Women is a very strong word in itself, but since history never treated women the right way, women have taken charge of it and have empowered themselves in the past years and are struggling to do so. Women through all these years and even today are fighting against all the injustice and partiality in different fields whether we talk about equal pay, education or the mere right to voice their opinions.
Let’s talk about present scenarios where a woman might be portrayed as an independent, outgoing person but every move in her life has to be preapproved by a man. A woman’s life is dictated by these two powerful words: BUT and WHAT IF. The society has generalized these words to an extent that we have forgotten to question themselves. Certain repetitive questions that we get to hear every day are:
- What if you earn more than him, what will society say?
- You want an inter-caste marriage but what will the people say?
- Why do you want to work after marriage, what if, your in-laws have a problem with it?
The plight of women in certain countries and religious institutions is extremely disheartening.
- The women of Saudi Arabia were forbidden from voting until 2015 and they got their driving permits in 2018.
- In Israel, a woman needs her husband’s permission to get a divorce.
- A Nigerian husband is permitted to hit his wife, under Section 55 of the Penal Code, for the purposes of “correcting” her.
- On 30 July 2019, Parliament of India declared the practice of Triple Talaq as illegal, unconstitutional, and made it punishable act and now many women have filed a petition against the concept of nikahhalala.
Nikahhalala is a practice under which a man cannot remarry his former wife without her having to go through the process of (temporarily) marrying someone else, consummating it, getting divorced and observing a three-month separation period known as iddat.
- Section 498A IPC was specifically included in 1983 to protect women from cruelty and harassment related to dowry.
- Section 375 IPC considers the forced sex in marriages as a crime only when the wife is below age 15. Thus, marital rape is not a criminal offense under the IPC.
Every time women realized their self-worth they created history.
It took time but women realized their potential and started questioning the society, their norms, and the way they treated women. Throughout the history of our struggle, we have seen major movements and campaigns which still motivate us to fight for our rights. We have fought for it all, from educational empowerment to social and political equality.
Speaking of Educational empowerment, the literacy rate of women has been low across the globe. About two-thirds of the illiterate adults in the world are female. Higher levels of women’s education are strongly associated with both lower infant mortality and lower fertility, as well as with higher levels of education and economic opportunity for their children. Malala was shot by the people of the Taliban for her activism related to female education but even those bullets that went through her body could not stop her from promoting the message and now she does that globally.
Women have struggled to get political equality, to get the government to give them a chance to voice their opinions because political participation empowers women in a way nothing else does. It was not until 2015 women of Saudi Arabia could not vote and politically participate. In Nagaland women’s organizations, under the leadership of the Naga Mother’s Association (NMA), demanded the application of Indian law 243(T) of the Indian Constitution, which states that 33% of seats should be reserved for women within local political bodies. Their demand was vehemently rejected, and male politicians invoked “tribal traditions” as their main argument which further led to widespread protests.
Women in the past and even today do not take NO for an answer and rather rebel for it. Whenever a woman has thought it through and realized her self- worth, potential, and the value she has fought for it. Many times it was women against the world and this never scared women for bringing the change in society or the mentality and whenever that change came, women have felt proud of it bringing it home. The parents of the bridegroom decide the worth of the girl materially before getting them married.