EditorialHome Tech | Home Appliances | Little Wonders | Home Base | Home Solutions | Snail Mail | Reminder  

Womenís Empowerment

This is with reference to the article, ďDefend Yourself?on the Womenís Empowerment page of CHANGE magazine (March-April 2003) by Ashok Palande. I appreciate the writerís emphasis on self-defence. The example of Jaybala Ashar is also relevant and perfect to explain the issue. But, at the same time, distorting our own religious system is not fair. We should be bold enough to accept our own mistakes and misdeeds rather than blaming the Mughals and others. Sati was an ancient brutal ritual prescribed by our own medieval religious system. At that time women were considered worse than animals and slaves. They were not allowed to do business and earn money. During their menses, they were not even allowed to touch anything! Women were even denied the right to exist after the death of their husbands. On the contrary, many Mughals have enacted many laws to prevent Sati as an anti-women practice. It is very unfortunate that people like Mr. Palande donít even try to read authentic books on history before passing such comments defaming our redeemers (at least in the case of Sati).

I suggest people like Mr. Palande refrain from showing unwanted sympathy to us. If they really care for womenís empowerment, they should desist from forcing their women to abort female foetuses, not to ask for dowry, not to burn girls for the sake of dowry, and so on. Donít reject a girl if she is not earning money, give women their due in property and wealth, donít force them to change their names after marriage, donít harass them at the workplace, donít consider women as objects of lust, and so on. I really donít know why such people ignore these important things and talk of womenís empowerment. Who will address these issues?

Those old days are gone when priests used to exploit women by taking names of some goddesses (like elders try to divert the attention of children by giving them chocolates and lollipops). If you really want to work for us, you should remove the real root causes of our misery instead of pontificating on the subject of empowering women.

Dr. Chandralata Deshmukh
Ghatkopar (E), Mumbai