As we all know that 70 years back UN implemented the fundamental rights of women which comprises of right to live with freedom from violence and slavery, the right to equality, and the right to educate, vote, get employed, and hold property, but what we are forgetting here is that they are just written on paper and still remain neglected by the majority. Many countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, etc. doesn’t grant the basic right of living to women as we come across so many cases in everyday lives where fetus are aborted because it’s a female child. However, stringent laws have been implemented by the governments for such actions but this inhumanity still prevails in many rural parts of the world.
Why are women rights deprived?
The problem lies in the core of the mind-set that has been prevailing from generations where women are considered a useless homemaker whereas; men are the breadwinner of the family so he is considered superior to women. Having a male child is a matter of honor and prestige whereas, a female child is regarded as a lifelong burden that needs to be raised, fed, and clothed only to be given away in a marriage that will cost parents a fortune that makes them unwilling to spend any more money on girl’s education and medical requirements.
Apart from this, the countries that have people living below the poverty line fail to acknowledge these rights as they give away their young daughters who are as less as 9 years in marriage to get rid of the burden. These girls then face domestic violence, sexual abuse, and what not in the name of marriage and the vicious circle continues as they do the same with their daughters. If someone tries to break away from this circle to bring an impact, they are either murdered or abandoned for the rest of their lives.
In addition, once married the woman is expected to shoulder the responsibility of the house and elders of the family as she is made to suffer at the hands of in-laws and husband trying to treat her as their slave and fulfilling their constant demands which lead to mental and physical abuse. She is also expected to bring pride and honor to the family by providing them an heir or else, they are open to getting their son a second wife who will provide an heir to the family and discard all the efforts and sacrifices made on the part of the woman. Unfortunately, women are treated as an object in our society who loses value once married and she is thrown out of the house to suffer and die in isolation.
Surprisingly, the vindictive traditions of the South Asian subcontinent deprive women of the basic right of health and financial rights as she is expected to carry the child of her husband for 9 months but the expenses of treatment and delivery are forced upon the parents similar to the dowry demands that are made at the time of marriage to fulfill the shortcomings of the girl’s physical appearance leaving her and her parent’s shattered and destitute. They are unwilling to take their daughter back in case the marriage fails and she has no choice but to put up with the terrible marriage that will ultimately cost her life and mental health.
It’s no surprise that in the last two centuries, seeing the suffrage of women in various parts of the world had not only compelled women activist to come forward and raise this issue but many men also supported the cause of female empowerment and tried to bring an impact in the conditions of females and their lives but only a few countries choose to practice them as mentioned and promise to provide it to women.
Why It is still a dream for the world?
Many of us know that West has managed to successfully empower women in many areas as they did partially succeed in implementing women’s rights, and there is still a long way to go until women feel safe, free, and truly independent.
We all know that women in the West are not discriminated against gender as they enjoy financial independence and security but does this mean that they are safe? The increased crime rate against women in the form of rapes, kidnapping, abduction, trafficking, etc. still puts their freedom in question. The rise of sexual violence, physical violence, and domestic violence makes it clear that they still suffer in silence with their families, friends, and peers. There are many stories of women who face sexual harassment in their workplaces and other areas that they choose not to bring to light as it may impact them and their families negatively. The matters that remain unaddressed don’t mean that they fail to exist.
Apart from this, the UN has reported that there are 4 million cases every year worldwide of female trafficking irrespective of girls and women who are forced into slavery and prostitution. The conditions in which these females are made to serve are horrific and no actions are taken against this as governments choose to remain mum in these matters making it a distant dream for females around the world.
Why women empowerment is the need of the hour?
We all need to understand that Women are the backbone of every society and thus if we fail to empower them then we fail as a society. Every woman is entitled to live with confidence, dignity, and freedom and this can be only implemented when we empower our women with education and necessary survival skills so that she can manage things independently.
Empowered women constitute the development of families and children which will cause ripple effects for generations to come. They are the pillars of a healthy and functioning society that will impact the economy and growth of every country positively. Women are the ones who raise the men of our society and if they are educated on social evils, they can teach their sons to be more empathetic and help in disregarding the evil social practices and implement healthy customs everywhere.
Women need to be aware of their reproductive rights too as she needs to be in control of their health and when she plans to have children in the future. Many times where men take decisions in these matters, they end up having huge families with limited financial support as they struggle in poverty and are deprived of health care. Additionally, the need for an heir is so intense that the woman is seen as no less than a reproductive machine caring less about her health and value. When a woman is empowered, it doesn’t only benefit the family but it also benefits the nation in the form of population control and economic growth.
Challenges faced during women rights implementation
It’s not easy to explain to everyone that women’s rights are basic human rights and she is entitled to all the basic rights that males enjoy by birth. The current economic issues have deepened the problem because, in comparison to males, females are the ones who are in high numbers and living beyond the poverty line worsening the situation. Certain laws made by the governments also discriminate on the basis of genders like marriage, divorce, polygamy, etc. that couldn’t be changed in a blink of an eye as it’s traditionally followed by everyone that will take many decades to bring smaller impacts constantly and has a long way to achieve. Furthermore, the key to successfully execute them is to focus on important areas first and develop the economic conditions of the women everywhere and provide them proper education along with awareness of their rights.
Women are stereotyped as weak genders which make them susceptible to violence, harassment, abuse, and honor killings. They are also held responsible for providing an heir to the family and if she fails in doing so then she is divorced or abandoned which is regarded as humiliation in the society and grants opportunity to others to treat her as they want to force her into slavery, humiliation, and rejection. She is even forced to get married and suffer all types of violence at the hands of husband and in-laws just to keep up with the false standards of society.
Even for financially independent and employed women, the challenges are no less as she has to face all kinds of harassment at her workplace or where she travels making it truly unsafe for her. Back at home, she is also made to shoulder all the responsibilities of the household and raising children which leads to a draining impact on her physical and mental health. She is stereotyped to multi-task everything perfectly and spread peace, love, and keep the family bond at the cost of her own health and life. She is blamed for the wrong behavior of her spouse, children, and siblings as society puts women on a pedestal and expects her to deliver the best all the time.
By Farheen Sultana