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Redefining the Essence of Lost Feminism in India

Feminism is a very overrated concept in India. It is deemed as a paradox.

Feminism Representational Image), Pixabay

April 28, 2017:

Tracing Feminism from the trail of history

Feminism is a paradoxical ideology misunderstood by more than half of the brilliant minds. By definition “Feminism is the advocacy of women’s right on the ground of the equality of sexes”. However, the influencers and gatekeepers play their part really well in playing with the embodiment of the word feminism.

Feminism was coined by the French philosopher, Charles Fourier and can be traced back to have appeared in France for the first time.

India is also a Patriarchal society which by definition represents culture in which males as fathers or husbands are assumed to be in charge. This patrilineal system has subsisted for an indefinite period of time in history and now women have been accustomed to the submissive lifestyle.

Lewd Remarks for Feminists

Lately, I have been receiving slanderous remarks for being a Feminist. Latest amongst them was “Did my parents spoon fed me feminism?”.

“No. My parents did not raise a feminist. It is the society who did that to me and to every woman who feels the same about it”.

Another libellous remark by a man who feels provoked by feminism. “As long as democracy exist feminism thrive. The moment democracy paves the way to dictatorship, feminism will vanish.”

“Men ruled at the time of dictatorship and they still continue to rule, however, the only difference is that dictatorship has shifted to patriarchy.”

Paradoxical Feminism

Feminism is the half-understood concept in the world. What is wrong in raising voice for your own rights and your community’s rights?. As long as men in the society continue to feel offended for a woman taking a stand for herself, nothing can be substituted. On the one side, women try to climb the ladder and rise above the predispositions while on the other side; someone just pulls off the ladder.

As long as men in the society continue to feel offended for a woman taking a stand for herself, nothing can be substituted. On the one side, women try to climb the ladder and rise above the predispositions while on the other side; someone just pulls off the ladder.

Henceforth, I bring forward some points which mistaken as an ideology of Feminism but indeed are fallacious.

Male Bashing

The most obvious connotation by the society about feminism is that it entails ‘belittlement of a man’. Often Feminism is condemned by Men saying that it commands belittling of a man.

The advancement of women’s rights does not mean a ‘belittlement’ of men or their rights. Feminism merely seeks to establish the same rights and privileges for women that men have been holding for centuries – the right to walk freely in public spaces, the right over their own bodies and sexualities, the right to pursue their choice of education and career, to name a few examples. Yes, feminism does expose the privileges that men hold that women do not yet have, and uncloaking this privilege might make some men uncomfortable, as privilege is inextricably linked to oppression. Feminism can never be a paradox as long as women continue to remain oppressed by patriarchy – Feminism in India

It is imperative to know that feminism never edifies to hate men. It is the “Misandry” which ingrains prejudice against men and inculcates hatred towards men.

Feminism is bragged by only Females

Another misconception subsists that only women are termed as Feminist, which is not true. Can’t men be seen on the same side of the struggle? Of course yes, only on the off chance they choose to stand on the same side.

All feminist are career oriented

Feminist do not slander the housewives or domestic work. It recognises the woman who chooses to stick to household work as much as the woman who chooses career above anything else. It respects each individual’s choice regardless of the stereotypical notions.

Feminist condemns Relationships

As Feminism is misinterpreted with misandry, it is obvious to grasp that feminism inculcates a sense of independence in a woman. It should be noted that whether someone believes in relationships or not is completely their choice and not a code of feminism.

Feminism also strives to lessen the problems deep hearted in the society.

What do you think the women of our country still wrestles with?

The women of our country wrestle with multiple issues, which it would be impossible to speak about holistically, given the number of different identities and struggles that the vastness of our country embodies. Women are still being killed for being born, for daring to choose their own partners, for pursuing an education. Violence dogs our footsteps – whether it be sexual violence like street harassment, molestation, and rape, or emotional violence like moral policing, reinforcing regressive stereotypes that demean women and teaching us to be ashamed of everything about our bodies. Our rights to our bodies, and to make free choice are being violated – everyone is constantly telling women what to do. Women from marginalized communities face double marginalization – the oppression comes from multiple sources: their womanhood as well as their caste/class status, their gender identity, their sexual orientation, their disability, etc.- Feminism in India


Most women in India are married at an early age of 18 and are deemed to spend a major part of their lives in childbearing and raising children.


It is known that females in India have a ten percent higher drop out rate than males. Since unemployment is higher in India, it becomes easy for the employers to alter the law which deals with women. The Indian culture reprimand women who argue with men.

Constitutional Rights

Indian women often do not take complete benefit of their constitutional rights because of the lack of awareness and information available. Women also tend to have poor use of voting rights because they possess low levels of political awareness and sense of political efficacy, neither are they encouraged to become informed about issues.

Female Infanticide

Female Infanticide is the deliberate killing of a female child by feeding poison or other harmful chemicals. The immoral sex selection even before the child is born pushes gender differences.

