Monday, June 20, 2011

Women and India

So much bad news about the treatment of women in India in recent times. Today's news screams that a third rape has occurred in UP in the last 48 hours:
Another headlines screams that women have been made guinea pigs due to poverty:
All such incidents, well known trafficking, female foeticide and infanticide have got this name last week for India too:
This survey done by Thomas Reuters, has declared India to be the fourth most dangerous place for women in the world!
However, lets analyze the causes which have led to this kind of a survey.....there are hundreds of issues that of course have to be taken care of and controlled by the legal system of India, and the government has to come up with severe punishments for people being involved in acts such as prostitution, trafficking and killing of innocent babies or foetuses. Every individual should be made aware of such problems, whether they live in rural or urban India. Every person should also take responsibility for these actions, whether theirs or someone else's and do something from their end to help eradicate such issues. Write your opinion on these issues, try to educate people, empower women, or if nothing else at least contribute financially to some of the organizations trying to help and working for these causes.
All this said, I completely also oppose this survey and the results! Who were the participants? It could have spanned over many continents, but what do other people know about life in India? Maybe they just read news which is sensationalized, or just guess since they think these are the backward countries. As a girl who grew up in India, I know there are some issues, but on the other hand, I know the whole country is not 'dangerous' for women as this survey claims. A lot of cultural contributions, poverty and so on contribute to these issues, but the rest of the world can be rest assured that this century is already different from the previous. By the end of this century, it will be clear which countries are actually dangerous and which are not.
If anyone is thinking that life in countries such as the US is excellent for women, please get rid of such misconceptions! I had the opportunity to follow the entire preliminaries of the 2008 elections in the US, from within the US. My blood had boiled so many times while listening to National Public Radio, where men - American men- had made statements such as "I can never bring myself to vote for a woman", "I don't want a woman ruling this country", etc., These remarks were all made against Hillary Clinton, who was a much better candidate than her opponent Barack Obama, competing for the presidential candidacy of the democratic party. The people could bring themselves to vote for an African American man for the first time in their lives, but still not even a white woman!
At the same precise time, we in India had a woman president in office- Pratibha Patil! Indian women may not have the same freedom and independence as an American woman in day to day life, but we have a chance to hold the highest office in our country! I don't have to remind anyone of Indira Gandhi in the 70s and 80s, long before women in the US had so much freedom, who was acknowledged as a peer and equal by the greatest politicians of the world!

Someone also please explain to me why in the US is it so important for the wife of the presidential candidates to made their specialty dishes and have them judged? I cringed at this insult to all women. Are you indicating that this is the woman's job? There were also digs at former president Clinton, even though Hilary Clinton was not a presidential candidate then, speculating what would have happened if she had been? What would Clinton have done? Would he have made his specialty dish? This was an important topic of conversation in the US that whole week!

So yes people, we do have issues in India. But for such vast population, problems are to be expected. We are overcoming them and the rest of the world will witness just how in this century, surveys like these notwithstanding! Registered & Protected

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