Women’s Rights – Starting of an Era

United Nations describes - “Women’s Rights are Human Rights.” 

Women are entitled to all  rights. Yet almost everywhere around the world, women and girls are still denied of these rights and  considered as a weak gender.

There is a difference between Women’s rights & Feminism which often confuses people.

Women’s rights are defined as fighting for what is right & wrong. On the other hand Feminism stands for the equality between male & female,  and it is gender specific.

Social movements & protests held by women are not modern but are ancient where women had to fight for their own rights starting with asking for equal voting rights, wanting equal say as compared to their better halves,  and it is still continuing in various forms. Women’s Rights were subsidiary in India; it was an old belief that educating girls would bring bad name to the family so they were married off early. That's why when as a society  you don't educate or let them know what their rights are they would never come to terms with what is their true identity and what they can ask from their parents or their better halves. Women were treated to be no one, they had no power. Women were treated  as maids who always had to put a veil in front of strangers. Women were not given the right to educate themselves as this would lead them to being bold. This was the state which led others think that women were incapable of taking decisions.

Still with these constraints women fighting for their rights in India has a long history, which gave names like Mirabai, Savitribai Phule, Indira Gandhi, Dr Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Sudha Murthy and many more. Women who showed  how one could change their own lifestyle, 

Mirabai the Rajasthani princess, a devotional songwriter, poet and a spiritual leader who devoted her  life in the devotional spirituality of Krishna; She was often persecuted by the society for her  spirituality. She was targeted by the patriarchal society but she never gave up as she knew she was not doing anything wrong in praying fot someone she liked and writing for someone whom she believed in. Savitribai Phule pioneer of girl’s education showed that education was not only meant for men but it is also important for girls. A girl should be independent. 

Indira Gandhi, the first women Prime minister of India had many haters but it didn’t stop her . Her decisions were ruthless but that did not stop her to become “Iron lady” who did not fear anyone. She defined feminism as being independent. 

Dr Kiran Mazumdar Shaw needs no  introductions; she changed the state of Bio – Technology in India. Her name is inscribed in every page as she changed modern medicine in whole Asia. 

Sudha Murthy the lady behind Infosys led many social movements. She worked hard on women’s hygiene, also came up with giving new life to “Devadasis” They are known for their miserable lifestyle and  they are often sidelined in the society. For Sudha Murthy dealing with them was one of the hardest works as she won their trust as well as fought the people who often stopped her from helping them. She changed their life with a precious gift called Education & Employment.

They were the pioneers & some among them are still pioneering new visions of feminism , women’s rights and bringing social movement. These women have made us strong.  We as women are fighting daily for our rights whether it is at home or at work, we are fighting & winning it slowly as women.

I feel  this movement andwomen  fighting for their own rights is a tight slap on those age old traditions. Presently, women are fighting for the entry in Sabarimala Temple, wants removal of Triple Talaq; New rules are being made, age old stereotypes are broken like having male priests during marriages.  Now we have female priests who perform equal rituals as of male priest, high posts which were only held by men previously are now also being held by women.

These examples will give girls & women power to understand the need to voice their opinion rather than sitting in one corner & let this society reign us. Somehow with rising social movements and new rules in favor of women I  as a student of Calcutta Business School, see a Sun slowly rising and bring a beam of joy breaking obstacles. There is an opportunity for change and rise of new social system which will bring positive change for women in coming generations.

Pritha Sarkar

PGDM Batch – 2019-21