Indian people are mostly veiled in mystery to the rest of the world and mainly, the western world. We are most familiar with images of Indian females such as Hindu goddess Kali, or Indira Gandhi (former Prime Minister). Yet we know little or nothing about the daily lives of the ordinary women who most often have no voice in their society.
“Women Empowerment” is a government slogan in India and features in every manifesto- a political tool for that matter. Yet, women in India remain second class citizens in the current decade of the 21st century. Indian women seem protected by the law , celebrated by the media and “nursed” by the activists but are obviously lowly regarded, mostly in the rural areas but in some sense, everywhere.
Women empowerment in India struggle against a patriarchal society as the fairer sex face oppressive gender restrictions.The patriarchy keeps females down as they remain oppressed by the traditional system. Women are slowly getting empowerment in India and given opportunities to participate fully in areas such as education, politics, media, art and culture, sports, science and technology among others. There are still those who still insist on embracing tradition and demeaning women.
Politically, in recent times political parties in their manifesto promised to reserve 33% of legislative seats for women. It is yet to be passed into law as the male-dominated parties oppose the bill.
In financial matters, although women are permitted to earn a living outside of the home, their rights on any household issues have always been denied. Even as Indian women hold promising jobs outside of their homes, their place remains in the kitchen. A husband will never be caught dead taking charge of the kitchen matters even if he is unemployed and at home throughout the day. Tradition has it that a man who cooks for his family violates the law of manhood.
Legally, the rights of sons and daughters having equal rights in regard to patriarchal property are never exercised even though the court in India recognizes them. Just like in past generations,ownership charges hands among the male sex while the rights of the female sex are denied.
Until now, the patriarchal society has held control over empowerment of women in India. So for women of Indian society to realize the power within them, they need two types of liberation. The first and foremost is from financial slavery. The second and equally important is from restrictions imposed on female sexuality. Women are always the victims as men assume the role of unrelenting oppressors.
In this contemporary world, the worth of civilization can only be arbitrated by the place given to women in society.