Thursday, June 1, 2017

Empowering Women

MP Government Initiatives

As per recent newspaper reports the Government of Madhya Pradesh has accorded significant concessions for women working in its institutions and public concerns. These concessions are in order to counter negative approach towards women in India. Under MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan a number of steps have been taken to mitigate this deep routed malaise prevailing in our society.  The campaign and schemes hope to stem the rot and also to improve female to male child ratio which is unbalanced due low number of female births in Central India. 

Beti Bachao Abhiyan (Save & Educate the girl child) is an effort that stands out as hallmark development in order to erase or mitigate the social evil that is lurking amidst us, and speaks a lot about gender inequality. These campaigns are not only to empower women economically but also to emancipate them from years of drudgery as a result of social prejudices and male prerogatives. For change in attitude and proper education are the ways to achieve emancipation as envisaged in these campaigns.

Another scheme worth a mention is Ladli Laxmi Yojna. The main objective of this scheme is to improve the health and education status of the girl child as well as to remove prejudices against the girl child.  

Gender Inequality 

This harrowing instance attributed to pervasive mindset is deep rooted and has led to number of infant deaths due to heinous crimes and neglect. Throughout the recent history the girl child has been the sufferer. This has resulted in physical neglect and even persecution of the unfortunate child born as a female. Another reason that labels girl child as a liability is the social cost that arises out of inclination for dowry and marriage expenses. The former is a crime and the latter is unfavorably loaded on the girl's family. Till this day even among many educated families only the male progeny is the center of care and attention. This attitude is adopted brazenly or subtly but anyway it points to a deep seated prejudice.

Superior status accorded to the male gene is widespread prevalent within the society consciously or unconsciously. We simply refuse to accept that a girl child augurs family genes. This misconception will take a large timespan to erode. This will require drastic change in our thoughts, reassessment of value systems and lot of acceptance as far as correcting the gender inequality tilt prevailing amongst us. The disbalance is further accentuated by labeling the opposite sex as physically and socially weaker. This has led to the inferior status. This notion has significantly reduced the leadership or participatory role that could have been accorded to women in nation building.              

For centuries women have been the sufferers as a result of such tilted inclinations. Some of the bias is prevalent in many countries as well - especially the underdeveloped ones and many theocratic states.  

The superiority accorded to male gender is based on number of  misguided notions that has roots in our beliefs, the social structure, economic perceptions and to some extant history. Women have always been considered as inferior to men and are meant to do household chores, oblige men in number of ways and be servile. Economic dependency and lower social status are some of the major reasons that has resulted in suppression of women in India. The inequality that stems out from the misconceptions have incarcerated women further leading to lack of freedom both economic and social. 

Historically women have been subject to extreme exploitation, rape during conquests and enslavement that  has wrongfully justified their status as an object of possession and a matter of honour. As a result practice like Sati originated in India. Though this statement may appear harsh but then it is a fact. Read history, the reawakening will widen scope of vision favourably if it brings forth the realization that we have not accorded an equal status to the opposite sex since time immemorial.   

Blame it on mindset, socio-religious values or historical perception this malaise in our society has to be uprooted fast and proper if we have to shine as a developed nation.                  

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