Equality? It’s all about the Mindset

Vanita Bhoola

Author: Vanita Bhoola

Date: Thu, 2018-03-08 15:19

“Equality” does it exist? Well, this question has been lingering on my mind for some time now. In the initial days post my marriage, when we had those little squabbles and tiffs (with my better half) I thought we were equals; as the years passed by, I had my relatives, family friends as well as a family physician repeatedly telling me “We are women, it is we who need to make the adjustments and compromises;this is what will keep both of you happy”. This repeated ‘advise’ initially led me to believe what they were saying as true; I began to behave unlike my natural self, wherein adjustments kept happening and I continued believing that it is ‘us’ who have to adjust and compromise.

Growing in age as well as in wisdom, I began to realise that men and women cannot be equal, as each has its specific role. Whether it’s the glass ceiling or the queen’s bee, it all exists under one umbrella. In a recent meeting, when I had to present my work and achievements of the year gone by, several women colleagues had a change in their body language; it isn’t a rare case- it’s quite common: this states a lot, wherein a woman needs to respect another women, which could translate to their achieving much more in their own workplace.

If we come out of the space of the ‘SaasBahu Series’ and start believing and adapting a Balanced Leadership approach, without fearing the failures and avoiding the queen bee syndrome, it would not only be us, but the organization, the collective consciousness at large would grow holistically. I remember another incident: while I was delivering a speech, I noticed a participant (woman)who was keen on asking questions, clarifying her doubts, but wasn’t feeling at ease as she was surrounded with men. I felt her unease and being the only lady participant in that forum I thought of giving ‘special’ attention to her. When I asked her if she had any questions/clarifications, hesitatingly she said: “I do have, but unlike all experts in this class I may sound silly”.

Little instances such as these, do go on to create a ‘boundary’ wherein you are limiting, inhibiting your own self and space. Let us all remember the hands that serve are more sacred than the lips that pray. Women have to learn how to stay dignified in all walks of life; her respect, her being an ‘equal’ doesn’t solely depend on her ability to multi-task be it at the board room or the labour room; ‘he’ is inherent in ‘she’- a woman compliments the man and vice versa. It’s the journey together that makes life much more diverse and thereby interesting.

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Comments

It's a pity that we have to have a day like this to realise something that is an everyday fact. As you have rightly observed the equality between the two is not linear. It is more transcendental . And spiritual. Each has to perform certain functions which have to be decided one case by case basis and not to be decided by dogma or any 'isms. Well blogged.

I agree with your views sir. Thank you

I agree with the concept of equality and women empowerment and ......so on...... What I don't agree is the concept of women taking rules for granted...as if it is their birthright. Eg. A women's seat in a bus is reserved.... But... Can a woman not get up if all senior citizen seats are full, for another pregnant woman? Why do women not follow signals religiously? Why do girls think driving a scooty on the wrong side of the road is Cool? With equality will come responsibility and we should gracefully be responsible and not take advantage of being a girl....coz we a much more superior!!

Well said Rachana... I can see the pain you feel when you come across people not showing empathy and concern

I believe a woman is a naturally strong creation and hence we should take pride because it's we who have the strength to bear more and the strength to sacrifice in many aspects. Nice article Vanita...

True! We at times forget our strength....

A very wonderful thought on 'Equality'. Its very true that: Without 'HER' even 'HERO' is '0' But also 'He' is inherent in 'SHE' Both goes together and compliments each other in a very beautiful way.....

