Rural Land… and the Urban Land, Does the life of a woman change much? Women need to be sheltered and protected in both. It is only the Purdah in the rural land that separates the two lives of a woman. This is what many people in India believe in and practice the same. Especially the plight of rural based women is worse than those of urbanites. To the surprise, every woman in rural areas grow with a common motive of doing household chores, taking care of the family before marriage, and after of in-laws which is indeed a job of great responsibility as it involves multitasking at a time, flexible behavior according to the situations/conditions and lot of sacrifices time to time. The concern of rural based women lies in making them know and understand their own worth, talent and one important and very essential thing – Self-Respect. Sensitization occurs at a level where women start respecting their own selves without having any burden of patriarchal norms. Some issues which women have to still tolerate and that are inherent to the rural lands are mentioned as under:
Lack of Education
Education is the key to progress, growth and development, and this is one thing women in the rural areas are denied. Education is the key to a better future, a future without the pardah, freedom of speech and an individual identity. But, women from the rural lands are denied this basic life support and are forced live as a prisoner, chained by the bonds made by the society. Well they say… if you educate a woman then you educate the whole family. But sadly, is it still being followed?
The most important and one of the burning issues in India, is to have proper sanitary facilities at homes in rural areas. Why expect women to cover her head every time in front of in-laws when you ask her to go to answer nature’s call in open? Many crimes and rapes take place when women’s private parts are exposed under open sky. Secondly, even health issues rise due to the absence of sanitary facilities at home. Women’s health and hygiene should be taken care by the society. Government and NGOs have started many activities wherein they part knowledge about sanitation and the ill-effects which come as a result of its absence. However, the change has to come from people’s side and the urge should be there to have a proper sanitary facility.
It is not that the rural women do not have skills and talent. They are highly skilled, but do not know the right source that can help them become successful entrepreneurs. Rural based women are experts in various handwork skills and agriculture which remains sidetracked due to lack of exposure. Their talents should be properly channelized to derive appropriate outcomes which can be the spine of growth and development in India.
Child Marriages/ Dowry
The biggest crime in the society is not child marriage but snatching away the childhood of a girl. In spite of laws for child marriages and dowry, these practices are observed whole-heartedly in rural areas. The question that arises here is “will the education about stopping such practices really stop people from committing such crimes”? Probably the answer would dishearten us, as people’s mindsets have to be changed before making them understand the ill-effects of child marriages.
Violence Against Women, again is a matter of concern not only in rural India but in the whole country. Of course in rural areas, VAW in majority cases is not even reported. And so, the daily crimes created against women are neglected and dumped. Their emotions, pains are overseen by themselves only which disturbs their growth and curb their individual identity. Women based in rural areas need to complain about the violent acts happening with them. Media and judiciary should also have programs wherein they indulge into the motivational process of bringing out such acts in the open, as such steps actually shows a women going against their families.
Female foeticide is prevalent in our country as a major social evil. The patriarchal social structure of India gives a secondary position to women. Agreed! But killing and taking away someone’s life is a crime of hell. Many governmental programs are there to take care of such issues but somehow this evil still exists in the rural areas and for that reason, even in some urban places. Why can’t a girl child come into existence; just because she is considered to be the weaker section in the society? If it is so, then shame on such people who carry this in their lives.
All these issues matter a lot when people talk about India’s growth and development. Our country lacks in these issues and so, a proper environment for women is unseen. There should be a change from women’s side also; the more they complain, safer they and the country can be.
Start raising your voice against such malpractices for all the awareness programs will be dull and mundane without the change of mindset from female domain.
Image Courtesy: ibtimes.co.uk