Gender justice still a far cry!

The way women power is growing, a time will come sooner than later when full bloom gender justice will be attainable, writes Zakia Khan

Gender justice is still eluding world-wide even as the Constitutions and laws of almost all the countries talk about gender equality. Women continue to be ignored in all walks of life  be it rightful representation in decision making processes at all levels for betterment of humans right from the grassroots of rural development of Panchayat Raj to State Legislature and to Parliament. Though name sake 50 per cent reservations for women have been given to women in the Village Panchayats, which for all practical purposes, is not workable because of lack of literacy and education and also because men folks of women members of Panchayat exercise all powers by proxy.

Historically, Adam and Eve — differently named in different beliefs and gospels — were the first parents of humans from whom humans in different races, faiths, castes and communities have sprung to date. But all through, women have shaped growth, prosperity and strides by humans throughout their history. Women’s multi-tasking role as mother, daughter, sister, wife and above all as home maker is all pervasive as they enjoy primacy over men although they (men-women) together make wonderful combination for all round development throughout the world.

Despite such overwhelming virtues of women, their rightful representation in all human endeavours have been inadequate, right from cradle to the grave because of the preference of male over female child, the very prejudicial foundation continuing against women throughout their life. This cannot change without perceptible changes in the very mind set of people right from one’s childhood although on paper, in laws and the Constitution there is gender equality, which is not there.

With the growing literacy, information explosion and knowledge economy in the globalized India, cry for gender justice has been ever increasing in the country for adequate representation in all segments of public administration, like education, government services, teachings, law enforcement agencies like police, security forces, armed forces, judiciary, corporate sector, trade, commerce, industry etc. There have been continuing processes for gender justice in order to remove all types of prejudices against women. But dominance of patriarchy is continuing its fetter unabated. Men folks do not want their turf of power and pelf to be shared equally with women. That is why there has been inadequate representation of women in public services, police, armed forces, judiciary and board of directors of the corporate sector.

The then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s laudable desire for a 33 per cent reservations for women in the legislatures, Parliament and State Assemblies, has been eluding consensus in the Parliament simply because men are wary of shedding their primacy in law making and related decision making processes, which otherwise would have been a milestone towards gender justice. Several times Bill was introduced in the Parliament to amend the Constitution for a mandatory 33 percent representation of women in Parliament and State Assemblies.

The Bill, however, could not be passed. Once the Bill was passed in the Upper House (Rajya Sabha) but it lapsed as it could not be passed in the House of the People (Lok Sabha). The present NDA government, an ardent supporter and believer in the Manusmirti, widely believed to be prejudicial to women and their subjugation, is least interested in the all-round gender justice, as can be seen in the ever-increasing crimes of violence and rapes by people in the Sangh Pariwar and the state machinery being misused in the overt and covert support of the accused of heinous crimes against women.

The government has announced a lot of schemes for the empowerment of women, but my question is are we really weak? The common women has shown huge unity protesting silently at Shaheenbagh without any manhandle, without any political support, without any social activist. It’s not just one example but incredible of its own kind and prove when it comes to motherhood women act as 10x. I remember one of the common and true phrases stating “A house become sweet home with a touch of her essence”. So we could imagine the picture of India when they will be in law making. Nevertheless, all is not lost. The way women power is growing, one hopes a time will come sooner than later when full bloom gender justice will be attainable and women may have the last laugh. Gender justice is a sine qua non for equitable development of humans. With the current social churnings, one hopes gender justice is achievable!