Wednesday, March 09, 2005

International Woman's Day

Yes, it was yesterday! I spent the day working on bugs in the project I am working on, checking the scores of the first test match and reading articles written on this contemplative day. They do not paint a pretty picture...
In the Shadow of violence
"Kerala may be the most literate state in the country but it's going to the dogs. And let me tell you the women of Kerala are equally to blame. All they want is gold ornaments, a posh house, good food and rich boys for their daughters. Let us not have any pretence about it."
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Is this because of the consumerist culture that has taken over Kerala since the Gulf boom and attained obscene levels now? Why else would educated women allow themselves to be paraded before prospective grooms wearing ostentatious silks and adorned with heavy jewellery, which would be considered hideously vulgar in more discriminating circles?
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Why do women of Kerala who are literate, who produce the most number of doctors and engineers in the country, put up with this outrageous set up? Yet they do and nothing changes.
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Can't women's groups campaign to end "eve teasing"? It's a term I loathe because it trivialises the stronger and more appropriate "sexual harassment". The change will be difficult but not impossible.
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We need to change the way our films portray women
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Victims of abuse

The issue is not only of gender abuse, it is to recognise the right of every individual to exist as a human being and not live as `subordinate sex'. Violence against women is the most persuasive human rights violation in the world today.
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Where there should be outrage, there is denial and largely passive acceptance. A recent survey by the International Institute of Population Studies showed that 56 per cent of Indian women believed that wife beating was justified in certain circumstances like neglecting the house or the children, or going out of the house without permission.
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Men's brutal behaviour stems from their warped understanding of masculinity.
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"Manliness" is equated with the need to control in the existing dictatorial patriarchal system. This has been proved by the cross-border studies conducted by the International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW), in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Kerala, emphasising that domestic violence cuts through caste, class, religion, age and education.


Empower Women

In our society, whether they belong to the majority or the minority group, what is apparent is that there exists a great disparity in the matter of economic resourcefulness between a man and a woman. Our society is male dominated both economically and socially and women are assigned, invariably, a dependant role, irrespective of the class of society to which she belongs. A woman on her marriage very often, though highly educated, gives up her all other avocations and entirely devotes herself to the welfare of the family, in particular she shares with her husband, her emotions, sentiments, mind and body, and her investment in the marriage is her entire life a sacramental sacrifice of her individual self and is far too enormous to be measured in terms of money. This sacrifice is mischievously embodied and engraved into the mindset of the society as the natural destiny of women by misinterpreting the benign mandates of various religions.


When we talk of equality, we are talking about equality in status, equality in opportunities, and equality of rights. It is wrong to misinterpret this quest for equality as equality of abilities. Nobody denies that men, in general, are more brawnier than women as we wont deny that women, in general, mature faster than men and are more emotionally stable.

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