March 8, year 2022 and we all celebrated International Women's Day amid the global pandemic. But did it bring any change in our society? Social media was full of hashtags of #internationalwomensday posts and videos, people were sharing it and wishing women but sadly it is just limited to social media. In reality women are still facing gender inequality, workplace biases, lesser opportunities than men, lesser pay than men, violence and sexual harassment etc. everyday. Women are still being forced to not study and forced to not follow their passion and earn. In our patriarchal society, they are still being judged on each and every step they take for themselves either it could be the dress they chose to wear or the career they want to pursue or the job or work they want to do. Not only society but their own families sometimes judge them and do not support them at all.
One of the most serious issue is RAPE. Majority of women of any country has faced Eve teasing or sexual violence, rape or has experienced physical violence too. Rape is the most under-reported crime. Many women are being forced to not file complaint or to take back the complaint. A United Nations statistical report compiled from government sources showed that more than 250,000 cases of rape or attempted rape were recorded by police annually. The reported data covered 65 countries. In a survey by United Nations, for 100 women that suffered sexual violence in their lifetimes, 14% had experienced attempted rape and 2.3% had experienced rape. This data is according to the reported cases, the unreported cases are not there. Rape victims in the country always face a double risk of being subjected to violence because on one hand they can become victims of honor killings by their families whereas on the other hand they can be victimized by the laws of the country such as they can be charged with adultery, a crime that can be punishable by death.
Furthermore, they can be forced by their families to marry their rapist. This is the kind of mindset of the people that they blame victim instead of the criminal. What were you wearing, why were you travelling alone, why you need to go out at night, why are you going there etc. and many such insensitive and personal questions are asked to the victim. The same society never blames the criminal or rapist this much as they do to the victim.
Women faces inequality, they still face these issues everywhere at their workplace or even at their homes. No matter how much advanced our world is becoming in terms of technology and power, it is still not safe for women to walk alone at night freely, to live happily without judgements, to choose their career as per their choice and to choose the clothes they want to wear. They are paid lesser than men also they are being offered less opportunities than men.
I just want you all to break the bias of inequality and start celebrating women's freedom and support them instead of standing against of them. Let's take a oath to make our world a better and safe place for women. Let's just not limit it to social media only to celebrate and appreciate women but to take actual steps to remove this gender disparity and give women their freedom to practice their rights. Teach them to voice their opinion in the society and to raise voice against all such crimes or the issues they suffered or are suffering from. This International Women's Day let's break the bias between men and women.
- Indu Rawat
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