TOPIC: THREATS AFFECTING WOMEN’S DIGNITY AND RIGHTS
WOMEN: THE VICTIMS OF ATROCITY
It is an undeniable fact that women are being victimized from several centuries in the name of God, unruly customs and the typical social, political and economic setting which oppress the fairer sex. Reasons behind the repression meted to women are known unanimously and it differs from nation to nation and culture to culture. It is horrifying to note that a significant percent of women have to face situations where they are being persecuted and are also exploited brutally from a very tender age. Women are one of the most vulnerable sections of the society and these circumstances which they undergo attribute to the threats they face in their everyday life. Incidentally, the phrase ‘threat’ has assorted connotations and it includes a wide array of violation of human rights and not just health issues.
In this context, threats in general are connected to the physical, psychological, economic, social and political life of a woman. A female living in a custom bound society leads a different life to that of her counterpart in a relatively liberal society. It is hard to imagine an educated American lady wearing a burkha and restricting herself to the household chores. But that doesn’t mean that she is free from all kinds of threats. She might have faced different circumstances which make it impossible for her to bear. It might be sexual harassment at her work place or eve teasing in the street. The situation is same, but the degree of violence differs.
Women always become an easy prey for the reprobates. There are various factors which worsen and push her to the coop of exploitation from which she cannot escape straightforwardly. Analysing the social and political system of a country will provide a clear picture of the threats faced by women.
PAST AND THE PRESENT
Practically the highest level of threat to a woman’s life starts at home. The place which is supposed to be the haven has proved to be horrendous. The status of women has always been a neglected area especially in under developed and developing countries and more specifically in countries where the ‘customs’ play a major role. For e.g. India, Afghanistan, Sudan etc.
The problem in India is that, each part of the country has its own customs, practices and also religion which make it very difficult to frame a set of law that can be implemented equally all over the nation. Other than the innate disabilities emerging from the political and economic condition of the country, these practices have a direct impact on the status of the women. Talking about the customs, there cannot be a better example than Afghanistan, which is so deeply rooted in its customs, that even the Laws support the subjugation of basic human rights. It might take another 2 centuries to change the attitude of people and even Government here towards the concepts of rule of law, equal status to women, liberty and the freedom of choice and expression. The story of women in Afghanistan is very disheartening and it is not an easy task to revive this androcentric society.
The common notion is that, in the past the status of women in general was shoddier than the present. It is believed that women now live in a safer and secured society. But what has been well forgotten is, the level of threat to a woman’s dignity and safety is getting austere each day resulting in a very systematic deterioration of the status of women chiefly in rural areas and urban slums.
An ancient Hindu thinker by name Manu in his script Manusmrithi has held that, “Women are not fit for freedom. They have to be under the shelter of their father as a child, under husband in youth and finally under son in old age” which unfortunately holds good in several parts of the world even today and is harshly followed by few of the prominent religions. Similar is the view of the Prophet Mohammed who supported the idea of women...
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