GENDER NEUTRALITY

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“The Gender Neutrality march did what it set out to do and that is to show the sheer magnitude of passion that the human voice can project, and most importantly for our future generations, it has shattered the falsity of the patriarch myth that gender do not support other gender.”

 

Gender neutrality is widely prevalent throughout each and every of our life span. Indian have become an easy prey for discrimination and aggression based on gender. Nature doesn’t discriminate man from women, but women worldwide have been the victim of the inequality not only in terms of social and political rights, but also on ground of employment opportunities. Attaining gender justice is not an easy task in India. From time immemorial, a girl child is considered as unwanted entity and a burden whom the parents would not mind doing away with. The gruesome evils of female foeticide and infanticide prove how brutal the world could be to women.We proud Indians of 21st century rejoice in celebrations when a boy is born, and if it is girl, a muted or no celebrations is the norm. We are society of people with double standards as far as our attitudes towards gender are concerned; our thoughts and preaching are different from our actions. The male-dominated society of India makes its women habitual of his discrimination. As a result, most gender justice fail to understand their own rights and freedom. The discrimination doesn’t end here, but continues with the expectations of giving birth to a boy. The vicious cycle of female discrimination starts here.

 

Almost, all women face discrimination, some are unfortunate to be assaulted sexually and raped. The women become the scapegoat of many traditions and customs.The practice of child marriage, kanyasulkam, prostitution, etc. was taken for granted by the society and women had no voice whatsoever for centuries. The Census of India did not consider their work while counting the number of economically active person in the country for quite a long time. Even though the religious background of Indians makes women seem like a goddess, today women are barely recognized as a human being. What is ironic is, Indians worship goddesses but exploit their girls. Indian society seems to exhibit double standards with regard to its attitude towards women. India is ranked about 101st on the global gender scale and it is not getting any better results.

 

The discrimination against the women is not only hampering the growth of women at social, economic and personal level, but also significantly lower female to male ratios impact the growth in both agriculture and industrial sectors. Thus, gender neutrality also impedes the country’s growth.Now, with the efforts of national and international organizations, several laws were passed and some laws have been amended. But still, women continue to suffer from many social, economic and political disadvantage since the attitudes of the people have not changed with change in the laws. Gender issues are ideologically motivated and need a change in the mindset in terms of attitudes and behavior of both men and women in all dimensions.

The importance of gender justice has been steadily growing and gaining intellectual legitimacy. It is paradox in the Indian society that on one side we worship the goddess, and on the other hand, we meet out subhuman treatment to the women. The traditional attitude towards women persists even now. Many leaders, intellectuals and enlightened persons in the society even today believe that the primary duty of women is management of homefront. Since the time of Manu, laws have always offered special protection to women.

According to Articles 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20 and 21, fundamental rights available to women in India and also Directive Principles of State Policy relating to women-specific issues have very special bearing on their status.Though there are various legal provisions and fundamental rights available to women, but the discrimination, aggression against the women has not decreased because the present legislation is not adequate to cope up with the problems faced by women in spite of various dowry and rape laws.

 

There is alarming increase of such instances. Laws are blatantly ignored, and in reality, legal measures are sometimes too feeble to tackle these issues. Present laws in the statute books are only ornamental and ineffective and further, enforcement aspects of laws generally remain neglected and needs improvement.

 

The list of legislation as well as types of discrimination or inequalities may go on, but the real change will only happen when the male species of human beings would start treating women as equal and not subordinate or weaker to them. In fact, not only men but also women need to change their mindset. Because of the cultural conditioning, they have also become parts of the same exploitative system of patriarchy and are playing a supportive role in furthering man’s agenda of dominating women. The judiciary also, in its own turn, has helped in the process of equalization between men and women after independence to achieve the most sacred objects of the Constitutional mission of equalization and equality.

 

 

Let’s hope and wish that in our participative democracy, in times to come, we would be able to find solutions at least to some of the problems of gender inequality, and lead all of us towards our cherished dream of a truly modern society in both thought and action.