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A Strong Woman Is a Commendable Omen

For overhauling the society and thus, creating a revolution of SELFLESS SACRIFICE by acknowledging the strength of a woman. Putting someone else's happiness and well being ahead of her own, she teaches the world about Selfless love, care, service and magnanimity…

How splendid it is to see women across the world empowering each other to break all the barriers and unleash the potential that lies within them. We have seen so many inspiring women who are the epitome of elegance, bravery and selfless service. The greatest epitome of strength and womanhood is none but our MOTHER.

She's a true warrior: Fearless, strong and powerful. The journey of a child's life starts from the guidance and tenderness of the mother, which turns out to be the guiding light to face every challenge in life with utmost sincerity and fearlessness. We could learn this principle from our mother, i.e., facing each and every challenge with complete devotion and never giving up in any situation despite the struggles involved.

In the Vedic age, there were high ideals of womanhood. Women were highly respected. Throughout history women's worth was recognized as the first step to a more powerful and egalitarian society. Women were regarded as the embodiment of power, passion and dedication.

As from the history itself, one can understand and cherish the power of women who have worked hard and led their lives astonishingly to make this world a better place to live in. One of the greatest example denoting the attributes and power of a woman is surely, Mother Teresa, who was honored with Nobel Prize for peace in 1979, for her tremendous work for the welfare of the poor. There are many such examples of women who have influenced many lives regardless of the societal norms that existed throughout the history and have confined the strength of women. They struggled hard to end social prejudices and made every woman believe that they are strong enough to break anything that curbs their potential.

Earlier only men were entitled to the right to education and women lacked this basic right. A society which doesn't allow women to educate and unleash their potential is detrimental. Savitribai Phule, the pioneer of women's education in India, was a dalit and was highly marginalized, but she was so fearless and brave, that she sought to fight against the injustice that prevailed in the society.

She was known as the Vidya Jyoti which acted as guiding light for all of us, to endure, respect and protect the rights of women of our country. When it comes to bravery, courage and wisdom, one can never forget the saying Khoob ladi mardani wo to Jhansi wali Rani thi, describing the chivalry of Rani lakshmi Bai. She's undoubtedly a beacon for the generations to come. Earlier, people used to believe that women are just confined in the four walls of a room only, but women like Kalpana Chawla, by overcoming all odds and by fulfilling her dreams, proved it that women are even touching the sky and are no more confined in their spaces.

The First Spacewoman of India:

Kalpana Chawla, will always be a great inspiration for all the women. She gives us a lesson that we should not confine ourselves within the boundaries and see life as a wonderful opportunity to fulfill our dreams and achieve great heights. There are many such examples of women across the world that has inspired the generations and will continue to do so by their remarkable work for the people and the society as a whole. The flamboyance of women has reached so many hearts that the people are being compelled to believe that the fire that women have in them could set the whole world ablaze.

Discrimination against Women and the Evolution of Laws

Historical Background
Women have been subject to various kinds of discrimination, be it on physical, mental, emotional or educational level. Despite the progress over the years, women, however, regardless of legislation, continue to face such hostilities and the purpose of legislation i.e. upliftment of women seems to be a chimera.

Women still struggle to break the chain of social fragmentation. People followed religious principles without any conscience, having catastrophic effect; the sati system in ancient India was pernicious. The self immolation of the widow on the funeral pyre of her husband was a social evil and many such evils are still present in our society.

Raja Ram Mohan Roy struggled hard to abolish such practice that made Lord William Bentick to abolish the sati system and ultimately declaring it as an offence. Then, the Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act came in 1987. Our society needs such a vociferous campaigner who could be the voice of the people, who could stand against injustice.

By analyzing examples of such people we get to know that what we as human beings lack is, to have a collective consciousness , to look beyond the social barriers, to look beyond the class, caste, color, race, gender, sex and everything that creates difference between each one of us.

Position of women in the old Indian society was also the same as it is today or we can say that for example, domestic violence, it existed in the past and is still present in our society. In Indian society the ideal picture is that women should sacrifice everything for their husbands and serve them throughout their lives. The root cause of this problem lies in the fact that the Indian women are socialized in the way that instilled dependency in them and made them feel that they are subordinate and inferior to men.

Such socialization of women in every aspect of life has resulted in such a miserable condition of women that they even hesitate to take a step for themselves. We have Domestic Violence Act of 2005, which provides protection to women from physical, sexual, verbal, emotional and economic abuse and aims to achieve a violence free home. The current scenario of women in context of domestic violence is much deteriorating. Day to day violence against the women is increasing in spite of all the efforts of the government and legislation.

Breakdown in lock down

Staying at home for women during this current novel corona virus pandemic was life threatening. The National Commission for Women received 47.2% cases related to domestic violence in April and May. Women everywhere seek help to protect her right to live with dignity and move out of such a cage where she's considered to be worthless.

The UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (1993) also states that this violence against women has been the result of the perception of the people since history itself that men are superior to women, leading to domination over and discrimination against women by men and subjecting women to accept her subordinate position.

A woman need protection of criminal laws in her own home, and even more disheartening is the fact that even after such criminal laws, women are being subjected to such heinous crimes. According to the NCRB report in 2018, majority of cases under crimes against women were registered under 'cruelty by husband or his relatives' (27.9%) [1].

Enlightening the people about the importance of women education

Can the world afford to stand on only one of its legs? A Human Development Report of 1993 has said 'No country treats its women as well as the men'. A woman should be empowered to become a dynamic partner in the building of the new world of our dreams. It is not education that alone matters. We must give women equal opportunity to rise and discover the potential that lies within them.

