A few days back, I was going to meet one of my friend. Usually I take metro because of convenience, but due to some delays happening with metro, I took an auto. I had a very interesting chat with him.
He was telling about his family and kids. He told me that he was earning quite well and keeping up with the inflation going on, and in fact he was earning much better than many software engineers. He told me he had a business of garments earlier which he closed down seeing the benefits from running an auto rickshaw. He had got his kids admitted in a good private school. He had plans for their future as well. He seemed like a well-educated person who opted for running an auto for the sake of economic benefit.
However, what surprised me was his comment on his wife. He said he loved his wife a lot and that’s why does not allow her to do a job even when she is well educated and was earning well before marriage. His thoughts on the matter was a revealing fact for me.
India is a country with female literacy of 66% in 2011 and we can expect a little rise on this in the last 5 years. There is decadal growth of around 9% and although not extremely good, but it looks like the conditions for women are improving every year. In the total population, 48.5% are females however, only 30% of all Indian women live in cities. Also that 80% of urban women are literate. 46% of all undergraduate students in India are women. Even when women are no backward in education and reaping opportunities of studies, they lack in getting equal wages at work and even if they work, they are still not motivated.
In India, women on an average earn only 56% of what their male counterparts earn. If we consider the high profiled jobs, in the companies listed in BSE, 54% have no woman sitting on their boards. These numbers are quite shocking that why the women are not considered equal at the employment side.
The root of problem is majorly the thinking of men. They still don’t allow their wives, sisters and daughters to go out of the house and do a job equivalent to men. Even though many women have come out of the closet, still millions are deprived of the opportunities and even after having enough talent do not get a chance to compete in the world.
If we consider the Indian census calculations, only 25.6% are women among the total workforce of 402 million. The numbers clearly state the condition of India even after 70 years of getting Independence. This speaks for India’s culture that is still male dominant and even after hundreds of initiatives by social activists and several policies by the government, there is still a large gap in the mentality of Indian population.
Even if the government starts hundreds more policies for empowering women, and if so called feminists still continue fighting for their rights, the freedom to women can never be guaranteed. The need of the hour is to purify the thinking of men and make them strong enough to accept women as equivalent to them. Without men themselves coming forward to empower women, women cannot gain the status they deserve and women will continue making sacrifices in the name of their families, children and husbands. This is the time for all the males of India to take a stand and pledge to acknowledge women rights.