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"In India, to be born as a man is a crime, to question a woman is an atrocious crime, and this all because of those women who keep suppressing men in the name of feminism."
Feminism, a worldwide movement that started to establish, define and defend equal rights for women in all sections- economically, politically, and socially. India, being a patriarchal society gives a gender advantage to the men in the society thus, Indian feminists sought to fight against the culture-specific issue for women in India. Feminism itself is nothing but a simple movement that pursues equal rights for women (including transwomen) and against misogyny both external and internal. It states nowhere that women should get more wages than men, that women deserve more respect than men, that's pseudo-feminism.
Pseudo feminists state that women deserve more respect and rights, any other gender deserves no respect. They feel that women should be the ones ruling the world and at higher positions. When feminism takes a turn for extremities it becomes pseudo-feminism and people who label themselves as feminists will bash anyone who speaks against even the wrongdoings of a woman. They'll bash women who're wife and sisters for not speaking up and support any women criticizing political leaders even if it's completely irrational. This is where hypocrisy and pseudo-feminism merge with each other.
They take advantage of the rights given to women to protect themselves to threaten other genders. The rights given to women are supposed to make them feel reassured that they can reach out to the judiciary if their rights are being hampered not to threaten to make the victim sound like the culprit.
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Indian Feminist Movement has made significant progress however, even in the modern world women are still unsafe and are discriminated against when it comes to getting a job, land ownership, and access to education. While filling the official papers it is still asked "Wife of /Daughter of:….."
People in India still continue the practice of sex-selective abortion, abandoning the girl child, not letting girl child study instead they should learn household chores, they are seen as a burden to the family. Such injustices make feminism such an important movement, gender equality is worth fighting for to create a safe environment for women. Feminists over the years have been criticized for focusing on the rights of privileged women and not giving equal representation to poorer and lower caste women, which has led to separate caste-specific feminist organizations and movements.
Some notable milestones in the Feminist Movement
- Raja Ram Mohan Roy campaigned against Sati Pratha (practice in which a widow sacrificed herself by sitting atop her deceased husband's funeral pyre) and child marriage
- Savitribai Phule started the first school for girls at Bhidewada in Pune city in 1848.
- In 1972, SEWA, the biggest trade union for women was set up by Ela Bhatt for women working in the informal sector.
- The Chipko Movement was launched and led by women in 1973.
- #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and abuse was started in 2006 and revived in the year 2015.
People in India still continue the practice of sex-selective abortion, abandoning the girl child, not letting girl child study instead they should learn household chores, they are seen as a burden to the family.Unsplash
Feminism is often misunderstood as pseudo-feminism and hence, becomes the target for public hatred and is accused of wronging other genders under the façade of feminism. It is misunderstood by Indians as female domination instead of gender equality. Indian society and Indian feminists believe that only men are perpetrators of a heinous crime like rape and they refuse to even recognize the men who say they were raped and it's the toxic masculinity in the society that believes how can a woman rape a man? Reality is different from what we believe, women can be the perpetrator too, women threaten to file a case of domestic violence, or sexual assault against innocent people just to fulfill their ego.
Thankfully feminism and pseudo feminism are two separate concepts and feminism is just about equality and not judgment. Indian society and feminists actually need to understand the difference between the two and stop tarnishing the Feminist Movement as a whole.
Keywords: Feminism, World, India, Pseudo-Feminism, Gender
By Prakhar Patidar
Historically men have been considered to be worldly, and women, on the contrary, homely. Thus they are raised to fit these identities. While men are raised to run the world, women are expected to grow up and run homes. Our society is patriarchal in nature, i.e. it favors men and considers females to be subhuman, and despite the legal recognition of each citizen as equal by our constitution, the freedom gap between the two is far from being bridged.
Freedom from poverty is what she demands
Has Freedom Come For All? Photo by V Srinivasan on Unsplash
Photo by V Srinivasan on Unsplash
Even after seven decades of Independent India, women still find themselves shackled by society's orthodox outlook towards them. Some might argue that things aren't as bad as they once were. We have taken leaps from social evils like female foeticide, child marriage, and exclusion from education but, this defense is as dated as is the victory over these particular social evils.