I find the term "better half" an oxymoron..... As for equality, as I see it, earlier it was brute strength that determined superiority ( man to man or man to woman ). The battle for territory and the hunt for food then was the dominant factor for survival. Here women barely had any role. Now the world we live in is more complex and physical might cannot determine the outcome of many challenges / opportunities/ problems et al. So, in terms of parity, man = woman. QED. Suresh Rao

I believe, both a man and a woman are unique by his or her unique characteristics and virtue they possess. With their inherent characteristics and virtue, they are essential for the smooth operation of a well-balanced life and the society at large. Because of the individual biases, this absolute purpose has been altered since long and it may continue further. But the point I want to highlight here is the absolute purpose of coexistence can’t be changed even though some of us agree it or not. Another aspect of coexistence can be substantiated through the formation of a "RAINBOW". Lying alone the seven constituent colors of a RAINBOW are just a distinct color, but it does not have the beauty & uniqueness of a RAINBOW. It is the blending of these colors in a requisite proportion makes them a unique beauty called “RAINBOW”. Same goes for a man and woman. Hence, they are naturally being complement to each other, as their creation per se, for the smooth operation of the thing called life or the society and making them a unique experience. When we talk about equality, we often compare both men and women for their ability and rights to do a certain action or the respect of their individual characteristics. As many of the characteristics they possess are different, these comparisons often led to flawed conclusions. It is rightly pointed out it one of the thread above that if one’s act will only be biased by the word called “Equality” and ignore one’s requisite duty, it can lead to unsocial consequences. Hence, it is in the well-being of both men and women that they understand these inherent different characteristics of each other and rather they appreciate these differences and blend together to have a harmonious and adorable journey together.

Dear Ma'am, First of all accept my heartfelt greetings for writing such a concise and impeccable piece. Just adding on your views I would like to share my thoughts on same with spiritual perspective which is highly inspired by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev's column on this issue. I am more comfortable in sharing his words,as I fear of losing the message if I would have chosen to express in my own . In today’s context, we have misunderstood the word “equal”. Equal may not mean same. Equal means equal opportunity, equal regard, equal respect, but not sameness of action. If we bring sameness of activity, we would put the woman to great disadvantage in most areas of life outside. We would put men to disadvantage in certain other areas of life. And above all, inefficiency may prevail – women trying to do what men are good at, men trying to do what women are good at and making a mess of it. By training, everyone can do everything. But natural aptitude should be made use of. If that is not done, mediocre levels of activity would happen. It is best to make use of natural aptitude. Who is to decide who should do what? Why should it be pre-decided that this is what a man can do and that is what a woman can do? Let the individual person decide. So equality is never in question, but sameness may not be a great thing to do. Instead of trying to fit a woman into a masculine world, it is time we structure society and the world so that there is an equal role for masculine and feminine. The society we have created is so super-masculine, it is not even good for a man, forget about a woman. Right now, it is badly tilted against her and she is desperately trying to fit into the man’s world, which is unfortunately taking its toll. And when it takes a toll on her, a general disruption of life happens. We need to restructure many things in this society, so that there is an equal role for masculine and feminine aspects of nature. As a masculine, aggressive way of doing things is needed on one level, aesthetics, music and being sensitive to things must become equally important.

Dear Madam.. Your blog is thought provoking and inspiring ! Equality of man and women (gender equality) has been emphasized and illustrated right from our puranic times where the lord Shiva is portrayed as Ardhanarishvara. Ardhanarishvara, a half man and half woman form represents the Shiva- Shakti (Purusha and Prakriti) who are inseparable forms in the universe. It is clear that the debate on gender equality has already been settled millenniums ago by ancient wisdom in favor of equality of man & woman. However, during the centuries that has followed there has been a greater tilt in the favor of men and the present inequality in the mind, in our thoughts and actions have been inherited during the course of time. We definitely see lots of positive changes in the mindset of current society as women have stepped out of the homes and excelling in many areas which were typically male dominated just a few decades ago. Your views on Balanced Leadership approach for holistic growth for betterment of an organization is appreciable. However, it should not be a case of a woman settling for something lesser than her true potential, aspirations and dreams. It should be based on her own conviction and free will whether it is board room or labor room. It should not be imposed upon her by the environment at home or workplace. Affirmative actions by the society should offer encouragement and support for breaking the age old shackles that restrict woman throughout her life to avoid incidences that you have mentioned. At the family level, the journey of life can be more interesting when adjustments, or compromises are done by husband and wife, based on the mutual understating for benefit of the family and not based on the roles dictated by society or inherited egos.

