Friday, January 17, 2014

" Women Empowerment "- The term misinterpreted

Much has been said about Women " Empowerment ", "Emancipation" , 'liberation" and "Women Rights" which seem to be the hot topic of discussion in the modern society. In India, the word "empowerment" is often misinterpreted by both men and women. The definition of empowerment has been re-defined every now and then and the modern "Educated" Indian woman considers it altogether on a wider plane. For some it means financial independence, for others it implies freedom, while for some it signifies freedom of expression. Ultimately, it all boils down to one single idea - Empowerment is the ability to lead one's life with dignity.

There is often a misunderstood notion about the term "Women Empowerment". Some of the staunch feminists create an uproar in the name of women emancipation, by encouraging the women to fight against any kind of injustice or Ill -treatment meted out to them. However, the definition of injustice is very subjective and vague in itself. Who is to decide, what is acceptable and what is not ? There have been examples where women have misused the concept of "Women liberation and rights" in order to get there way out, if they are unhappy with their relationship with their spouse, employer, colleague or any in-laws.

From a man's point of view, lets get this straight. An average Indian man is still uncomfortable with an " Empowered women". Majority of men still believe that women should give first preference to their family and later to their career .Even if they are fine with their partner going out to work, it is not because they value her education or talents, but because she brings in money to share the family financial liabilities. We may be living in the 21st century, but men still believe, that a woman should not venture out so much and be bound by the shackles of "social norms" . If a women is molested, harassed or raped, it is easy to put the blame on her, because " she was too bold and independent". There seem to be no finger pointing out at the menfolk. This brings in the question of equality and rights.If a woman questions so much, it is considered to be unfeminine. Comments crop up – “ You are a woman, learn to behave like one” or  “ This is none of your business” .

The big question is, why doesn’t she have the right to question the authority or the speak for herself.

By being "empowered", a woman does not intend to give the message that she will not cook, or she will neglect her responsibility as a daughter or a wife, or she will disrespect others. Women just demand to share an equal status as of men. They should have an equal right to education, equal right to have her opinion considered on pivotal decisions concerning her life, and more ever should be treated with respect, as much as is expected of her.More and more young girls and women, are realizing the importance of their rights and potential . Women want to focus on their careers to retain their identity, become self-reliant and financially independent with a voice of their own.

A word of advice for both Men & Women :

Men : Encourage and respect the women in your life and outside. She is equally capable as much as you are, if given the right exposure and direction

Women : Do not be carried away by the "empowered mentality" . There is a difference between " This is my right " and " This is my responsibility" .

Men & Women : Let yourself free from the gender defined roles. Know that " household chores" is not just a woman's domain, and "paying bills" is not just a man's responsibility.

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