When we talk of status, we understand that it implies the social and legal position of an individual or, an individual’s standing vis-à-vis others. I do wonder why, in a country where women were at once time, ( and even today ) worshipped as incarnations of goddesses, there should be any problem of status for women. However, this is the irony of the fate of Indian women that their status which should have been an identity to reckon with, has become a topic of debate. This situation has emerged in India during the period of Muslim domination wherein was set the purdah system with all its concomitants.
This system so deteriorated, as time passed that the status of women became an issue to be discussed on several platforms. The last few decades have seen a mushroom growth of organizations struggling to get for women their dues, and these organizations have also made great headway in this direction, but, how far has this helped in the improvement of the status of women in the home, in society in office, or in the country as a whole, is still a debatable issue.
The last few decades have no doubt seen women coming out in the open and joining the mainstream of development of the country. Ever, it is to be seen whether this has helped them in achieving a status for themselves, in the minds of people at large. Can we consider women now equal to men in status, at least those who are working with men? No, I really don’t think this has been achieved.
Women are today, found in every field of man’s working, and several have even become economically independent but has even that enhanced our status? On the countrary, with this onward march on the one hand, we can see a mushroom growth of crimes against women, never heard of ever before. At one time a young girl only was an item of lust for men, but with this advent of so called women’s lib, infant girls of four to five years and even less, or ladies of sixty and above are becoming objects of man’s lust. It is high time that we analyse the cause of all this, for if our achievements on the one side result is such chaos on the other, we will have to weigh the advantages accrued to women against the holocaust set for them.
The last fifty years the Independence of India, we have seen women coming out to be educated, to do jobs, to make careers, yet the perception that women are second to men has not been erased. Now thus it is time to study and analyse the anomaly that, though she work shoulder to shoulder with men, she still remain second - why ?
We women are fighting in the wrong way. Why do we, women feel that it is only by entering into the domain of men can we bring succour to our pained nerves, and does experience of the last fifty years justify this by our achievement in the field of stauts? I feel that, the more we are going out, the more we are prone to dangers, and the more we are destroying our images, and the more we are making men feel adamant against us, women. This is because we enter their domains, thus causing of working outside the home but that should not be our sole objective, because when we do that, we are trampling on men’s toes. Our women’s objective should be to excel in our own domain, instead of entering the domain of men.
Our field of work is no mean task, it is to bring up the family and rear children, bringing up a happy Nation and a happy future. We should not consider this as a meagre task, if we have such a tremendous task, then why do we have to try to emulate men and get into their avenues of work. I feel that even though continuing to achieve a greater spectrum for ourselves to work upon, we should also need to change our attitudes to our targets. Happiness for women obviously does not lie in emulating men, but in doing our own tasks with excellence and continuing our onward march towards equality with men in status. We must remember that, when we educate a woman, we educate a family. So this is clear that, our present march forward should continue but our attitudes to the matter should change for, our status will not change only by entering the world of men, but by creating a niche for ourselves, as best as we can.
I do not vouchsafe that women should not enter jobs etc, no, it is not so, but if we expect only this to produce results, I’m afraid, the past experience of fifty years has shown that this is not enough. We must realize that, first and foremost, how many of us women can become financially independent, and if at all we do so, the point to be then considered is that after achieving financial independence, do we women start feeling equal to men, or, do start getting treatment like men? If not then women are putting in a fruitless effort. Are we getting any extra honour and respect at home in society, and from the would at large, if not then what have we done, where have we gone wrong? Our pursuit of status for ourselves is obviously not giving the desired results, so I feel that we women need to change our attitudes in order to achieve our goals, and the men too must be made to feel differently. Men have to feel that women are their equal partners, only with different attributes and different assignments. On the other hand, women must understand and different assignments. On the other hand, women must understand that, by emulating men we will not become their equals, instead, they will start taking us as their rivals and so never cooperate with us. We must realize that our women status depends a lot on how we carry ourselves in this male dominated society. Two people having different assignments can be equal only if they have a clear perception of their roles. By interchanging or exchanging roles we achieve nothing tangible, we only trample each other’s feet, and call for an altercation instead of amity.
So now, after five decades of trying to emulate men it is time for us women to take stock of the situation and make a more rigorous effort to fight for out rights and equality with men with men with a changed attitude, and not only a change of assignment or appearance. Two people with different assignment can surely be equals so, why do we women have to hanker for stepping into men’s shoes and take up the roles of men. Let us now change our strategy of the struggle and not only stamp men but create for ourselves a new horizon.