Dear Madam, whenever, there is a debate on gender equality, a valid argument has always been that the God has created gender differently and hence the role of both the Gender cannot be same. As well stated by you, the society also perceives them different and has different expectations. In an experiment published by National Academy of Science (March 24, 2014), different participants watched an entrepreneurial pitch video of a new venture narrated by an entrepreneur. The participants were randomly assigned group in which the same video was pitched in a male and a female voice. The video pitched in male voice received a 68% hit rate for funding whereas for female voice the hit rate was only 32%. However, the perception is not built entirely by our society which was predominantly male dominated for a long period of time. Even children perceive gender abilities differently. In an another study published by American Association for the Advancement of Science on July 30, 2016, Children were asked to guess whether a “really smart” protagonist in a story was a male or a female. By the age of 6 girls were less likely to guess that protagonist is a female than boys were to guess that protagonist is a male. Common stereotypes associate high-level intellectual ability (brilliance, genius, etc.) with men more than women. These stereotypes discourage women’s pursuit of many prestigious careers; that is, women are underrepresented in fields whose members cherish brilliance. These findings suggest that gender notion of brilliance are acquired very early and have an immediate effect on children’s interest which strengthens the societies mind-set on gender inequality. The need is to break this mind-set from the very beginning itself. Taking examples from my personal life, my mother use to always say, Equality doesn’t means being identical. Gender equality can only be achieved by seeing males and females of being equal status and value and not of same use. Building on my mother’s approach, I have experienced, how different the scenario can be, if a women is kept outside these stereotypes. My wife is a successful Information Technology engineer, who can drive her car, get it repaired if needed, can fill her IT return and can also plan an entire trip on herself. As family, we do not associate any such work as being my sole responsibility but at the same time, we also not associate any other work, be it house chores, groceries, or even planning meals as her sole responsibilities. We certainly are Not Identical but in my thoughts, this is a sincere effort towards being equal.

Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance." — Kofi Annan As told by one of the most influential and powerful personalities in the world, Equality is the prime face of a developing society. Both men and women contribute equally to a developing society. Still today existence of a gap between genders is untoward and unanticipated. I will like to shed some light on why such a gap still exists. Whether , a particular segment is responsible for it or is it a collective response from both genders. Indian mentality has a lot of influence from west , particularly Britishers. Though we gained independence , Our thinking and societal views have been enhanced greatly. This is also because there were many similarities between both societies . For example both were patriarchal societies. seventeenth-century English women are generally regarded as among the forerunners of modern feminism .But they choose the Royalist side , which is known for radical patriarchalism. Same was the case for our country. We were ruled and invaded by dynasties . There were women in royal families who supported women causes – feminism In India was never at prime before 19th century- but they always believed in patriarchal society. Britishers worked towards so many causes in our country, trying to uproot many social evils. One of them was women empowerment ,and from there feminism to support women empowerment took its reign In India. How is feminism responsible for gender inequality in our society . Feminism in India is largely impressed by English society. Now, there were two feminist traditions existent in English society, the “relational” feminist tradition that maintains the doctrine of “equality in difference,” According to it biological distinctions between the sexes result in a necessary sexual division of labour in the family and throughout society. They believed that the child bearing role of women is of prime importance and that women’s special contributions to society as homemakers and mothers demands special treatments. The second is the individualist feminist tradition that emphasizes individual human rights and celebrates women’s quest for personal autonomy, Individual feminism talks opposite to the relational feminism and downplays the importance of gender roles and minimizes discussion of childbearing and its attendant responsibilities. Individualist feminists began to advocate a totally gender-blind system with equal rights for all. The goals of both the strains of feminism are totally irreconcilable , and till today both of them equally impress the society – women are equally divided supporting either relational or individualist feminism. Now ,Certain factors of the society take advantages of these differences to run causes of their own such as politicians. For example the disadvantage of relational feminism is that it underlines women’s physiological and psychological distinctiveness. Therefore it is often appropriated by political adversaries and used to endorse male privilege. The disadvantage of individualistic feminism is that this approach, by attacking gender roles and denying the significance of physiological difference, has often simply treated the family roles important to many women as irrelevant. Thus, these kinds of differences are co-existent in our society, and we have to adopt a broader perspective to look into causes of the inequality issue. Because many selfish groups focus our attention to the banal source of this issue , we constantly keep on working on how to narrow the gap of gender inequality, without knowing all the causes. We have to adopt a collective approach to narrow this gap both within the “ gender “ and outside the “ gender” to end these differences

