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'The batttle for women's dignity in India not over yet'

Last updated on: March 7, 2012 17:57 IST

'The batttle for women's dignity in India not over yet'

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On the eve of International Women's Day on March 8, Chitra Jeyakumar, teacher, Cathedral Vidya School, Lonavala feels that the battle for women's dignity in India is not over yet.

Last year's much publicised slut-walk that symbolised a show of strength for the women's liberation movement in the West didn't have much of an impact in India.

Firstly, the march that questioned the male outlook and didn't have very many takers in urban India leave alone rural India.

This is not to belittle the protest but to highlight the point that certain issues that may strike a chord abroad may not have a similar impact in the subcontinent.

This largely beacuse in India the primary issue facing the common woman is not obscene glances from the males but -- the struggle for economic independence and survival.

Reader Invite: Dear Readers, Do you agree with the author that Indian women are denied dignity of life and are struggling with economic independence even today?
How can one help empower them? Let us know what you think by posting your views in the message board below.

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Image: Women voice their views at a slut-walk in Delhi, India
Photographs: Rediff Archives

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'Stereotypical portrayal of women in the media has only added to the dangers'

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The rise in lumpen elements in the cities and the spate of violent attacks on young women in the cities is not only due to a depraved outlook but largely due to increasing economic disparity so obvious in urban India today.

This coupled with the stereotypical portrayal of women in the media has only added to the dangers faced by ordinary women on the streets.

Moreover the cultural bias against women still exists in 21st century India where female infanticide is become more rampant, with technological innovations in medical science.

Despite education and apparent material progress, only 9 percent of parliamentary seats are held by women.

Thus the solution is not just a slut walk but a broader movement towards empowering women towards economic independence.


Image: Image from the slut walk organised in Delhi
Photographs: Rediff Archives
Tags: India

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'Self-help groups help women struggle unitedly against social issues afflicting them'

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The process has begun gradually in several rural areas through government sponsored-self-employment programmes and self-help groups.

Groups like the Conservation of Natural Resources and Social Empowerment Programme and several self help groups in Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand respectively are tranforming lives of several rural women through micro-credit and skills for small–scale industry.

These programmes have served to empower women in myriad ways.

The economic independence will definitely help in bridging the urban-rural divide between women in the long run as women benefitting from these programmes are now dreaming of sending their children to professional courses

Also these self-help groups give women a common platform to express their concerns and even struggle unitedly against social issues afflicting them.

One example is that of a self-help micro credit group in Belgaum that got the local liquor dens to shut shop as it it was affecting the families of the women.

Therefore the need of the day is identify the changes occurring in rural India and seek a common platform for all women across the country in order to strengthen the movement for women's empowerment.

Reader Invite: Dear Readers, Do you agree with the author that Indian women are denied dignity of life and are struggling with economic independence even today?
How can one help empower them? Let us know what you think by posting your views in the message board below.


Image: Image for representation purpose only
Photographs: Rediff Archives

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