Women: Gender in justice

It had long been accepted that violence is something that happens to women. With the increasing crime against women, the society need to work together to control gender injustice and women empowerment

Violence against women is an age-old phenomenon, where they have been considered weak and vulnerable. It had long been accepted that violence is something that happens to women. Over the past many decades crime against women has only increased. Education has not really brought an increase in awareness; it has only brought about a feeling of shallow superiority in the perpetrators of crime against women.

Though, gender justice and equal rights for men and women is clearly written in Indian Constitution but unfortunately the guidelines are not followed. The Indian society is rife with exploitation of women in particular which involves domestic violence, sati, rape, deprivation of education and discrimination at workplace.

Gender disparity is an integral part of Indian society. It never stops at the biological or anatomical level. In fact it only starts there and permeates the entire gamut of social relationships.

Domestic Violence: Since women are not given rights to family property and assets, dowry is legitimised as her share in property. In most cases an Indian woman is – "A lover pretends, a husband demands, a father disowns, a son commands." Women are reduced to just doing domestic chores, reproducing, rearing up children and fulfilling desires of others. A woman suffers primarily due to patriarchal psyche and her individuality is torn between social obligations.

Sati: Women are treated like a lesser being in the name of tradition and culture in our society. Despite Mahatma Gandhi opposed it and Raja Ram Mohan Roy worked relentlessly for abolition of sati practice, the cases of sati came to light in the recent past.

Rape: This act of violence is not just on women body but on her soul and mind. As more rape cases are being reported, anemic agitations take place, feeble laws are passed and justice is denied in most of the cases. The cases of incest, sodomy, masturbation and caressing are constantly on the rise.

Deprivation of education: Even today, Indian society do not stand wholeheartedly for girls' education. 'Beti Bacao Beti Padhao' and few other initiatives hold the key to betterment of girls and women. A recent report shows that gross enrolment ratio of girls across all levels of education is now higher than boys. Still a lot needs to be done to send all girls to school and for higher education.

Discrimination at workplace: Women might do the same work but their wages are, most of the time, lesser than their male counterparts. If the woman does not oblige, she is harassed. Sometimes she is deprived equal opportunity even if she fulfils the criteria. Attitudinal change at all levels is essential to stop gender injustice.

The Mindset will have to be changed. From time to time laws and amendments of Indian penal code are made to protect and safeguard women, like The Dowry Prohibition Act (1961), The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (1971), The Equal Recruitment Act (1976) among others.

Recently, the Supreme Court of India has demolished gender stereotypes and favoured permanent commission of women in the Indian Army. This is only furthering the principle of equality and non-discrimination enshrined in the Constitution of India.

Another happy development is that the United Nations has earmarked the year 2020 as a crucial year to assess the progress of women made globally on the issue of gender equality and human rights since the adoption of the Beijing platform for action.

Concerted efforts from government and non-government bodies are required to control gender injustice and empowerment of women.

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