Beautifully worded article mam. Adding to your points, I would also like to say that men and women were created differently. Questioning that - is equal to questioning God’s wisdom. I would say, instead of focussing on equality per se, why not celebrate the differences. There is a reason why we all are different from each other, even identical twins are not same. Instead of fighting, it would be productive to capitalise on our differences. It’s been said that people who are polar opposites cannot survive together. I have a slightly different opinion when it comes to that. I would say, polar opposites make the strongest friends (couples, relations etc), as one person’s strengths will be other person’s weakness and vice versa. They will be like the perfect ‘Peas in a Pod’ couple. But this will lead to a harmonious relationship only if the people in the relationship realise the differences and choose to live with the differences, accepting them and using them to strengthen the relationship. Equality based on physical strength is way overrated. Case to point – Phogat sisters. Equality starts at home. Expecting the sons to do household chores as much as expecting the daughters, goes a long way in bringing in the habit that chores are chores, it is not wise to divide them based on gender. This also means that we do not expect someone to do something that they are not good at. Cribbing about husband not cooking, even though he helps to get the kids take bath, feeds breakfast and gets them ready to go to school, is something worth appreciating. We have to accept the flaws and yet try to bring in equality. It takes a lot of efforts to change the mind-set of people to accept woman as equals in every aspect and that’s where we need to focus on as human beings. Gone are the days of animal hunting and living in caves. Now woman are achieving as much, if not more, than their male counterparts. Women as much as men need to change this mind-set. Like you pointed out, we as women, need to come out of the shell that some patriarchs built to keep their ego bubble from bursting and prove that when women progresses, their family progresses, their city progresses and hence their country progresses as a whole.

This article is a great illustration of the situation every Indian women has to go through after her marriage. It has been a patriarchal society over the world ever since the inception of human civilization and yes, I totally agree to your point that even in 21st century, it is the women of our society who is expected to adjust and compromise. But, the ultimate decision lies with the individual. It is more a matter of one’s choice than what general society norms are. As it is clearly mentioned in your blog that men and women cannot be equal and each has a specific role to play. It is often mistaken that equality is the measure of how many opportunities does women get to work on the male oriented jobs and vice-versa (which is very rare). But, what I perceive equality is how good both men and women work in their respective roles by respecting each other’s job, personal space, freedom of thought with no or minimal intervention. I would like to share my recent experience during my batch’s personal growth lab activities in Garudmachi where the trainer asked 10 people to volunteer to be captains and I was perplexed to see not even a single lady from our batch took that opportunity. When I raised this concern during our classroom discussions, our professor Dr. Lata Dhir has beautifully explained that although we have witnessed substantial rise in number of woman joining the management and other leadership programs in recent time, it is difficult for them to shed the notion of being submissive because their psychology is still held captive by the norms of patriarchal society which we all continue to be a part of. Even if the environment is favourable, it is their mindset that stops them to put their best foot forwarded when such opportunities come. Glass ceilings for the women in corporate jobs are a reality. It is evident by the fact that there are a very few women in leadership roles in the industries at the global level. But, my question is, does this glass ceiling made by the men or it is actually a result of women’s own shortcomings? This needs to be thoroughly evaluated. These are those boundaries that you talked about that are created within which ultimately puts restrictions on thought processes and abilities and these need to be shed off.

