The onus of being a woman in our country is so heavy and bulky that it has overshadowed their confidence and self-worth.
India is going to become the world’s most populous country in near future. Youngsters make a large proportion of the population. Indian women make a sizeable percentage of the country’s citizens despite the gender ration being skewed against them. You will be shocked to know that India ranks at a meagre 113 out of 134 countries in terms of gender equality. This means that we are better than only 21 countries in terms of treating women right.
While we take pride in describing our nation as Bharat Maata and worshipping various forms of the Goddess as the form of ultimate power, our women suffer silently in the hands of patriarchy, sexism, and self-doubt. So deep are the roots of these evils that our women end up in shackles without even realising! If you are still wondering why we need to talk about Indian women, the following stories will enlighten you.
Niyati is a chirpy 28-year old woman, working for a leading newspaper as an Assistant Editor. She is looking for a suitable groom, but her ‘unfavourable’ complexion is making it difficult. Niyati is extremely smart and witty and is very good at her job. But these traits are apparently not enough to get her a groom. Every now and then, her relatives and neighbours remind her to start using a fairness cream or undergo a skin-lightening treatment.
Pooja was a happy-go-lucky homemaker until she had two daughters. Now, her family is pressurising her to try for another child and hopefully have a baby boy to ‘complete her family’. She doesn’t want a third child, but everyone around her, including her own parents, want her to try once more.
Rubina had a bank job when she conceived. She continued working through her pregnancy but had a miscarriage in her last trimester. Everyone in her family has been blaming her for this mishap, despite the doctor confirming that it was because of a genetic defect. She has now started believing that it was her fault.
There are many more such women right in front of our eyes. We just cannot see their plight. A direct result of all this mental torture manifests in the form of low self-esteem and almost zero self-confidence. Let us find out why are these incidents so common in India.
Patriarchy and its deep roots
Patriarchy is ingrained so deeply in our culture that we all grow up thinking of it as normal. Men and women having distinct, well-defined tasks at home might have worked for older generations. However, with women studying as much as men and having comparable careers, the same concept cannot be applied.
After returning from home, why does the man sit in front of the television while his wife goes to the kitchen and starts cooking? Why are men not taught to manage house chores along with their partners?
Thus, men make all the important decisions regarding house and work. For example, buying property, managing investments and choosing a health insurance plan are all handled by men alone. Their wives have very little say in these matters. This makes them unable to take independent decisions beyond grocery shopping.
The definition of sanskari women
By default, all women working at odd hours, wearing western clothes, smoking, or drinking alcohol uncultured. This is partly because of the image created in our minds, and in the minds of previous generations. The tales of Savitri, Draupadi and Sita and the sacrifices they made for their husbands skew the individuality of modern Indian women.
Being adjusting, accommodating and submissive are the most obvious traits of Indian women. Additionally, the society judges them for their choices and lifestyle. How will they think like a free human being in a free country in the middle of all this pointless judgement parade? All this judgemental drama that goes on suffocates them and hampers their confidence.
Too many expectations and standards to meet
Indian women deserve a bravery award for surviving amidst ruthless standards of the society. they have to cater to so many artificial standards like body shape, height, weight, complexion, and educational qualification. At the same time, they should be deft at handling household chores and making perfectly round chapatis. We would really like to know about the benchmarks for an ideal Indian man.
Blame for everything
It has become a norm in India to blame women for everything from failed marriages to ill-mannered children. Women manage the house and manage their career, with very little family support. It is no surprise that Indian women are among the unhappiest and most unappreciated in the world.
The onus of being a woman in our country is so heavy and bulky that it has overshadowed their confidence and self-worth. The subtle yet prominent fallacies of Indian society are taking a toll on its women and making them less confident and less sure of their abilities.
What will it take for people to start treating the women in their lives as individuals who have their own skills and strengths?