair or multiple relationships is not morally and ethically right. How can that be a parameter to measure how empowered a woman is?
- We surely have a long journey ahead as far as empowering women in true sense is concerned. Meanwhile whatever favouritism women are entitled to enjoy in the way of different laws for their betterment are being sadly misused by few for whatever selfish motives they have. False dowry cases, false rape or molestation charges, false domestic violence cases not only creates havoc in the life of accused but the butterfly effect that victims in true sense have is something unimaginable. False cases registered increases the volume of cases at the hand of judiciary delaying sometimes denying justice. Pure example of “A woman enemy of a woman”.
- Media should select the right examples. With social and electronic media intruding into lives like never before it is also prerogative of media to bring forth correct examples than just holding lengthy debates on women empowerment for TRPs. Off late gossip is sold as national news. Actresses’ Instagram posts showcasing their BOLD poses ( I don’t want to give details) are in headlines of leading newspaper websites. And the statement that comes from the respective so-called celebrities goes like this “If you have great body flaunt it” , ” my life, my body, my wish” and many more on same lines. One thing media should understand before publicising such things that serving details of personal life as entertainment and triggering off debates as to who is and what is right is not in good taste. Media is simply gratifying the demand of attention of celebrities. Media being responsible and answerable to its audience should not serve rubbish. If its motto is to contribute significantly in the construction of a healthy society for women then it should come up with examples of people other than entertainment industry. There are real life heroes ( I mean heroines) namely entrepreneurs, athletes, educationists, administrators, women with no designated occupational names who broke and breaking grounds of niches to make things better, positive and different for themselves and others around. Media should look beyond handful names to effect the difference.
We have to remember that with cultural background in countries like India the task to change mindsets would be uphill. Therefore the references, the arguments in support of sensitive issues like Women Empowerment have to be valid and more relatable to the society as a whole. I repeat sexual liberation or how one decides to dress or otherwise should remain a personal choice (therefore be unquestionable) rather than used as a synonym for empowerment. We have more issues to be talked about and dealt with immediately.