Ma’am, it’s been pleasure to read such an insightful and perceptive blog. I completely agree to your wisdom. When we talk about equality, do we define it in terms of the mathematical symbol = (equal to) or there lies a bigger picture and interpretation to it. I think most of us are so obsessed with mathematics that we interpret it with the “equal to” symbol. Although, Mathematics is very much absolute in nature but I feel, life doesn’t go that way. There is always a theory of relativity attached to life and it is very relatively associated with one’s mindset. I believe, a woman not opting to work in professional domain doesn’t become unequal to a woman who goes office or a person who wears traditional clothes doesn’t become unequal to the person who wears fashion trending and revealing clothes, provided they are not forced to. When we talk about equality, we actually talk about the liberty, freedom, mutual respect and understanding we give to each other. It’s moreover up to us, how much equals we consider ourselves as they say: “Whether you think you can or you can’t you are right”. If someone feels low and rejected then there is very high chance that one may become a victim of that because what you believe is what you perceive. It’s about how much one is contended, happy and satisfied with one’s life because these parameters determine one’s mindset and more often than not, one’s mindset determines one’s thought of perceiving oneself as equal or unequal. I agree there’s been a lot of atrocities with women specially in developing nation across the globe but there are some epitome examples of the female leaders, artists, authors, teachers, doctors etc blossoming in those nation as well. One may argue on what is ratio, but the important debate lies not in the ratio but on where is the attitude, where is the mindset.

Today, in the quest of liberating themselves from traditional oppressions, women are desperately trying to fit into the masculine world. We want to do everything that men excel at because that is the scale to measure, a mindset of the society as a whole. The concept of equality is taken for identicality. back then wasn’t there an equal role for men and women to play in the society? Wasn’t that he protected what she built? Didn’t he provide so that she could nurture? The problem started when discretion became discrimination, the inequality became a mindset, inequality, in terms of regard, the power to choose, appreciation and respect to the role she played. Today also the problem is the same, but the objective of a woman has changed from submission to building a masculine identity. A step ahead, I feel the gender role comes into the picture after individuality. Gender role is a generalization of observation and every rule has an exception. There will be men, who will excel at, what are women’s areas and vice versa. With the change in technological assistance and lifestyle, auxiliary gender roles are transitional and today, are more or less overlapping. Except for the truth that a female will bear a child, even all the auxiliary biological gender roles in nature are transitionary and environment-suitable. A tigress raises her cubs alone, penguins rear young ones together whereas a male seahorse hatches eggs and rears offspring. Even nature does not have a perfect definition of a gender role. The point is in all the areas of life leaving bedrooms and bathrooms, all the individuals, whether a man or a woman will excel at different roles though, with different probabilities. The areas of excellence can be generalized but are not the biblical truth. Then why have rigid gender roles in every walk of life and then discriminations, long discussions and create all ‘isms’? Let the individual contribute according to his/her choice and ability. Though how much ever cliched, the quote, ‘every individual is different, and so are their abilities’, is the truth. The sense of dominance over co-habitation creates a problem. And that ‘sense’ is in mind. A girl driving a scooty in the wrong direction and the police letting her go without fine, both have a discriminatory mindset with different interpretations. Groom’s Parents asking for dowry, have the same mindset as bride’s Parents giving dowry. A woman asking an old man to get up from the female-reserved seat has a discriminatory mindset with a desperation to prove her authority on the seat. Yeah! As correctly phrased by ma’am, ultimately it all boils down to the mindset!

