ocial reforms have started taking roots in rural India. But it is only a drop in the ocean. Leaders of stature are hard to come by. But there are signs of women coming out of their shells. There are signs of women pursuing things after their heart. But, they need catalysts. But the question that whether the catalysts should be in the nature of public-spirited men or legal fiats or both depends upon the peculiar circumstances obtaining in each pocket. The moral is that women have to be brought on to one platform to fight against social injustice. Until such time that this takes place, women empowerment will remain cliché ridden. But the signs are encouraging.
When we say women empowerment, what we mean is their empowerment through constitutional means. Anything less than that can always be subverted to help men continue with their subjugation of women.
Every day we read in the press stories of valiant women running campaigns against vested interests or the establishment. Again, we read about women engaged in long drawn court cases, if only to prove a point.
At the same time, we cannot just brush aside women empowerment as a policy provided it is aimed at arming the poor and the uninitiated. In India, most of the action takes place in the rural areas because India is predominantly rural. Women are simply male appendages mainly because of the feudal characteristic of life there. The laws remain only in the statute book. They are seldom invoked. The social legislation can be effective only when there is corresponding awareness among women.
By Vinod Chandrashekhar Dixit
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)