My Views on Women Empowerment and Women Safety- By: Krishnakant Prajapati

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She is the creator of manhood, she is the creator of kindness, and if we put it this way, she is simply the creator of man(hood)+kind(ness)= MANKIND.  Yes, she is no one else, she is a woman. But, do we really consider it as a fact or just a thought? If we consider it just as a thought, do we ponder upon it and if we consider it as a fact, do we really believe in it? We can think either way or don’t think at all. But if we do so, we will realize what a great blessing we received from God, when he created woman to accompany man!

History abounds with exceptional tales of women who didn’t only prove themselves as pioneers, but also paved a way for others and became a great source of inspiration. Be it Mother Teresa, who served humanity unconditionally or be it Rani Laxmi Bai, who fought till the last breath and sacrificed her life for the sake of others. Be it Indira Gandhi who did a lot, to make India the mighty nation that it is today or be it JK Rowling (if we go in the recent past) who has a “rags to riches” life story. There are numerous such inspirational stories which can open our eyes, and make us believe that women have played and still play a crucial role to make the world a better place to live in.

Today, in this technically-advanced world where reaching to moon and mars is no more a dream, where scientists are looking to build a city outside earth. Somewhere, our thoughts and our perspective about women haven’t changed much. We still think of her as a person who is there only to do the household chores, to implement what man commands. She is not given the freedom she deserves. She wants to take a flight, but either her feathers have been cut or she is in a cage. As men, we all need to understand the fact that unless we empower women, we can’t move forward in our lives. We need to make her feel safe wherever she goes, or with whatever she does to bring a positive change in her life. In my opinion, the best way to empower women is to allow them to receive a good education.

Education can give them a lot of confidence to overcome different challenges they face in their lives. However, it’s very unfortunate that even now, some of the countries don’t allow women to study. As a result, they have a very low literacy rate amongst women. According to the data released by UIS, literacy rates for adults and youth continue to rise but women still lag behind young men. Few countries, for instance Pakistan, has an alarming situation of education where only 26 percent of girls are literate and only 12 percent of them can handle little more than a signature.  These statistics show how the women are deprived of their right to education. However, there are many women who fought for their right and didn’t concede to circumstances. One such projection of courage is that of Malala Yousufzai who, fighting for her right and promoting education got shot by the Taliban.

 Even after the persecution, she didn’t give up and became a motivation for other ladies. For her wonderful work, she was also awarded with the Nobel Prize in 2014. Another aspect of empowering women is to give them freedom of speech that they deserve. Most of the time, all the decision-making is done by the man and the woman is only there to affirm. On the other hand, if a woman decides to do something, she is always questioned. We require giving them that freedom of thoughts where they can think about themselves and do what they want to. We have to help them to share their views and contribute to the family, not only by doing the household chores but by making important decisions too. That way, we can really give her the audacity to face and overcome the hurdles of her life. She will not feel exploited and ignored and be able to think fresh. She will feel safe inside out. Though, feeling safe should not be limited to houses only. In fact, a woman should feel safe in every nook and corner of the world whether it is a village, a town, a city or any part of the world.

Safety of women has become a big challenge for all of us. There has been a rapid increase in crimes against women. Women don’t feel safe to step out of their houses in the evening. And these are the facts about metropolitan cities, let alone the rural areas. According to a 2013 global review of available data, 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced either physical or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence. Around 120 million girls worldwide (slightly more than 1 in 10) have experienced forced intercourse or other forced sexual acts at some points in their lives. If we talk about India, Delhi reported the most number of rape cases in 2013. Even though, the govt. formed fast track courts after the very shameful Nirbhaya case, no change was to be seen in the society. The crime against women kept shooting up and govt. and the police authorities failed miserably to stop it. It’s our responsibility to make a woman feel safe everywhere and all the time.  Every now and then, men think that, they have an upper hand in the society and therefore, can do any harm to a woman. We must realize, if a woman feels safe, she can do wonders for herself, her family and for the society. She can climb the Everest like Santosh Yadav. She can run a company like Indra Nooyi. She can do anything. We need to understand the fact that, changing women’s life style will not bring a change, but changing our opinions about women will do. If a woman earns more than her husband, a man should feel proud in it, not insulted. We are living in the 21st century where women are not only running a household, but running big-big businesses. They are playing vital roles to run our nation and our world. They are no less than a man and gradually but surely, men are also recognizing this truth.  Our lives can only improve when we move forward hand in hand. The mantra to our success lies in giving women the wings to fly and explore, to run and fall and to stand again. To conclude, I have written this small poem and named it “RISE”:

Afraid I was,

And felt so low

Never got a chance,

To thrive and grow.

In the mist of oppression,

I was lost

Wanted to succeed

At any cost.

Then I decided,

To break free

When I did so,

Everyone got angry.

They persecuted me,

They abandoned me

I did not care,

I just broke free.

I got the wings,

To explore and fly

I took a flight

And reached the sky.

It was not easy,

To touch the sky

But I thought

Why not give it a try?

My efforts paid me off

And I won the race,

Now my life is going

At a steady pace.

Author: Krishnakant Prajapati