Time to Let Women Thrive It is not 8th of March. Even if it had been, I would not have bothered much for what I am going to write is more of a heart pouring, rather than being just day specific topic to blabber on. Since ages, women have been centric to lot of our thoughts. Any thought of a utopian society is unattainable without the equality of gender. A society cannot be called a gender equal unless and until we remove all the gender based talks for once and for all. While men and women are born equal, gender inequality still persists in every society. The deep-rooted belief that women do not deserve equal treatment underpins violence against women and is used to deny girls and women fair access to education, health, employment, property, and influence. The failure to root out prejudice against girls and women is one of the major barriers to progress and prosperity. Gender discrimination also breaches international human rights agreements and domestic laws in most countries, however, we as a collective bunch are making progress. Women are nowadays not only moving up the ladder across all the formats, from boardrooms to sports and to space, they are over exceeding most of our “pseudo intellect men”. Probably, the most distinguishing among the above has been the shift in the women’s mentality from that of acceptor to a seeker. They, no longer are taking on what is given to them but rather they believe in questioning and then finding out themselves. This has had its impact across all the globe. Men, Reformists, and Thinkers can be given applause for that. The journey of women from being a passenger in a car driven by a man to being a driver of a car in Saudi Arabia has been one of the best stories of women emancipation. This was applauded across all the sectors from all over the world. But we should take a time and reflect upon a still lingering question, “Are women drivers able to drive/navigate through free will?” The answer to this question might be able to put a few hiccups in the mind of people who have already thought of this act as the epitome for their utopian vision of having a gender free society. We, as responsible and sustainable citizens must put on a sincere and brave effort. This year, at the World Economic Forum, the challenge of female empowerment was fully on the agenda of the elitist attending the forum for they realise that, now is the time to transform the society, economies, and the role of a woman is the most important aspect they need to work on. In other words, across several dimensions, we must realize that women’s potential is “macro-critical”. Delivering on this may sound like a tall order, but it simply means making the most of everybody’s talents. This is a challenge for any country; a task from which every country would benefit. It is a universal mission. As the awareness of this critical task is growing, we must believe that it is time to press ahead with steps which are not only concrete in words but in action as well. Helping the fairer sex to be active at a workplace, while they are still raising a family is one of the many baby steps we can take. This would also enable women to pick up the mantle of leadership in work, business, and public life. Time is up for discrimination and abuse against women. The time has come for women to thrive.

Dear Ma’am, it’s delightful to see see blogs such as yours that focus on the importance about the mindset regarding individuality. This reference to the psychological stance that we, as woman have has always been there as an undercurrent in each of our minds, and I believe that - sadly - the word has lost it’s meaning on it’s way. “Equality”, as we refer to it, has become so subjective because most of the time it is the female population that ends up sabotaging it, many a times without even realising it. What I mean by this is, I’ve seen in various stages of life, on various platforms that it is the very mindset that we as women have that makes us create a imaginary boundary around our capabilities, our abilities - sort of like a LakshmanRekha around what we know. “I don’t think I can do it” ”I am the only female there, it will be so awkward” While some ruin their chances by waiting for a pseudo invitation to become involved that never come, they end up missing out on certain opportunities. Many others do not even deem themselves qualified enough to be in the same league, - “No thanks, it’s a man’s job. There’s no place like that for women there”. This is where the necessity lies, this is where the mindset needs to change. How does one accept equality if they don’t see themselves on the receiving end? Another great point that lies between the lines which is extremely crucial is the need for the whole community to be there for each other, uplifting each other. Women, together. To uplifting of other’s achievements and dreams is as important as being supportive of their own. The mindset doesn’t change by merely thinking different thoughts, it changes by changing perspectives - of oneself and others. A step at a time, that’s how the change happens.

