Importance of women in society

What is the importance of women in society? Those creatures that must be seen but not heard, who must use public space only if they have a reason and not loiter on whim? Those creatures whose fights for rights too are determined by men by the mere addition of a voice in support or ignoring? What is the importance of these people who cannot count on their own parents when in trouble nor a government which does enjoy talking like it cares?

Women are not usually considered terribly important. Even when we speak of their rights, there is a patronizing air that speaks of “society” (read “men”) that should rein in its natural tendencies to accommodate these vulnerable creatures that cannot defend themselves from harm and thus must depend on “our” sense of honor. Increasingly this has started grating on my nerves.

Who died and made men the gold standard that decides what strength is and what must be aspired to in the name of equality? The more we make a showcase out of women’s vulnerability, the easier it gets to discount their value beyond lip service.

What is strength anyway? Is it merely the ability to exert a specific force for a specific action? Is it the capacity to exert such a force? Is it the resilience that demonstrates far more strength bulk for bulk?

We accept women as the weaker sex. Yet working women not just work like men, but they routinely wake up earlier to accommodate household chores. At the end of a hard day, they have the endurance to still belt out a meal and smile for the occasional guest. And we aren’t merely talking about office going women. The vast majority of women employed in India spend their days doing hard physical labour. In many parts of the country, over half the labour working in fields can be women. Domestic work is mostly done by women. If it is for another, they get paid for it, if it is for their own home, they don’t get paid for it. Looking at the physical differences between man and woman, women perform far more work body size for body size than men.

Over and over research shows that women’s incomes go largely into the running o the home and perishables while men invest more in assets. At the end of the day, a woman remains poor and without a residence in her name in comparison with a man. Yet, it is male entrepreneurs who more often break under the stress of odds and commit suicide. Village after village in Maharashtra’s Vidarbha has widows of farmers who commit suicides who not only inherit his impossible battles in addition to the earlier responsibilities, but also become easy prey for sexual predators. And they toil on.

Women bear the brunt of frustrations of a difficult world that their husbands face whether as anger or alcoholism, even as they endure in the very same world.

What rights are men going to grant women who fight far worse odds and still have resilience to take on more?

A male dominated government is not stupid to make special schemes for women. If it hopes to develop the country, the money must go in the hands of the person improving the conditions. A woman with an income means a well fed child. An educated woman means a better income, better planned families, awareness of health, a hope of greater ability for the next generation. A woman allowed access to engage economically with the world improves the living standard for many.

Few who comment on the poverty of Muslims realize the impact of the difference between a single income home and a double income home or a woman who is allowed greater reach enriching those around her as well. Because it wouldn’t be politically correct to name the women of a community busy pretending they don’t exist.

It is no coincidence that Maharashtra, with the highest GDP in the country has women stepping into public space and challenging the orthodoxy and pushing boundaries in education, equality and public presence since over a century ago.

What is the importance of women in society? Who are we pandering to by pretending that women are these incapable creatures who need special favors to keep them safe so that we can feel good about ourselves? Whose egos are we pandering to?

In my view, women are the backbone. The rugged tractor taking on the heavy work allowing for the world to run come what the weather. Women have temperaments that allow for social resilience to overcome brittle discord.

High time women realized that their value is not in a look. It is in the role they shoulder and no one can take it from them, because no one can replace them under that yoke. And I am not only speaking of traditional roles. The employability of graduates for office work is higher for women than men. And no, I’m not talking of the boobs, but tested ability.

It is time arguments for not harming women stopped tiptoeing around egos and spoke of the self-destruction of society with its artificial and unequal defaults. Women are not special beneficiaries of kindness. The chain may break at the weakest link, but then it breaks at the next weakest link and so on till all you have is crap metal. The rot is the violence. Women and children may succumb to it earlier, but it is our choice whether we want to see them as weaker victims who are inferior and need special consideration or we want to see them as important alarms of a deteriorating society and pay attention to find solutions before it spreads all over.

It isn’t like a man walking alone late at night will be safe in a place women aren’t safe. Whether for rape or a mugging. The rot is there.

No one is doing “women” any favors, unless “society” is confident of its survival without women.

Get that straight.

Join the Intellectual Anarchy!

Vidyut

Vidyut is a blogger on issues of National interest. Staunch advocate of rights, learning and freedoms. @Vidyut

5 thoughts on “Importance of women in society

  1. is there any need for a women to be economically independent today?yes or no?why?plz send the answer in my email account.

  2. Women are absolutely important in society. They have time and again proved that they are no less compared to men. They have undergone pain and trampled the barriers imposed on them by the society and emerged victorious. In modern India, women have Held high offices. Sarojini Naidu was the first woman governor of a State. Indira Gandhi was the world’s longest serving woman Prime Minister. Looking at the other diverse sectors of the economy, we find many like Ms. Chanda Kochhar(MD & CEO Axis Bank), Indra Nooyi(PepsiCo Chairman) and Ms. Shovana Bharatiya(Hindustan Times Group Chairman) who have shown the world that Indian Women are the best when it comes to Leadership. They are numerous examples all around us. They are the best when it comes to management at Home. Working women have also proved they are equally good at multitasking. They are emotionally and mentally stronger than most men. They make numerous sacrifices just for the sake of happiness of her family. Be it in the form of a Mother, or a Sister, or in the form of a lover, they have made our life worthy. Its high time our society recognizes the worth of a woman and her significant contribution in every field of society. Praising Women for their achievements surely won’t hurt our ego. But men rarely Do that.

  3. Women are the strong pillars of any society.men may be physically strong b.ut they are always backed by the responsible and mentally sharp women.We should not discriminate gender particularly in their workplace,they are also capable of doing the so called”men jobs”.

  4. Most of the times when I listen to someone talk of women rights, its either in a tone of “women are weak so they should get compensation” or “women are better than men so they should get compensation”. What I believe is that both these tones undermine the real issue – that women should be treated equally. And before someone says two sexes are not equal, I should underline the word ‘treated’ in my previous statement. And if someone still asks ‘why’, let me answer – because its only natural. Secondly, maternity leaves should not be treated as a privilege in professional terms(or amongst colleagues). It is the responsibility of every member of society to help in the natural cycle of life and birth which sustains it. So neither should helping out a male colleague taking his children to kindergarten be seen as a bother, for the same reason. Lastly, rape and women rights are a different issue. Where rape is concerned, it is a crime. So when a women is raped, society should take the onus of responsibility of not utilizing the tax money they pay to ensure safety of their home(because our police and government are shameless, anyways) – just as when someone is killed or someone has their belongings stolen. It doesn’t really have much to do with women’s right.
    But getting a crime-free locality for the high taxes we pay, is a right of everyone in society – men, women and others.

  5. Women are strong, devoted and very careful, they have become indispensable in the workplace .
    As leaders they show more commitment and dependability than many men.
    The next few decades may show that suppression of women in the past was because men knew that they couldnt compete with them!

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