Dowry System

Dowry in India is another prevalent custom according to which the bride’s family gives durable goods, cash to bridegroom’s family. Not only this, many times the bride is tormented for dowry and domestically abused.


One of the reasons that girls have the lowest share of literacy as against boys is because of the fact that girls are needed to assist in household work. Mothers are illiterate due to which they have to be economically dependent on the man.

Bottom Line

What is the essence of Womanhood? 

The essence of womanhood is that there is no essence of womanhood. Feminism has been fighting the reductive stereotypes that are associated with being a woman for decades. It is these stereotypes, like women ‘naturally’ being more nurturing, emotional, caregiving, etc. that continue to pigeonhole us into certain roles. When women attempt to break out of these roles, they are faced with resistance and violence. Womanhood exists in any form that you can imagine – the only criteria of womanhood is identifying as a woman. The rest is all personal choice and expression – there is no “wrong way” of “being a woman”. – Feminism in India

The predicaments are unfathomable to look forward to and wipe each one of them. Nevertheless, these issues are suppressed and are never paid heed.

– by Naina Mishra of Newsgram, Twitter: Nainamishr94


  1. Feminism is the equality for all sexes and brace yourself because this is going to be a long rant.
    Feminism means every gender in this entire world deserves equal respect and recognition and EQUALITY FOR ALL GENDERS.
    And I guess feminism should not be taught by the society but at home
    There should be no status difference between a husband and wife, brother and sister or any counterparts of different genders. A gay child is as important as a straight male kid or a lesbian or bisexual daughter. Unless your own you do not get the right to determine any ones sexuality
    Since feminism is a fairly historic term it is for equality of dominant genders of THAT time.
    And males have no right to say feminism as a term is incorrect when the entire human history is called MANKIND.
    Also i u want more feminism in the country offer suggestions- instead of cribbing about the male chauvinist patriarchal society
    *MIC DROP*

    • Well said Vedika Kakar. 🙂 You can use “humankind” as a neutral alternative to the term “mankind”.


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Three Indian Women on Fortune’s Most Powerful Business Women

Chanda Kochhar and Shikha Sharma have been ranked among the most powerful businesswomen outside of the United States by Fortune magazine

Indian Women
Indra Nooyi - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2008. Wikimedia

New Delhi, Sep 28, 2017: Indian women have undertaken every role in each sphere of life from beauty to the outrageous corporate world with due diligence.  Fortune magazine has released the Most Powerful Women in Business Outside the US list in which two Indian women, ICICI Bank’s Chanda Kochhar and Axis Bank chief Shikha Sharma have made it to the rankings while Indira Nooyi featured in the top three businesswomen on the US edition list.

Anna Bonnin, the executive chairman of the Banco Santander Group, was ranked first in the list. Kochhar was placed fifth, and Sharma was ranked 21st in the list.

PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi was ranked second on the US Most Powerful Women in Business list. General Motors CEO Mary Barra topped the list while Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson took the third spot.

Also Read: 5 Women Whose Caliber, Achievements Would Inspire You 

The annual list of working women outside the United States was released 17th time.  The 50 global businesswomen represented 17 countries and had 11 newcomers this year. The methodology involved four criteria: the size and importance of the woman’s business in the global economy, the health and direction of the business, the arc of the woman’s career (resume and runway ahead), and social and cultural influence, mentioned Livemint.


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Breast Cancer Survivors Turn Showstoppers for Indian Designer Premal Badiani at New York Fashion Week

Her collection titled Valentia encouraged women especially the breast cancer fighters and survivors to embrace their womanhood with boldness

Breast cancer survivors
Premal Badian at New York Fashion Week. Facebook

New York, Sep 10, 2017: Breast cancer survivors Marry Ann DAchille and Ozlem turned showstoppers for Premal Badiani during her show at the New York Fashion Week (NYFW). The Indian designer paid tribute to real life fighters and survivors through her collection.

Her collection titled Valentia that means brave in Latin, was feminine and sexy, encouraging women especially the breast cancer fighters and survivors to embrace their womanhood with boldness, confidence and a touch of sensuality.

“I wanted to force people to re imagine the disease that is supposed to make a woman feel unattractive and lose her womanhood. My aim with this collection was to showcase the breast cancer fighters and survivors as any other woman – strong, sexy and sensuous while they took each step on the runway,” the designer said in a statement

The unconventional hand embroidery on each silhouette gave the collection a slightly mythical look that further enhanced the femininity. The colour palette with the hues of pink mixed with grey and green was carefully chosen to highlight breast cancer awareness, staying true to the brand’s philosophy of being one truly with heart and soul.

Badiani complemented her collection with exclusively designed, beautiful hand crafted floral and elk horn headpieces that symbolised strength, the fighter spirit yet being feminine and gorgeous.

