Surprisingly, a few days ago, our class had a friendly debate on the topic of whether women get equal rights in an urban Indian society. Now, when I say surprisingly, I mean this is a topic which is totally one-sided. There cannot be any debate in a topic like this, at least not to me.
When it comes to the topic of whether women do or don’t get equal rights in an urban Indian society, we may call ourselves modern and free-spirited, but is that how we portray ourselves in reality? Most of us who live in an urban setup have our native hometowns. Where we are now is a result of migration. After all, most of us living in urban communities come from rural areas. Are our thoughts really refined by moving to an urban community?
The typical Indian women “should” know all their household duties, raise their kids decently, and be there in a blink of her eye to serve their husbands. Is that fair? Don’t women have dreams of their own? If you think women do have an equal say in society, let me ask you this, why are millions of dollars spent on women’s empowerment if they ALREADY have equal status?
Women are discriminated in almost all fields. Even though the constitution states that it is compulsory for a girl-child to get educated, how many people follow the constitution?
India is a poverty-infested country. Their main concern is to earn money, not to educate their girl-child. If women aren’t allowed to express themselves through fashion just because it is “short” or “inappropriate”, what type of equality is that? Is it because men cannot keep to themselves or was it the woman’s fault that she was wearing something like that? Women also get lower salaries and aren’t allowed to work till midnight just because she is a woman.
Even a working-class women’s first duty would be to take care of her household. That’s the stereotypical mindset. We are developing as a nation though, and slowly taking small steps. Women are getting recognised and seen as major leaders in many fields. Despite this, women are lower in the class hierarchy compared to men.
India is a developing nation and changes have been made daily in the form of mindsets, legislation regulations, and modernisation. But, in my opinion, to change a primarily patrilineal society to a level-headed secular one, will still take some time.
By Arha Mehta
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