Else where

‘Give us our due’

Gender bias affects women negatively and subjects them to social, economic and emotional trauma.
In India, politicians, seers and orators proclaim that the country respects women. They even insist that there is no difference between man and woman as the atma does not have a gender. But real life is very different and women suffer because of various forms of gender discrimination.

Female foeticide, female infanticide, dowry harassment, bride burning, wife beating, rape, violence, sexual harassment at workplace are just some examples. There is also the problem of gender identity. The feeling of inferiority is invariably internalised through the process of socialisation. Daily conversations, rituals, popular novels and cinema reinforce this idea time and again. This affects their self confidence. Even children are fed the same stereotypes in the family, which is the nursery of gender bias.

Sadly, even economic freedom does not ensure complete freedom and confidence to women. They end up working in two places — at home and at the workplace and, yet, their subordinate status remains intact.

What is the solution? Educating and sensitising children, educating women about their true identity, ensuring respect for women at home and at the workplace, using print and electronic media to handle this problem effectively, are just some of the solutions. The way we talk and joke about women has to change.

We have to be careful when we use idioms, phrases, cliches. Women need to raise their voice against gender discrimination.

The journey to a society which is free of gender bias, where women have dignity and positive identity, is long and arduous. But it is worth taking.

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