Hello ma’am, your blogpost is a reality check. Thank you for sharing such thought provoking insights. To this, I would like to add a few thoughts of my own. I believe “equality” is often misunderstood. The equality we strive to attain is the equal ease of access to resources and opportunities regardless of the gender, cast, creed or religion. But, people tend to take the literal meaning of it. My reservations with the literal meaning of equality is that it doesn’t incorporate the freedom of preferences, skillsets and endowments. When people associate the shortfall in number of women working in any particular sector against the men or vice versa, entirely with inequality, they tend to be ignorant towards their genetic skillsets and preferences. Men and women are endowed with different levels of tolerances towards various external forces. They parent differently, they react to situations differently, and they have different levels of emotions and endurance. According to me, the real difference lies in the levels of freedom given to both the genders. This is the issue that needs real attention. Freedom to pursue your choice, freedom to explore and utilise your skillsets and optimize your resources. In the quest to equality, we forget to celebrate the differences. We digress from the real issue, which is freedom. Ma’am, as you rightly said, “Men and women cannot be equal, as each has its specific role” what is important is to realise and choose their own roles for themselves to improve overall efficiency. In our society, women are frowned upon when their choices and preferences are inclined to be what is believed to be masculine and vice versa. Preferences are usually involuntary. What we prefer is a stimulus to what we are endowed with, our genetics, and our nature. I believe equity is the solution and not equality. Fair treatment, freedom to express and to pursue choices and preferences is what would make the society more comprehensive and successful.

Last paragraph says, a woman compliments a man. Actually it should be "complements".

Dear Madam, as the topic goes, I believe that it is really in the mindset of us and the people whom we are mixing, meeting or interacting in all our transactions on a daily basis. It is just the conservative mindset in us which makes us to think on gender indifferences. Though India is still developing, this mindset still differs in urban or so called metropolitan cities as compared with rural mindset. Or rather, let me be a little specific, as the opinion varies from broad minded educated families with orthodox mindset. In big cities and in nuclear families, married couples or all family members have no other choice and they at times are literally forced to do each and everything under compulsion what we generally do not observe in rural India and that is why the word equality may be forced upon them. Just like we all know that “necessity is the mother of Invention”; similarly due to necessity we human beings are forced to do each and everything which brings here equality among all family members. Moreover, may be a female member or a male, each one of us can do each and everything provided we all have that will power and the support from the society to strive over all obstacles. There are numerous examples of female members who has done or created wonders and were successful in their life in comparison to their male counterparts and therefore this should not be our mindset. I even happen to see some programs in one TV channel, wherein the daughters in a family have struggled in their life to bring up their family in the absence of any male member which is worth appreciating. My opinion of course is we all are equal in majority of aspects and we shall strive that the gender gap should be minimized subsequently as this is god’s creation and what we can additionally do is try, support and help them at all activities so that we can work together smoothly and create a safe environment at all times.

It has been 70 years since India marketed its first Independence day on 15th of August, 1947.But over the last 3 to 4 years we could see a lot of discussions revolving around gender equality. When we come across this, the question is why after so many years this topic has come to light in our Indian society. As, very rightly mentioned in the first line that “Equality” does it exist?”. So, equality is just an idea which encourages the notion of ‘women’ being treated specially. Why do women feel the need to be equal with men, rather than fulfilling their rights like a normal citizen. This shows women as the weaker section of the society who cannot compete with men. But this gives a wrong impression about women and thus the need of diversity has been encouraged all over the society. When men and women both are given the opportunity to lead and bring out a positive change, we as a whole can wipe off the discriminations from the society. It is more psychological than sociological. There are few Indian women who are leaders in various sectors like Indu Jain who is the current chairperson of India’s largest media group, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd., Indra Nooyi is the CFO and President of PepsiCo., the late Kalpana Chawla was an American astronaut and the first woman of Indian origin to go to space, Ekta Kapoor, the woman who changed the face of Indian television – Love them or hate them, you just cannot ignore Balaji serials and likewise. These women with their marvellous achievements, are an inspiration for young girls be it in any part of the country. Thus, changing the mindsets of parents to nurture and bring up their daughters and sons with same values and thought processes. As our tradition highlights that women are the homemakers and men are the bread winners, but over the years when women have started adopting balanced leadership, it is no more the same. So, if a woman gets the right support and encouragement from her family and friends, she can achieve success in every walk of life, provided she learns how to stay dignified and take charge of whatever comes her way. It’s very true that: Without 'HER' even 'HERO' is '0' but also 'HE' is inherent in 'SHE’.

