But ours is still a male-dominated society. Women still continue to be exploited. In practice they are being denied their rights and privileges. Mo doubt, women in India are now much better off than they had been before Independence, and yet much has to be done and achieved. Only to work in the homes. In practical life they are neither given equal rights, or status nor opportunities.
5ons are given preference and better treatment while daughters are considered as curse and liabilities. Their marriage is still a big problem and parents have to arrange for large dowries to get their daughters married. In some parts of the country the girl-infants are still killed. Women are still raped, molested, ill-treated humiliated, forced to adopt prostitution and burnt alive by their greedy in-laws. Even the educated and employed women have to depend on their husbands or in-laws for money etc. Employed women are the worst sufferers as they have to work hard both at home and in the office. Moreover, they don’t have control on their purses and earnings. A woman as a daughter, wife, mother, widow etc., has to live in eternal economic slavery. She is still actually not free to choose and make her destiny
During the recently held, fourth International Women’s Conference in Beijing, the plight of women in general was properly highlighted. The facts that employed woman is still ^he odd woman out, that the average working woman’s pay is much lower than the money earned by man, the truth that men still hog the limelight in public and that the Adams of the world continue to corner the lion’s share of the national cake etc., were some of the issues discussed and highlighted there. These are genuine concerns but there are other issues and problems far more weighty and serious. They too must be addressed and solved.
India’s population is estimated to be around 900 millions. This makes India the second largest populous country. Half of this population consists of females. According to the 1991 census there are 927 females after every 1,000 males. This higher number of males than females also reflects the sorry state of affairs as far as women are concerned. The literacy ratio in women is still more disappointing. It is merely 39 percent in comparison to that of men which is 65 percent. But women themselves are to blame for their present plight. They suffer from social inhibitions, taboos, economic dependence on males, male dominance and chauvinism, social injustice, marital discrimination, inferiority complex etc. They should never forget that self help is the best and God helps those who help themselves. They should rise in a body and wage a relentless struggle against injustice in its various forms. They should never think in terms of weaker and fair sex. The weak and helpless are destined to be ever exploited and discriminated against, they will have to raise, struggle and sweat for their rights, freedom, empowerment and economic independence. There is no room either for complexes or complacency. They should refuse to be treated as sex objects, a thing of domestic utility, as anatomically inferior or a movable biological asset of man in marriage. They should refuse to be used as sex- symbols and models to attract business. Let there be no beauty contests where they are used as instruments to attract attention sensually.
In India woman have equal rights. They can inherit property, can divorce; they have full freedom. Dowry is illegal and prostitution prohibited. Women in India are free to aspire and achieve any position in any field of life. There is no discrimination on the basis of sex. The laws are fine and favorable, but as their implementation is concerned there does not exist effective and foolproof administrative mechanism. Therefore, the women themselves should come forward united and fight for their rights, freedom, privileges and strict implementation of the laws enacted for their welfare and protection. They have yet to get their rightful place in home, office, factory, administration and galleries of power.