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Greater Political Power Alone Will Not Improve Womens Plight


All though the chapters of history women saw subjugation, enslavement, harassment and bondage within the four walls of the house which left her weak, dependent, meet and subdued. The lack of exposure made her ignorant and docile Even Shakespeare went on to say that Frailty thy name is Women.

But now the scenario has changed. With the onset of industrialization and spread of education, women started getting educated, employed and earning their means of living. Today women have conquered all realms of world right from art, to science, to research, to space and what not?

Todays women not only take care of herself, but also the children and even the aged in the family. In our country around 50% of the population is women, but in reality they represent at least 70% of it.

Therefore the need of greater representation is not something which requires a debate. It is first like debating the need for clean drinking water for all. This is an absolute necessity in the prevailing socio-economic conditions of our country. But the question here is that will that alone improve the plight of women in our country. The issue needs an in-depth analysis.

Let us take a look at the present day scenario consider the situation of states administered by female and male chief ministers. In reality there is no difference in condition of women in states ruled by women. For example the condition of women in Rajasthan led by Vasundhara Raje remains much more degraded then women in kerala. Taking the nation as a whole, in India women representation in parliament is about 8.3% and that of Pakistan is around 21.3% But still the position of women in India is much

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much better than the latter. The recent statement by President Musharaff regarding women says it all. One can clearly see that the question is not who rules but how one rule? The question is of policies and their enactment.

So it becomes quite visible that more representation alone will not do the trick. Politicians remain politicians whether male/female. Their approach remains same, preelection promises and post-election failure remains the same.

It is no doubt that women can understand other women better and there is no question of denying the fact that more women representation will do good for their upliftment, result in more compassionate decisions and legislations that are the need of the hour. But the crucial issue here is that the representatives should not be mere puppet rulers whose strings are operated by their advisors. Take the case of illiterate Rabri dancing on the tunes of Laloo or late Phulan Devi singing the notes of BSP party men and her husband. Even women in councils and Panchayat are mostly led by their spouses or relatives.

We require leaders who are able to think and act independently without anybodys interference only such women can improve the condition of other women.

No doubt there are some great names in politics, who act according to their own will and wish, but the cases are few and there is special distinction about them. Most of them have a great political background or high education or a grand elusive family to support them.

So how are the ordinary class woman supposed to be brought to their standards? The real point which has to be addressed in order to improve the condition of Indian Women is in terms of education, security, legislations and improving their social status.

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Education is the focus issue and should be given priority. The real cause of the backwardness of our women is lack of knowledge and enlightment. Once acquainted with education women will know the rights and wrongs, truths, their needs and decide their own ways to fulfill those needs. Lack of knowledge is the root cause for their poverty, enslavement in homes and lack of confidence to earn their own living. Educational schemes targeted towards women parliamentary poor both urban and rural society is the need of the hour. The schemes should fit into their requirement and be practical in nature. Schemes such as evening schools, adult education and other trainings like formation of self Help Groups to start small scale productions will be most beneficial.

The second most important issue is creating a secure environment for women to work and live. It will be only when women rise above the basic fear of security, will they be able to deliver in their workplace. Jobs like call centre, journalism etc. require work at add hours it is these place where the threat feeling is largest. The feeling of threat is not without a cause. The recent cases of death of a girl in Chennai while returning from office and harassment of a student in Capital Delhi (both of whom were working in call centers) remains an issue of concern. Apart from these incidences, the sexual abuse in offices which are treated as casual are some areas of grey concern. The Haryana governments recent step in commissioning companies to take care of their female employees, provide them transport facilities and ensure adequate safety measures against any sort of abuse in and after work is really a laudable step other states should take a clue form such acts and take an encouraging action.

Any scheme will remain incomplete without a supporting Legislation or Bill. Most of the Indian Women prefer to keep mum over abuse cases in fear of social disagree or fear. Absence of a comprehensive protection act is also another reason. The introduction of The Protection Against Sexual Harassment of Women Bill 2005 in June to protect the women from domestic violence of any kind including harassment arising out of dowry payment is welcome and proves to be the starting point of women justice. This
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Bill also gains importance on the grounds of a revelation by National Crime Record Bureau that of the 1.5lakhs case registered annually against women all over the country, nearly 50,000 are related to domestic violence.

Another important area which is mostly untouched and is of great relevance to women empowerment is the mindset of society. Is the society really willing to accept working / independent / creative / economically self sufficient women? Even in developed nations, the male population feels ashamed of working under a female boss. When such is the case of developed countries the situation in India need not be detailed too much. The only solution to this problem lies in proper education and values taught. The mindset can change only when more and more percentage of population accepts the concept of equality of genders and put it into practice.

There is always the battle to be fought before the victory is won. Too many think they must have victory before the battle. Rightly said Dean Stanley. Similarly the battle in social improvement has to fight for winning a respectable position for women, simply supplying them with greater political power alone is not the correct solution.

Greater political power when interwoven with appropriate policies, legislations and proper enactment targeted towards the needy section of society only will result in the up gradation of condition of women. There is a need for the society as whole to change for the better. The most important step is the creation of confidence among women which will make them realize their inner talent. They have to realize Swami Vivekanandas quotes All Power is there Within You, You Can Do Anything & Everything.

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