“She’s not even appreciating me for doing the household chores and managing the kids myself for the whole day…!!!”
Excuse me, What? Are you asking for an award just because you did the work that women have been doing almost everyday since ages?
This might sound astonishing to you but this is what our society has been fighting for. By ‘Our Society’, I indirectly mean to point out ‘Our patriarchal Society’.
We hear this word ‘Patriarchy’ on a day-to-day basis now, but what is the meaning of this word? Patriarchy simply means the supremacy of the male members of the family. What it indirectly hints at is the inferiority of the female members. We have witnessed this patriarchy since we were kids. Don’t tell me you did not. When you were asked who your superhero is, Didn’t you respond- Dad? We have always seen our mothers working day and night at home doing all the household chores, managing the kids, cooking the food and yet no one has ever appreciated her work. This is a very minute example for the patriarchal system that continues to be passed on as a legacy to every next generation.
But didn’t patriarchy exist before? And if it did then why was it not so much talked about? The simple answer to this is the lack of awareness among the women to acknowledge the wrongs being done to them. And one cannot fight the issue which is not even accepted as an issue. In the times of our grandparents, everyone believed this is how life ought to be and thus women accepted every dominance done by the opposite gender.
Today the means of communications have excelled and it has become quite easy for us to know what is going on in the other parts of the world. Because of the developed communication, social media and other sources, the women are aware of what is wrong and as the common proverb of hindi says, ‘Bardaasht karne ki bhi hadd hoti hai, jab sanyam ka ghada bhar jaata hai toh wo toot jaata hai’ Loosely translated: There is a limit to tolerate and when enough of the patience is tested, it breaks. This can also be the reason why women are raising their voices against the patriarchal norms.
While there are so many patriarchal customs being followed in our society, there are still many who deny it exists. For those denying these, some of them are listed below:
- This is one of the major reasons why women are considered as a liability on the family. There’s a celebration on the birth of the boy child whereas the family mourns when a girl child is born because when she’ll be married the family will have to arrange the dowry. As a solution to this many girl children are killed as a foetus whereas others are drowned in the milk vessel after birth.
- If somehow the girl manages to escape the cruelty from their paternal family, she is killed by her in-laws if they are not satisfied with the dowry. This is termed as ‘dowry death’ in our Indian constitution. According to Indian National Crime Record Bureau, there were 8,239 dowry death cases, 1,285 cases of attempted dowry deaths, and another 4,890 cases with pending investigations in 2009.
- ‘Shave her head, break her bangles’; ‘Who will take care of the child, you must remarry’. These are two different cases- First, when the husband dies; Second, when the wife dies.
- It has always been believed in our Indian society that a woman’s life is nothing after her husband. After the death of a husband, a widow is seen as a public property by other men and as unluck by her own family. She is not allowed to enter holy events because her presence is considered inauspicious. Imagining the atrocities of this, many women wilfully gave up their lives by sitting alive on the burning pyre.
Ridiculous, Isn’t it? But many of these customs have been eradicated with the help of new laws and orders regulated by our constitution. In modern India, people have derived modern ways of formulating the patriarchy. Some of them can be listed as:
- When there is no inequality found in assigning the tasks to women, there is a major difference found in their pay-scale. This is one of the major issues found in the corporate world and even the movie industry. This issue needs to be spoken of.
Lack of policies:
- While many companies offer paid maternity leave, there are still many companies who fail to provide the same. Left with no option, women have to leave their jobs. There is still the lack of creche facilities in every domain of the work sector. While fathers enjoy their fatherhood, we need to ask the mothers who lost their careers for their child.
- Many companies lack the policies to safeguard women’s right resulting in the rise sexual harassment cases at work place. Due to the lack of these policies today only 6% of urban women enjoy employment.
- Some years ago, women used to manage the household. With the increasing inflation rate, it has become almost inevitable for women to not work. Women are stepping forward to share the responsibilities of their husbands, but this case isn’t vice versa.
- With women stepping into the work-sector their workload seems to just have increased. Now they have to manage their work at the workplace and also complete their household chores. Too unfair!
For how many is this overburdening going to continue? It is high time for every woman to speak against injustice. Our Society really needs to understand that, ‘Women are not the goddess of sacrifice neither are they a sexual toy to be played with.’ As our former Prime Minister said: ‘You can tell the condition of a Nation by looking at the status of its Women’, Women are not a liability for the nation, instead they are an asset.