Issues concerning women have been raised time and again. But still it’s mere man who dictates over ‘Devi’. It’s high time to realise the importance of a woman’s voice.
“I have been wronged”, she hollers. Everyone applauds her valour, says her voice is cared for. But none comes forward to stand with her, and now the wrong just becomes a blur.
We have come a long way since the beacon for equal rights, opportunities, and dignity for women was first kindled. It’s truly remarkable how feminism, the women’s suffragette movement, etc. have had such incredible impact on the male dominated construct of our society. The woman of today, empowered and enlightened, stands at a far better position than any time in history.With the turn of the century, as women were jostling with the unjust norms and discriminatory prejudices of the past, they also had to combat some ‘state of the art’ issues, concerning access to amenities and representation at the ‘table’. But so wondrous is the taste of liberty and appreciation of self, that women push on with greater vigor and zeal, determined never to turn back. Movements like #MeToo and Time’sUp, and the raising of issues like equal pay, sexism, reproductive rights etc. showcase a growing awareness for an egalitarian society. Because of the internet and social media, they garnered huge attention and tried to topple the patriarchy-ridden aspects of a woman’s existence.
Yet, they also showed that the voice of women is rarely ‘heard’. Often, when a woman speaks out about any kind of abuse or unequal treatment; she is silenced at first and if this does not work, she is ridiculed and publically shamed. Her distress is termed as mood swings, tantrums, and ‘Aurat ho, ye toh hota hi hai (You are a woman, this happens)’. No wonder hundreds of cases of rapes, violence, and sexual misconduct go unreported all over the world. Even when the angst expressed is taken note of, no serious action against it is taken. For instance, out of numerous cases of sexual harassment that disclosed because of the #MeToo movement, only a few perpetrators have been hauled to the court. There are many committees, NGO’s, government departments that work for women related issues. But as a man’s ‘roar’ often overpowers a woman’s ‘squeal’, they either have a man at the helm or it is the men who are the policymakers; which robs the destined objective of ‘welfare of women’ of having the much required opinion of the women themselves.
In an article by Cecilie Hestbaek for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, she quotes “…while women’s voices don’t need ‘strengthening’ as it is sometimes referred to—they need to be listenedto better.” Issues concerning women are being raised vociferously but what we need is hearing them out and directing concerted actions towards them.We, as women have struggled hard to discover our voices and now it is time to make them paid due heed to. Our insecurities, mistrust in our strengths, and fear of society weigh us down in this flight towards justice. Only with a passionate collective effort, inclusive of all from men, women, young girls to queer women, trans people, and by embracing and strengthening ourfeminine qualities, do we have a strong chance of building upon a future promised to us under the grace of the universe.The institutionalised patriarchy in the Indian society and the belief of women being the inferior gender enables male superiority and deteriorates the condition of women in the country, rendering their voices unheard and unbelievably subdued. It is high time that women and their opinions are given centre stage and their voices are given equal importance.
Image Credits: SabrangIndia