We have to walk on both of our legs and remove all the social barriers that restrict women in any way to move ahead, through a collective and determined national effort we could surely build a world where women are respected and even empowered. This requires deep introspection and radical social transformation.

About two:
thirds of 750 million adults are women who lack even basic literacy skills (UIS, 2019)[2] To accelerate women growth and empowerment and to instill leadership skills in women, UNESCO launched “Her education, our future”, aiming to strengthen education system, promote gender equality and enable women to Learn, Grow, Empower and Shine. There's an urge for a better political commitment towards women education and empowerment through laws and policies. Promotion of women education would help them gain a better insight of their strength which would eventually help in transforming the world. The most powerful force to build a healthier and sustainable future is Education.

Our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, inaugurated a campaign of “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” in 2015 which aimed to generate awareness among people to save the girl child and educate the girl child all over the country. The objectives of this scheme were to prevent female infanticide, develop new schemes to ensure that every girl is protected and secured and to ensure that every girl child gets access to education.

The Constitution (86th Amendment) Act 2002, inserted Article- 21 A in the Indian Constitution which is Right to Education. It provides free and compulsory education of all children in the age group of 6 to 14 years as a Fundamental Right.

The recent data on literacy rate released by the National Statistical Office ( NSO) (2017-18) for all aged 7 or more, showed that the popular idea of ' developed states' can be misleading with regard to literacy. The latest data debunked the conjecture around South Indian states being more literate than North. Andhra Pradesh ranked the worst among all Indian states with 66.4% literacy rate, lower than Bihar's 70.9%. Kerala, being at the top has the thinnest gap between the male and female literacy rate i.e. just 2.2%. At all India level, the gap is 14.4% with male literacy rate at 84.7% and female literacy rate at 70.3% [3].

Recent Judgements that Contributed in uplifting the status of Women in India

The Sabrimala Temple Judgement:

The Supreme Court held that the exclusion of women in the Sabrimala temple violated the fundamental rights of women denuding them of their right to worship. Therefore, women of all age group were allowed to enter the premises [4]. In India's Tryst with Destiny, we promised to follow the principle of rule of law as enshrined in the Constitution of India. Let's march together in all spheres of human endeavor to achieve our goals. Let us all unite and help each other grow and be scrupulous.

The Triple Talaq Judgement:

The Supreme Court said that the practice of Triple Talaq was violating the Fundamental Right to Equality contained under Article 14 of the Indian Constitution and was therefore, held to be unconstitutional [5]. Muslim wives suffered such tyranny through all times and the court by passing such a judgement made the people even more aware about their rights and consequently supporting Muslim women to stand up and dismantle every barrier that holds them.

The Judgement on Daughters Right to Property:

The Supreme Court backed the fact that daughters cannot be deprived of their right to equality conferred to them by Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956. The Supreme Court said that the daughters will have an equal coparcenary right in the Hindu Undivided Family properties, irrespective of the fact that whether the father was alive or not on 9 September 2005, when this amendment came into force [6].

The Indian Constitution is based on equality and denying the opportunities to women is against the ethos of the constitution. The Indian Judiciary has played a pivotal role in framing and interpreting laws that uphold women's rights and dignity in India. Such progressive Judgement delivered by the court empowers the women of our country and motivates everyone to rage a revolution to move towards a better world where women are respected.

A message to all the Women to Transform their Dreams into Reality

BE YOUR OWN VOICE. You have to say NO to everything that is ruining your peace, rather than suffering in silence, women need to come up and fight against injustice. Be an example to other women out there who are being subject to such violence. One voice is more than enough to make other women realize their strength, one voice is enough to awake other people, one voice is alone at first but if it is raised for the right cause, it can create a Revolution, it can change the whole world.

As an independent, democratic, sovereign nation we failed to endure, we failed to provide independence to the women of our nation. Where do we stand as a nation? The power lies within all of us and women need to understand that they are just one step away from a completely different life. But what is needed is to stop suffering and start fighting. Break the norms, come out of the comfort zone and rule the world. For harmonious existence one must recognize, accept and acknowledge the strength of women.

Through law we can change the society, but through the efforts of the people we can change this whole world. So why not unite and stand for each other and be that one voice. Big things happen when we make small efforts first. What make us human beings 'human' are the choices that we consciously make; so either we can choose to remain still at the place where we are, or we can dare to take a step forward and reach out to as many people as we can and transform this world into something unprecedented and extraordinary.

If we really want to move ahead then we first have to leave the place where we are standing right now. Those who dare to move ahead, are the ones who really change the world and make this world a better place to live in. Will you dare to do so? Will you be that one voice? We all have the courage. Every voice will be heard. By relying on our own sword, in every struggle, we use our strength to comeback from every setback. Let's make a difference, let's create our own path towards a better future.

Fearless souls filled with fire,
Adore, admire and inspire.
Knowing the power of her flame,
She achieves her aim.
By writing her own story,
She achieves glory.
Rejoiced by raising her voice,
She makes her own choice.
By fulfilling her responsibility, she proves her ability.
With her potential, she becomes influential.
With her simplicity, she attains blissful serenity.

 

References:

  1. Ncrb.gov.in, Assessed on 10/9/2020
  2. Unesdoc.org/ark:/48223, Assessed on 10/9/2020
  3. Timesofindia
  4. Indian Young Lawyers Assn. & Ors v. The State of Kerala & Ors (2018)SC
  5. Shayara Bano v. Union of India and Ors (2017) 9 SCC 1
  6. Vineeta Sharma v. Rakesh Sharma (2020) SC

Written By: Samiksha Ahlawat, B.A.LL.B (hons) Punjab University, Chandigarh

Awarded certificate of Excellence
Authentication No: SP31217718383-21-920

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