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Gender equality — myth or reality?

Gender Equality Lead Story-AVBJP leaders are often known for making controversial statements in public. This time it was the turn of BJP MLA Panna Lal Shakya who made a weird comment that crime against women is increasing as they are having boyfriends. According to him, there would be a reduction in assaults against women if they don’t have boyfriends. Shakya made these remarks while addressing a programme in PG College in Madhya Pradesh. In today’s modern world, when we talk about women’s empowerment, leaders like Shakya take the nation backward by issuing such statements. Today, most of the women are in a relationship and couple also don’t hesitate to express their love in public places. Times have changed but leaders like Shakya are still following old norms.

Shiv Sena spokesperson Dr Neelam Gorhe said that today women are working shoulder to shoulder with men in every field. She said, “If some leader is making such weird statements, then it is better to ignore them. Women are career oriented so it’s better to focus on positive aspects rather than giving importance to such people.”

Often girls are looked down by their parents and the society in India. Even today, parents crave for male child and consider girl child as a huge burden. Often girls are not provided proper education as they are expected to get married and stay with their in-laws.

BJP spokesperson Shaina NC said that such statements should be ignored because Modiji is only focusing on development and women empowerment. “If somebody has issued these statements on social platform then it is unjustified. Our party does not endorse such type of statement. We cannot take action against everybody on everything.”

Gender inequality is prevalent in our country and women are blamed for rising rape and molestation incidents. Even ministers make anti-women statements but don’t question rapists who have committed the offence. Women are made to suffer while rapists roam scot free in the country. Time has come for the society to change its mindset against women and consider them at par with men.

NCP leader Vidya Chavan said that the BJP leader has made idiotic statement. She said, “Leaders working under Modi government need to understand their behaviour as they hail from RSS background. So they will never give respect to women and treat them equally.”

She further expressed that today women are doing well in every field and are considered at par with men. “On one hand they are running campaign for women’s empowerment and on the other hand, their leaders are issuing these statements. Time has come to end discrimination against women and they should be offered better education and employment opportunities,” she added.

The Modi government speaks highly about empowering women and had launched the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Yojana’. PM Modi had then appealed to fathers to click a selfie with their daughters and make the campaign a big success. However, the manner, in which leaders from his government are issuing irrelevant statements, raises questions about how gender inequality will end in India.

Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) spokesperson Neela Limaye asked that how many women we see in RSS’s national panel as there is no single woman in their working committee. She said, “We have Parliamentary system of democracy in the country and citizens enjoy right to freedom of expression, right to life but unfortunately there are many people who don’t respect women. Leaders often speak about gender equality but their real intention is revealed through the statements made by them.”

“Even decently dressed women and small kids too become victims of rape so fault lies in people’s attitude towards looking at women. To have a boyfriend or not is a personal choice of every woman,” she added.

Shakya also said that we are emulating foreign countries by observing Women’s Day.  He added that, in India people celebrate this day four times in a year. According to him since women are worshipped on the occasion of Navaratri, there is no need for separate Women’s Day. He said that people should not blindly emulate the west and follow the Indian culture.

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