Our question to all those women who are asked to stay at home after sunset, women who are not allowed to speak to boys, women who are forced to set marriage as their life’s goal – what is the most clichéd line you have ever heard?
That line is most likely to be “Your safety in your hands – the world will not change for you.” If you have any other line in your mind, write in the comment section of this blog.
India, since ages, has been a patriarchal society. Numerous decades and centuries went by but the attitude of the society towards women has not changed. In Mahabharat, Draupadi was sacrificed for men and in Ramayana, Sita was sacrificed for her husband. However, throughout history, every time when a woman has stood for herself and for her community – She is the sole winner! Be it Sucheta Kriplani, first women chief minister in India or Barkha Dutt, television Journalist. These women have stood for themselves and have been successful in carving out a respectable position in this patriarchal society.
Today, we will share a few movements where women have stood up for themselves. They set aside the clichéd attitude – “Your safety in your hands – the world will not change for you” and changed the world.
This remarkable movement started by a social activist, Tarana Burke way back in the year 2006 and made popular by American actress Alyssa Milano who shared her story of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein. In this movement, social media was “The silence breaker” and helped to reveal millions of harassment cases all over the world, especially in the corporate and professional industry.
In India, the wave of #Metoo movement was brought by Tanushree Dutta who filed spoke up against harassment by Nana Patekar on the set of the movie Horn Ok Please.
2. Sabarimala movement:
India is among the countries where the natural phenomenon of mensuration in women makes them unpure and they are not allowed to go enter the temples, places of worship or pilgrimage centers. The Sabarimala temple is one of them, where women who are in the mensurational age are not allowed to enter the temple. But women stood up; THEY chanted “We will stand for equality of women! We will fight for secularism!” and ultimately the Supreme Court in September 2018 lifted the restriction on entry of women in Sabarimala temple.
Everyone who’s aware of the Sabarimala case knows who are “THEY” we are referring to. Yes, we are praising Bindu Ammini, a professor at Kannur University and Kanakadurga, Asst. Manager at Civil Supplies corporation outlet. They are women behind the popular hashtag #Readytowait #ReadyToPray, Duo who have scripted history.
3. Tax removal from sanitary napkins:
In the to correct the financial status of the country and cleaning up the Taxation governance, our government introduced the GST regime however, they forgot to consider the accessibility of the basic requirement of every woman – Sanitary napkin; 18% GST was applied on the sanitary napkin. Again women stood for themselves, under the leadership of Trisha Shetty, founder of SheSays organization. With #LahuKaLagaan campaign many women participated and send the message to our “Desh ka Chokidaar” by writing it on the napkins to let them bleed without tax.
4. Triple Talak:
In Triple Talak, a Muslim husband can nullify marriage by uttering the Arabic word “Talak” thrice, in any medium – digital, oral or writing in person. The case was made famous by Shah Bano case in which Shah Bano was divorced by her husband after years of marriage and denied any form of support or alimony.
The current incumbent government, passed the bill which made triple talak a cognizable offense, attracting up to three years’ imprisonment with a fine for, the gender equality. The bill was named as The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017
5. Delhi gang-rape:
We all know about the inhuman crime in the Nirbhaya case where entire nation stood up against the perpetrators of the crime – the victim was brutally gang-raped and thrown out on the road, naked in the extreme winters of Delhi at the night of 16th of December, 2012.
Entire country protested and demanded stringent laws and steps to ensure the safety for women. From Jaya Bachchan to a mother sitting in the small house of the village cried out against the demonic act.
As a result of the protests, the police very held more vigilant and accountable. Many rules were brought in and several safety platforms were started. Fast track court and Himmat app were some of the initiatives.
These movements have brought incremental changes in society in affecting attitudes towards women. These will result in significant transformation when each one of us stands for ourselves and contribute to social change. These movements to pumps up “the josh” in us, however, our heart bleeds when we see inequality towards women perpetrated by the educated sections of our society. One such example is of Delhi Metro advertisement for purchasing tickets for children for 3 years and above age. The advertisement says “papa, mein 3 saal ki ho gayee hun, mera ticket le lijiye” and the Maggi advertisements, where always the mother is always shown to cook Maggi for her children.
While India may have transformed a lot but these shows that we have a long way to go in changing attitudes for women.