“Mubarak ho, aapke ghar Laxmi hui hai” – were the doctor’s first words to my father as she handed me over to him soon after birth. In India, daughters signify Goddess Laxmi. And even though thousands might hail the idea already, the majority of women in the country are prisoners of patriarchy. Accusations of following a set of notions, that says men are superior to women and with them lies the power of decision-making, are not news to Indians. Thus, every time women exercise their right to freedom and/or choice, discomfort sets in. So the million-dollar question remains: are women really celebrated in India? The skewed sex ratio has always been one of the top issues plaguing our society. You see here lies the problem. Yes, women have a long way to go as they fight the good fight against patriarchal decrees. But the battle is on, changes are making their way into mindsets and a paradigm shift in pattern and behaviour is being observed steadily. India doesn’t need a Daughter’s Day just to spread awareness about female infanticide and foeticide, talk about the situation of dowry and rape or workplace discrimination. A day needs to be observed to wholeheartedly applaud the tooth and nail efforts that females in India are putting up, every second of an hour.
Let’s take marriages in India for example. India accounts for one of the lowest female workforce participation in the world. Of course, that’s huge and scary. And, this has also somewhere led to the Stockholm syndrome sort of situation, further aggravated by marital rape not being addressed. Having said that, the abolition of Triple Talaq came as a huge relief to Muslim women. The form of Islamic divorce allows a husband to end his marriage with his wife by pronouncing the word ‘Talaq’ thrice. How fair is that, now? The 2018 Sabarimala incident was another milestone in the process of women reclaiming their rights. And for that, they sure need to be celebrated.
In 2007, the enrollment percentage of girls in higher education courses was as low as 39. Take a look at the figures a decade later and a considerable rise of 7% making it 46% has been observed. Daughter’s Day seems all gloss and glory, pamper the girl child and be sweet to her for a day. But perhaps it is very convenient to forget that the female sex has been oppressed for years, so if they now demand equality, which should be granted anyway, why is it such a shocker? Thousands of female fetuses being killed every year is the reason why we have a sex-selective abortion law in place. The heinousness of sexual crimes has stooped to a dangerous low that it has called for immediate attention to the Constitutional punishments, which probably never happened earlier. Rules are being rewritten and that sure needs to be celebrated.
Women of India are much more confident and leaving their imprints all over the world – cue on PV Sindhu, the female forces by India’s historic Mars Orbiter Mission, Menaka Guruswamy, Anshula Kant and countless others. They are leading science, technology, insurance and baking sector, sports, politics and several fields while also being women of vision we all should strive to become. Their efforts are not limited to a single day, but years and years of toil and hard work, and for that, they need to be celebrated, day after day, year after year. Do you agree?
Don’t forget to catch the trailer of Mission Over Mars, a web series on the female scientists who made the landmark ISRO mission success, here:
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