Cancer survivor, Marry Ann D’Achille commented on walking the ramp, “My biggest excitement is serving the American Cancer Society and serving the designer and being introduced to her beautiful designs. I love the influence of her ideas.”

Also Read: India can bring down cost for Breast Cancer Detection, says US Scientist

Cancer fighter and survivor, Ozlem added, “Having the opportunity to walk the runway for Premal Badiani is an honour for me. It’s a reflection of the support that I’ve received and as a result of that the courage and strength it has provided me to be able to now be a breast cancer survivor.”

This is not the first time she is showcasing at NYFW. In the last season she made a collection where the primary fabric used was made from natural Cellulose fibres and produced from wood pulp, a natural renewable resource.

The label supported the American Cancer Society where VIP tickets and outfits were auctioned to raise funds for the charity. The designer tied up with brand Belsi as their jewellery partner.

“We decided to come onboard with Premal Badiani as we strongly believe in the cause and have always been a huge fan and supporter of everything that Premal does in and outside of fashion. We have always been a proponent of cancer awareness and we are happy to associate with a cause on this scale,” Belsi’s founder, Riddhi Fazal said. (IANS)


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A welcome step for women empowerment laws, soon to be introduced law will help to prevent women’s abuse in NRI marriages: Rakesh Srivastava

Rakesh Srivastava talked about increasing women employment, equal work participation, and gender equality

A soon to be introduced law will help in women empowerment as it will prevent women’s abuse in NRI marriages
A soon to be introduced law will help in women empowerment as it will prevent women’s abuse in NRI marriages. Pixabay
  • Efforts are required for training and skill up-gradation of women in traditional, new and emerging areas to promote women’s employment
  • In November the government will honor 100 women achievers
  • Gender Equality is still not reflected in ‘participation in economic activities’ which is not a good thing for women empowerment

New Delhi (India), September 7, 2017: Rakesh Srivastava, Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development said that very soon a law will be finalized which will protect Indian women who are abandoned by their NRI husbands or foreign partners. He said this on 6th September 2107. It will be a praiseworthy step for women empowerment.

Srivastava was present for the inauguration ceremony of 2nd Conference on Women at the workplace- “Role of Leadership”, New Delhi. The Conference was organized by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

Women Empowerment by increasing job opportunities for women

According to ANI report, Rakesh Srivastava said “India has taken a lead role in gender budgeting in the world. Efforts are also required for training and skill up-gradation of women in traditional, new and emerging areas to promote women’s employment in both organized/unorganized sectors, including entrepreneurial development.”

Women Achievers will be honored

Srivastava also informed that in November the government will honor 100 women achievers. The event will be held in Hyderabad and will possibly be attended by The US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump. The government decided to honor women achievers will inspire other women to reach great heights of success, this step will foster women empowerment.

Equal Opportunities for Women

He further added that if suitable strategies and also laws which help in women empowerment are implemented- it will ensure equal opportunities for women to enter as well as enjoy decent work in a healthy work environment. This will also include fair and equal wages, health measures, social security measures and occupational safety.

Also Read: Misery of the outcast wives in India by their NRI husbands

Knowledge about Gender Equality will increase Women Empowerment

He cited that gender equality is critical for the development of any country. Srivastava said that by removing barriers which prevent women from having the same access to economic opportunities, education, and productive inputs as men will lead to productivity gains. It is a crucial step to be taken in today’s globalized and competitive world.

Srivastava said, “India has been ranked 87 out of 144 countries on the latest World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Report 2016, but in the economic sphere, much work remains to be done as India ranks 136 in this pillar out of 144 countries.” He added that gender equality is still not reflected in ‘participation in economic activities’ which is not a good thing for women empowerment.

Workforce Participation Rate in Men v/s Women

“In 2011, the workforce participation rate at all India level is 25.51% for women as compared to 53.26% for men. While there is no urban-rural gap for males (53%), there is a considerable rural-urban gap for females, when workforce participation rate for rural women is 30% it is only 15.4% for urban women,” Srivastava said, mentions ANI report.

Also Read: In Netherlands, PM Narendra Modi pitches for Women Empowerment in India

Women Empowerment by building women’s Hostels for widows and women in distress

Rakesh Srivastava, the secretary of Ministry of Women and Child Development also shared that the government is working on women’s hostels that can also be utilized by the widows and women in distress in India.

Srivastava said “Women form an integral part of the Indian workforce. They need to be equal partners in the society for them to be equal participants in work. Women have to contend with discriminatory laws, institutions and attitudes that restrict their leadership and full participation in public life.” He added that what prevents women from becoming effective leaders is unequal access to resources.

October 15 will be observed as ‘Women Farmer’s Day’ all thanks to Krishna Raj, Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. This move by a minister, noticing rural women’s contribution in farming paves way for women empowerment of rural women.

Krishna Raj said, “Women can make enormous contributions to economies, whether in businesses, on farms, as entrepreneurs or employees, or by doing unpaid care work at home.”

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