Gender and Women – in the field of Entrepreneurship – This was my topic at the 8th Jan #TheNextBigThing event at #Ranchi.
A first for me – discussing gender issues in a space where I normally address people on Social Entrepreneurship. Gender is like an elephant in the room. We don’t talk about it in the open. We wish to “appear” to be gender agnostic – but we aren’t.
Misogyny is the dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women. But seeing through the misogynistic glass: discussions online and offline with many women and some men leads me to some rather startling facts:
Delhi became the focal point in 2012 on 16th day of December – for a young girl was brutally raped and then her insides were mauled and mangled (almost as if she was an animal in a slaughter house) – and all because she dared to travel late in the evening with her friend (who was male). She was named ‘Nirbhaya’ by the media. It took a lot of courage for her father to come up and name her – he said – she was Jyoti Singh and she was scared to die! She was NOT Nirbhaya (without fear)!
Its 4 long years – and 4 times there have been candle lit marches, protests – a lot of noise by the political masters, the legal guardians and law makers and implementers – so what has changed?
A negative gloom: a detailed discussion on Daayan Pratha / Witch Craft and its prevalence in Jharkhand in the name of social, religious and superstitious beliefs…
To those who know… And to those who don’t.
An ugly reality which women in rural Jharkhand face are being branded a Daayan or a Witch – and then being publically shamed, beaten, paraded naked and finally killed.
The supposed powers of these women accused of witchcraft range from domestic animals dying/disappearing to children dying to people falling ill.
I have been wondering WHY our Top Court observed (SPECULATE) on possible riots which “could have been ” caused by the demonetization effort.
As a normal Indian, I am wondering why the Top Court didn’t observe or act on the following:
Slam the TN HC judge for asking a rape victim to marry her rapist
Criminalize marital rape. The courts have chosen NOT to react or observe on this matter. And all the while our elected leaders have veered from marital rape is impossible to marriage is sacred!!!
Strike off article 377 – and finally give LGBT community their rights as independent citizens with a right to live with their choices of gender and sexual orientation.
Allow a murderer and rapist a life sentence instead of the death row, stating that “he didn’t mean to kill” …. stumped about this one completely.
Ensure that child rapists are deemed paedophiles and shut away forever. What can be worse than this?
Take note of public personalities when they make statements like “boys will be boys”… when 2 girls are raped and hung from a tree. Or when a public personality immediately drubs a rape victim as a prostitute…. so prostitutes cannot be raped is it??
Mommyhood in India almost always defined a career break taken by working mothers out of what they refer to as their choice. I question that tenet in the 1st place – and ask that is it YOUR choice or the choice of social norms?
Fighting Patriarchy is a long journey – filled with strife and rigid mindsets. On this journey we need to start empowering the women around us.
NOTE – this piece is for BOTH men and women who do not believe in patriarchy and would like to have gender equality around them!
BTW – men too are feminist if they believe that women are equal. Remember by the simple dictionary meaning – feminism is the belief that women are equal to men. And NO it does not say that men are inferior!