Gender equality is a concept used widely across the world in varying platforms but followed less vehemently. It is true that over the past few decades in India, women empowerment has been given much thrust and as a result women are now occupying many key positions in the society and sharing stages with men. This has largely been due to the women empowerment policies implemented by the successive govt.’s, right to education for all and increase in women employment. This has led to the gradual increase of both genders being employed in the modern society. But I still feel that there exists some shades of inequality in our society and the women are outweighed on the balance by men. Indian society largely expects women to do multi tasking right from the time a girl reaches puberty. She has to study, help her mother in the household chores and help her father, younger /elder brother with their day to day activities. This multi tasking is carried forward to her in-laws’ place also. There she has to juggle her daily life by taking care of her husband, children, in-laws’, activities of home and finally her job. And except her job, all other ‘duties’ are critically reviewed upon by her family and the society at large. Hence I feel that married working women are under constant pressure to excel at all the ‘fronts’. I think it is the duty of the men to share the workload at home. It is found often that after the office work, men gets in to an unwinding mode by watching news, sports, checking on to their social networks ( FB, whatsapp, Instagram) and having some get together with friends. The women on the contrast has to immediately concentrate on other pressing duties like the kitchen job, children’s school activities, provisions’ stock checking, in-laws’s health etc. Hence even though a woman nurtures an inner desire to engage some time socially, they are often deprived of it. And they carry on silently, with no complaints. Though the situations have improved a lot in metro and other large cities, in smaller towns and villages, the mindset is changing a bit slowly. By men, I mean both the husband as well as the son. Male child has to be trained to help out his mother and sister, from his early childhood so that he can appreciate the same, when he gets married, later in his life. Thus to sum up, men should not feel shameful or less dignified when he helps out his mother/sister/spouse in their daily routines. Instead he should be able to say with pride that in his family, men and women share equal spaces across all the works at home.

Dear ma’am… what a powerful and inspiring blog!!! It beautifully explains the current reality of our existence in society. A thought comes to mind in this context “women have jobs but no career”. Common stereotypes think that men have high level of intellectual capability and can handle leadership positions more effectively. As a result of this women are not given many field-related and leadership jobs. But I believe that if we can manage a home, if we can raise a baby – then we can also take up the professional path and manage it well! Many times we have to give up our careers after becoming a mother. Even when both partners are earning about the same wages it is an unsaid rule in the society that the new mother has to quit her job to look after the infant. We really need to break this mindset of our society, we are no were less than men, we are equals, even if you want to judge us do it on the basis of our capabilities not on the basis of gender because - “A woman is like a Tea bag, you never know how strong she is until you put her into hot water”. We as women needs to support each other to grow and achieve the common goal. It’s high time now and people have to stop objectifying us. It our time to conquer the world!! My parents have raised me without any gender bias. When will the time come when parents will raise their sons teaching them to take on and share the load of household activities right from childhood? Why are all the household chores still treated as our responsibility, our partners needs to equally share our load, we are one family, we are equals!! We, the young generation, need to break this stereotype thinking and make a difference. I am happy to say that my husband has taken the lead to make it happen at home. I have gotten a very understanding soulmate who gives me my space. I don’t know how to cook and can’t handle my home perfectly. I love my job and he supports every bit of it! He motivates me to stretch my boundaries at work and pushes me to achieve my ambition in life. He is happier than me when I get a promotion. He sets a live example for all the husbands to treat their wives as their best friend, love her, respect her, share her responsibilities equally and be her backbone to climb this ladder of gender equality. Stop judging us and stereotyping us! Let us be free and we will conquer the world!

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