Celebrating women’s equality day with a new year by our side but the same old mentality. Years and days change on a calendar but inequalities faced by women have their roots buried deep inside the society.
Till date, the same patriarchy prevails in a society where men are considered superior to women. India, a land where female deities are worshipped in temples as women here are given the status of a goddess. However, the problems they have to face just show the opposite of this concept. On one hand, they worship them as goddesses and on the other, they abuse them endlessly and consider them inferior. In the earlier times when people were not exposed to education, many rituals were performed where a life of a woman was considered to be directly proportional to the life of her husband like Sati pratha and no widow remarriage were very common. but as the society developed these norms came to an end but in their place, new issues have taken place that are faced by women. They may be not the same but they are still as severe as the early ones. Regardless of a woman’s experience, education or abilities, the patriarchal nature of the society fosters the perception that women are less qualified and less competent than men. What patriarchy has done is convince people that a strong and intelligent woman represents a problem; disruption to the social order rather than an integral part of.
Despite decades of notable progress, at home and abroad, a reality in which opportunities are not defined by gender has yet to be universally achieved. Even more disconcerting, in too many places around the globe, women exercising or even seeking their basic rights is interpreted as a direct and destabilizing challenge to existing power structures. Let’s have a look at some of the day to day inequalities faced by women.
Opportunities offered :
Many still believe that women are less worthy of the same educational opportunities afforded to men. While there is no denying that poverty, geography and other factors contribute to huge disparities in education, patriarchy justifies this denial of opportunity. It feeds the message that men should wield the power and women should occupy a subordinate position in all areas of society. This outdated, yet persistent, point of view fuels educational inequality and a host of other disparities along the lines of gender on national and international levels.
Navigating career and motherhood :
A woman might be doing the same 9 to 5 job like her husband but would still have to look over other house works as well. She is advised to leave her office work in the office only and should immediately pursue her first and foremost job of being a housewife and to look after it. Where husbands are advised to take rest after coming free from working hours, wives are considered to look over house chores.
Women are more likely to be injured in a car crash :
After reading this, you might call me a pseudo-feminist but this the actual reality and have reasons behind this statement. The positioning of head restraints, as well as women’s shorter height, different neck strength and musculature, as well as their preferred seating position, meant they were more susceptible to injury. In their 2011 study of more than 45,000 crash victims over 11 years, researchers from the University of Virginia found women drivers were much more likely to be injured in a crash than men. They said this was because car safety features had been designed for men.
Often because girls are not valued as highly as boys and marrying them off at a young age transfers the ‘economic burden’ to another family. Child brides are more likely to drop out of school, are at an increased risk of contracting HIV, and are more likely to be in poverty and remain there. Girls who give birth at 15 are also five times more likely to die in childbirth than women in their 20s.
More women are victims of human trafficking than men :
According to a new report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the vast majority of all human trafficking victims – some 71 per cent – are women and girls and one third are children. Trafficked women and girls encounter high rates of physical and sexual violence, including homicide and torture, psychological abuse, horrific work and living conditions, and extreme deprivation while in transit. Serious mental health problems result from trafficking, including anxiety, depression, self-injurious behaviour, suicidal ideation and suicide, drug and alcohol addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), dissociative disorders and complex PTSD.
Pink Tax :
Ever heard about Pink tax? Or ever wondered why the same things made for girls have much higher prices than the product made for boys? Yes, here is where the Pink tax does its job. Personal care products have been an easy target for price discrimination between women and men consumers. Starting from cosmetics and accessories to clothes and shoes, products specifically designed and marketed to women cost more than the gender-neutral ones. For instance, in a salon, the same haircut costs more for women compared to that of men. Products geared toward women that cost more than similar products toward men are called “the pink tax,”.
For every female film character, there are 2.24 men :
According to a new UN-backed report. While women represent half of the world’s population, just 30.9 per cent of all speaking characters in films are women, while less than a quarter of the on-screen workforce is made up of women (22.5 per cent). The study, which investigated popular films in 11 countries, found girls and women are twice as likely as boys and men to be shown in suggestive clothing or naked. Meanwhile, a 13-year-old girl on-screen is as equally sexualised as a 39-year-old female character.
Women in India have to face a lot of issues. They have to go through gender discrimination, harassment, sexual abuse, lack of education, dowry-related harassment, gender pay gap and much more. Therefore, each one of us must be ready to treat women as equal counterparts. We must help them at every stage and more than that empower them to make their own decisions. After that, these issues can be eliminated so women need not face discrimination in the name of gender. We must come together to empower women. They must be given equal educational opportunities. Furthermore, they must be paid equally. Moreover, laws must be made more stringent for crimes against women.