I participated in a #6BlogsIn6Days challenge focusing on #EachForEqual. The challenge had me thinking on gender discrimination and women empowerment like never before.
It’s a theme that’s a part of our daily existence, day in and day out, in every walk of life.
I sat down thinking about areas where I felt there is parity between men and women but sadly, I couldn’t list down many (or should I say, any!)
Are we, as individuals and as a society, so conservative in our conduct that we draw a demarcation with respect to gender in every sphere, every action, every word and every gesture?
The differential treatment begins from the moment a child is born. A boy or a girl determines our reaction to the news of the new arrival. No matter how much we say that we do not discriminate between boys and girls but we start listing out the factors that dictate our parenting style for a son or a daughter. We even say/ hear remarks like, “Doesn’t that girl behave like a boy?” or “Don’t behave like girls, son!”
And yes, where did this concept of ‘pink is for girls” and “blue is for boys” originate, I still cannot comprehend though I blame media for its mass propaganda.
From teens to youth, the invisible barometer of a behavior, that is conducive to the gender and acceptable to the society, keeps functioning. After that it becomes so much engrained in our thoughts and actions that it becomes normal, acceptable and a way of life.
I tried to record the areas where I felt there was great disparity and the list was unending. From small to major decisions at home; from being a working adult to managing the household; from responsibility of nurturing kids to nursing the old parents; from presenting their marriage preference to dissenting parent’s decision on the same; from choosing a profession to managing the financials; from pay benefits in office to the next promotion; from being at the helm of affairs of a company to the overall women employee workforce; from representing the country in any field to being people’s voice through politics; the ratio of women to men is totally disheartening.
I was appalled to know that the contract value of women sportsperson was less than ten times from their male counterparts in the same sports! How could the organizers determine that a women’s worth was less than men when the amount of hard work, energy and effort put in by them wouldn’t even be an ounce less?
“It’s a man’s world,” they say; then why does a man need a woman to complete his world?
The way it is believed that a woman cannot survive without a man, is it possible for a man to survive without a woman? Weren’t both meant to be equal in all respects? Then why was this ‘superiority of men’ hypothesis allowed to flourish?
The change is warranted not only in the thinking and outlook of men but also in the mindset and behavior of women. Women need to harness their strength and power. They need to start thinking of themselves as equals and not just that; they need to be more supportive of other women in order to ensure waning of this discrimination.
I would like to quote words of wisdom of none other than Mahatama Gandhi:
“To call woman the weaker sex is a libel; it is man’s injustice to woman. If by strength is meant brute strength, then, indeed, is woman less brute than man. If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man’s superior. Has she not greater intuition, is she not more self-sacrificing, has she not greater powers of endurance, has she not greater courage? Without her, man could not be. If nonviolence is the law of our being, the future is with woman. Who can make a more effective appeal to the heart than woman?”
Women are already strong. It’s only about bringing that strength to the fore, about making that strength visible to the world.
Is it too much to ask for a world where we do not take women for granted?
Can we expect a world where we do not need to run campaigns to create awareness for parity of women, for #EachForEqual?