Her eyes are glimpse to the past
Old aged woman with floral dupatta scarf hold black leather cover book
Photo by Richard Saunders on Unsplash
What I mean is, no doubt it was important to do away with these and deservedly celebrate when done away with but it's time we move on to what presently troubles our women. It is foolish to bask in the glory of the sun that rose and set in the past. Yes, far more girls get to live, marry at legal age, and get educated than what was the case decades ago. The discussion could have ended if these were the only criteria to be able to live truly as a free citizen of the country, but sadly there is a lot more to freedom.
Participation of women in farming
women working on farm field during daytime. Photo by Deepak kumar on Unsplash
Photo by Deepak kumar on Unsplash
Freedom can be only enjoyed when it comes with a sense of safety, inclusion, acceptance, support, and a choice to live life as one wishes, On paper, everyone has equal rights. In reality, one's rights are determined by a number of factors such as caste, class, gender, ethnicity because while we may have been able to break free from colonial rule, social biases still prevail.
Girls performing traditional dance
Teenage girls performing traditional dance. Photo by pavan gupta on Unsplash
Photo by pavan gupta on Unsplash
Independence day is a bittersweet day. While it brings the pride of the successful fruition of the freedom struggle, it also brings the reminder of the battles India is still fighting. It is easy to tell that men and women enjoy different degrees of freedom. One need not look beyond our own homes, immediate circles, and social reality to find examples of gender inequality.
keywords: women, independence day, freedom, gender inequality, girls, society.
A new report launched by UNESCO highlights the need for policy measures to reach gender parity in the cultural and creative industries, despite recent progress in promoting gender equality. The report titled ‘Gender & Creativity: Progress on the Precipice’ explores existing, and at times widening, gender gaps in the field, notably in the context of Covid-19, and calls for a new commitment and transformative actions to promote gender equality.
The digital divide remains a pressing concern, with women disproportionately facing obstacles to access digital tools for artistic creation and distribution, including digital music platforms, online tutorials, and sound-mixing software. For example, it is estimated that worldwide, 250 million fewer women than men use the Internet, and women still represent only 21 percent of performers in electronic music festivals in Europe and North America, said UNESCO in a statement.
“From the technological perspective, the digital gender divide is leaving women and girls behind in all areas of political, economic, cultural and social life, resulting in isolation and limited access to tools and reliable information. Achieving gender equality will mean overcoming these vulnerabilities, and this is especially so for women working in the cultural and creative sectors,” says UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.
The report also highlights innovative gender policies, measures, and programs from around the world that can serve as a model for policymakers. According to UNESCO, gender equality is fundamental to ensuring a genuine diversity of cultural expressions and equal opportunities in artistic work and cultural employment. Qualitative and quantitative data, however, reveals that women and gender-diverse artists and creators continue to face numerous barriers, including unequal access to decent work, fair remuneration, and leadership positions.
In Uruguay, for example, it is estimated that women occupy 25 percent of managerial positions in public and private cultural organizations, 24 percent in Montenegro, and only 3 percent in Mali. In Indonesia, a recent study shows that while female professionals are advancing in the film industry as a whole, they are still largely underrepresented in creative decision-making roles, representing only 20 percent of scriptwriters, 19 percent of producers, and 7 percent of directors. In France, where women direct 34 percent of visual and performing arts organizations subsidized by the Ministry of Culture and 43 percent of museums, only 9 percent of directors of the 100 largest cultural enterprises are women.
The report also examines the safety and well-being of people of all genders in the workplace. Women and gender-diverse artists and creative professionals continue to be the targets of harassment, bullying, and abuse. In recent years, the digital environment has become the new frontier in the fight for gender equality and artistic freedom.
According to Lisabona Rahman, founder of the Sinematik Gak Harus Toxic (Cinema does not Need to be Toxic) campaign in Indonesia, “The prevailing demeaning attitude towards women is the source of harassment and abuse and as long as men continue to dominate powerful positions in the industry and perpetuate heteronormativity, it will not end.”
The overwhelmingly negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on gender equality is well-documented, from the rise in gender-based violence, the disproportionate absence of girl children from online classes, to female professionals’ limited eligibility for social and economic assistance. Although women have played a key role in responding to the crisis, gender inequalities have widened across the board, says UNESCO.
According to the report, without the systematic application of a gender perspective to policy responses, Covid-19 could have a long-lasting regressive effect on gender equality in the cultural and creative industries, as women are disproportionately represented in culture and other sectors most affected by the pandemic. (IANS/JC)